Tendler Ends Weekend with Sea Dogs Stunner
(Portland, ME) - With a dominant record at Hadlock Field since the start of last season, Sunday's series finale between the Fightin Phils and Sea Dogs was the best played game all weekend. Starters Damon Jones and Kutter Crawford, still dipping their toes into the Eastern League pool, went toe-to-toe for six innings. And despite getting two huge homers from Alec Bohm and Mickey Moniak, plus a go-ahead ninth single from Henri Lartigue, it wasn't enough for the Fightins. Portland's Luke Tendler hit a pair of two-run homers, with his shot in the ninth inning ending the game and the Sea Dogs losing streak at three straight.
Fresh off his dominant debut in Harrisburg exactly one week prior, Jones picked up right where he left off against the Sea Dogs. The lefthander racked up five strikeouts over four hitless innings at the outset, while he waited for the lineup to churn against Crawford in his Double-A debut.
The Fightin Phils stranded four runners on base from the third through the fifth until Bohm blasted his first Fightins home run over the Maine Monster in left for a 1-0 lead. Walks to Moniak and Cornelius Randolph, plus a single by Grenny Cumana, loaded the bases with one out. Crawford secured the last two outs to finish his afternoon, keeping the game at 1-0 before Jones struck out two more in the bottom of the inning to finish his six innings with seven punchouts.
Portland took its first lead in the seventh when Tendler went high and deep into the right field bleachers with his seventh home run for a 2-1 lead. Fortunately, Moniak had the answer when he crushed his fourth home run into the same section on an 0-2 pitch in the eighth inning to tie the score at two.
In the ninth, Luke Williams singled up the middle and stole second base in a span of two pitches from Portland closer Adam Lau. After a groundout to the right side pushed him to third base, Lau picked up a strikeout to bring up Lartigue. The catcher's second single sailed into right field to break the tie, giving him his third two-hit game in his biggest at-bat of the season.
Aaron Brown came within two outs of his third win when he opened the ninth by battling back and getting cleanup hitter Joey Curletta to ground out to short. He then jumped ahead of Tate Matheny 0-2, but lost control of a fastball that plunked the center fielder in the midsection to put the tying run at first base. Two pitches later, Tendler circled the bases with his second home run, a dramatic game-winner that sent the Fightins to 2-1 on the roadtrip with three games left in Trenton starting on Monday night.
America's Classic Ballpark is proud to be a part of Pennsylvania's Americana Region. Season tickets for the 2019 season are available online at Fightins.com, by phone at 610-370-BALL, and in-person at the Weidenhammer Ticket Office at FirstEnergy Stadium. Follow the Fightin Phils on Twitter at @ReadingFightins, Instagram at @fightins, and like them on Facebook via www.facebook.com/fightins.
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