R-Phils Roll One Step Closer
(READING, PA) - The Fightin Phils came home after a 4-2 roadtrip, setting themselves up nicely for the final week of the regular season in their quest for their first playoff berth since 2016. For their final regular season home series, they welcomed the dangerous Bowie Baysox to FirstEnergy Stadium for a four-game set. Both teams scored in the first inning, but eventually, Fightins starter Connor Seabold delivered his finest Double-A start with seven innings for the first time all season. The tiebreaker came on a two-run homer from Cornelius Randolph, who went deep for the third straight game in the fourth, and helped the Fightins to a 4-2 win to shrink their magic number down to two with seven games left.
A leadoff walk from Seabold to left fielder Cedric Mullins got the night started, and after Mullins stole second, Ryan McKenna singled into left to put the first two Baysox at the corners. Anderson Feliz then lifted his 22nd run batted in on a sacrifice fly to give Bowie a 1-0 lead, but a caught stealing and a strikeout got Seabold through trailing just 1-0.
The righthander later surrendered an infield single to Yusniel Diaz to start the second, only to go on a lightning fast run in which he retired 13 straight. He got the tying run back right away in the first when Alec Bohm singled with two outs off Cody Sedlock, and after a walk to Darick Hall, Randolph roped a single back up the middle to tie the score.
Hall opened the fourth inning with a hard double to right in his second at-bat, and just two pitches later, Randolph crushed his ninth homer to right-center for a 3-1 lead. Seabold's (2-1) streak ended on a bunt single by Mullins with one out in the sixth, and he retired the last five Baysox he faced to finish with six strikeouts for the fourth time in his last five starts.
Aaron Brown spun a 1-2-3 eighth courtesy of an inning-ending double play following a one-out single from Ryan Ripken. Bowie's bullpen got three innings from lefthander Bryan Gonzalez, who retired the first six before Arquimedes Gamboa reached on a two-base throwing error from former Fightin Jesmuel Valentin at third base.
Jose Gomez backed it up with a single, but the Baysox threw it away when Gomez nearly got caught after rounding first a little too far. The third error allowed Gamboa to score, and push the lead to 4-1.
Bohm joined Randolph with two hits thanks to a hard double into right-center to lead off the eighth inning.
Unfortunately, he never advanced for an insurance run once lefty Zach Muckenhirn struck out the next three hitters. Pitching for the second straight day, Addison Russ nailed down his 20th save despite a two-out wind-aided home run from Feliz.
America's Classic Ballpark is proud to be a part of Pennsylvania's Americana Region and was voted the #1 stadium in all of Double-A by MiLB's Ben Hill. Follow the Fightins on Twitter at @ReadingFightins and like them on Facebook via www.facebook.com/fightins. Purchase tickets TODAY, call or TEXT 610-370-BALL, and download the Fightins game and promotional schedule at fightins.com/calendar.
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