For the first time in this long weekend series, the Fightin Phils weren’t fazed by the SeaWolves starting pitcher. And on Sunday afternoon, the first series of the season concluded with an 8-3 Fightins win as the offense came alive with 12 hits and a five-run sixth inning. Malquin Canelo had his first four-hit game at Double-A and Zach Green finished a triple shy of the cycle, driving in a pair of runs as the Fightins prepare for a three-game series with Portland beginning Monday night.
Reading took its first lead of the season thanks to Canelo and Green, whose respective single and double made it 1-0 off right-hander Kyle Funkhouser. After mowing through the SeaWolves in the first, Jake Waguespack surrendered three straight hits in the second and a wild pitch brought in the second Erie run to give the visitors a 2-1 lead. Former Fightin Phil Herlis Rodriguez hit his second single in as many at bats in the third, driving in a run to push the lead to 3-1.
Both managers went to their bullpens in the fourth, and the Fightins held the advantage as Edgar Garcia, Trevor Bettencourt (1-0), and Luke Leftwich combined on six scoreless innings while allowing just three baserunners for the rest of the game. In the home third, Kyle Martin brought in his first run of the season with a sacrifice fly to right, bringing Reading back to within a run at 3-2.
With the score the same in the sixth, the bats went to work against left-hander Matt Hall (0-1) after he threw two scoreless innings in relief of Funkhouser. Green led off with a home run the other way to right, the first of three straight hits to open the inning as Cornelius Randolph and Jan Hernandez followed with singles. A bases loaded walk to Zach Coppola broke the 3-3 tie, and Canelo’s fourth hit of the day was a two-run double off Jeff Thompson that gave the Fightins a 6-3 cushion. A wild pitch brought in the final run of the inning, and the last one came across in the eighth when Austin Bosart (2-for-4) played the waiting game and scored during a rundown with Coppola between first and second.