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Fightins get homer happy in win over Altoona

For the second time on their most impressive homestand of the season, the Reading Fightin Phils won in their final at-bat. In Sunday’s series finale against the Curve, Phillies top prospect Alec Bohm hit a two-run bullet over the center field wall that gave the R-Phils a 9-7 win in 10 innings. Fast forward a few nights, and on Wednesday, Bohm hit one of a season-best five home runs to extend the winning streak to six games for the first time since last August. Mickey Moniak went deep twice for the first time in his career, and on the very first pitch he saw, Josh Stephen sent everyone home with a pinch-hit three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth for an 8-5 win over the Yard Goats.

In a sign of things to come on a night where there was a 55-minute rain delay that pushed back the start of the game, it was Moniak who opened the scoring with a solo shot in the first off Yard Goats starter Brandon Gold, who hadn’t allowed more than a single home run in any of his 20 starts coming in. The ‘Goats later jumped in front on a three-run shot from Tyler Nevin in the third, the only runs allowed by Fightins starter Connor Seabold in the finest effort of his abbreviated season.

Moniak’s second home run in the third also sailed out to right, with the two-run shot giving him all three runs batted in to tie the score. Gold allowed two more home runs in the home sixth, with Bohm tagging one to left, and Arquimedes Gamboa going deep for the first time with a shot to right field that pushed the lead to 5-3.

Seabold went a season-high six innings, leaving with the lead after surrendering five hits to go along with six strikeouts. In the seventh, the Yard Goats rallied to tie the score at five, getting back-to-back two-out base hits atop the lineup from Manny Melendez and Vance Vizcaino.

Reading right-handed relievers Grant Dyer and Addison Russ (4-5) each went 1-2-3 in the eighth and ninth. On the other side, Hartford’s Mitch Horacek and Alexander Guillen did the same in the seventh and eighth. With one out in the ninth, Gamboa drew a walk against Scott Griggs to put the winning run at first. Two batters later, Raul Rivas rolled his second single through the left side to bring up the pitcher’s spot in the order. On the very next pitch, Stephen clocked his second pinch-hit homer of the season, shooting an opposite field blast to left for the Fightins 10th win in their final at-bat.

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