Guilmet blows first save in 4-3 loss to Reading
READING - Despite leading 3-0 for seven and one-third innings, the Akron Aeros lost 4-3 in extra innings to the Reading Phillies after a rare implosion by the bullpen.
Center fielder Tim Fedroff tripled to start the game against Reading, later scoring on a wild pitch by opposing starter Julio Rodriguez. After the wild pitch, first baseman Chun Chen walked and left fielder Nick Weglarz was hit by a pitch. The Aeros lineup failed to post another run in the first after second baseman Ryan Rohlinger struck out on a foul tip to the catcher.
In the top of the third, shortstop Juan Diaz opened the inning with a double to center. Designated hitter Jared Goedert extended his hitting streak to 10 games after hitting his fifth double of the season. Diaz advanced to third on the play, putting two runners in scoring position with no outs. Chen walked to load the bases, followed by another walk by Weglarz, making the score 2-0. The Aeros wasted an opportunity to really blow the game open with the bases loaded and nobody out, as the Phillies would get out of the jam without giving up a run.
After working out of the bases loaded jam, Rodriguez was finished for the R-Phils. In three innings of work, he made 80 pitches (46 strikes), allowing two runs on four hits and three walks.
The Aeros would score their third and final run against reliever Tyson Brummett in the fifth. After a Goedert single to open the inning, Chen hit a ground ball that was misplayed by Reading shortstop Troy Hanzawa. Goedert was thrown out at third on the play, while Chen was safe at first. Weglarz followed with a double to center that scored Chen.
David Huff pitched four strong innings for Akron in his first rehab start after suffering a hamstring injury in spring training. He struck out three batters while limiting Reading to just two base runners.
Reliever Bryce Stowell continued his strong start to the season, pitching two scoreless innings. He struck out all three batters in the fifth and one in the sixth, allowing just one hit along the way.
Rob Bryson worked around a leadoff double in the seventh to maintain the shutout. In the eighth, he allowed the first two R-Phils to reach on base hits. After a sacrifice fly, runners were on first and third for Reading center fielder Tyson Gillies. Gillies singled in the first Reading run of the game, ending Bryson’s night. In one and one-third innings, he allowed one run on four hits, with no strike outs.
Akron closer Preston Guilmet retired the next two batters to keep the score 3-1. Guilmet stayed on in the ninth to try for his third save of the season, but allowed two quick singles. After a fielder’s choice, Guilmet walked the bases loaded. He struck out the next batter before yielding another single that scored two runs, knotting the game at three. He retired the next batter to send the game to extra innings.
After the Aeros went in order in the top of the tenth, the R-Phils took little time to score the deciding run off reliever Kyle Landis. After a pop out, Reading first baseman Darin Ruf singled to right to represent the winning run. Designated hitter Steve Susdorf followed with a double off the right field wall, driving in the winning run from first.
The Akron Aeros and Reading Phillies will continue the series on Saturday at 6:05 p.m. Southpaw Giovanni Soto (1-0, 5.00) will start for the Aeros against Reading right-hander Jonathan Pettibone (1-1, 2.95).
Nathan Kemp graduated from The University of Akron in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in English. He plans to pursue a graduate degree through NEOMFA in the fall. Follow him on Twitter @NathanCKemp.