Ramon Rosso made his Triple-A debut Thursday night with Lehigh Valley and put together an impressive outing, striking out nine batters in six innings of work and being touched for just an unearned run in the outing. Meanwhile, Reading’s Adonis Medina was matched up against Erie’s Casey Mize. Both starters are their respective organizations top pitching prospects, in addition to being on the 40-man rosters. Unfortunately, Mize’s sudden exit in the third inning with an unspecified injury loomed large, as did an hour and 42 minute rain delay at the outset. But in the end, Medina became the first R-Phils starter to work into the eighth inning, and won his fifth straight start 3-2 to give Reading the final game of the series before a big weekend showdown in Harrisburg with four games left in the first half.
Rosso didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning and was victimized by a bad call at first that was ultimately ruled an error on first baseman Deivi Grullon. On the play, first base umpire Richard Riley ruled that Grullon came off the bag too early, although replays showed Grullon’s foot was on the bag throughout the play. Two batters after the bad call, Rafael Ortega singled to right to drive in a run. Another potential run was cut down at the plate.
The IronPigs were hoping to pull off a sweep Thursday against Gwinnett, but fell 5-4 in 11 innings.
Jan Hernandez put the IronPigs ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning as he scored on a wild pitch by Patrick Weigel. The Stripers moved ahead 3-1 in the top of the eighth inning against John Curtiss, who was making his organizational debut. Ortega struck again by hitting a two-run double that scored Travis Demeritte and Sean Kazmar Jr.
The Pigs tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning as Ali Castillo hit a two-run single off Rafael De Palma. Castillo now has a six-game hitting streak.
Gwinnett scored runs in the top of the 10th and 11th innings. Jack Lopez hit an RBI double off Kyle Dohy (1-3) that scored Alex Jackson in the 11th inning. Deivy Grullon hit an RBI single off Connor Johnstone (2-0) in the bottom of the 10th inning that forced the game one more inning.
In Reading, Medina retired the first six batters he faced and produced three strikeouts before Erie got a pair of singles in the top of the third. Henri Lartigue’s wonderful season throwing out baserunners continued, and he nabbed Sergio Alcantara at second to get Medina through the inning having faced just one over the minimum.
With one out in the third, Mize exited after throwing just one pitch to Lartigue, meaning the SeaWolves bullpen had a long night ahead of them after Mize had allowed just one base hit on a lined single to left from Austin Listi. The Fightins then failed to score with the bases loaded and two outs in the fourth inning, but finally broke the scoreless tie in the fifth against Nolan Blackwood.
A two-out rally started when Mickey Moniak singled into right and Josh Stephen followed with a base hit of his own. On a 1-2 pitch, Darick Hall directed a groundball into the shift on the right side, and lucked out when Alcantara cut across and threw wide of first for a huge error and the game’s first run.
In the sixth, Erie’s Zac Houston walked Grenny Cumana to start the inning before Cornelius Randolph sent a single back up the middle to put runners at the corners with no outs. Luke Williams’ groundout made it 2-0, and after Jose Gomez singled, Lartigue legged out a fielder’s choice groundout for his 13th run batted in and a 3-0 advantage.
Medina barely labored, and at one point retired 11 in a row before plunking right fielder Jose Azocar with one out in the seventh inning. Frank Schwindel followed with a grounder that was thrown down the right field line by Gomez at short, which prompted Azocar to get the wave around third. Cumana backed up the play from right field, and made a perfect throw to the plate for a huge second out before Medina fielded a grounder from Kade Scivicque to retire the side.
The right-hander started the eighth inning with a walk to Josh Lester, but bounced back with a fielder’s choice groundout from Alcantara for the first out. The night ended for Medina (5-2) on an RBI triple from Cam Gibson that was pounded into the right field corner and cut the R-Phils lead to 3-1. At that point, Garrett Cleavinger induced a sacrifice fly from A.J. Simcox and ended the inning with a strikeout of Derek Hill to keep the lead at 3-2.
Addison Russ navigated through the ninth, getting the first two outs before Schwindel singled and Scivicque snuck a double down the left field line. In one of the biggest spots of the season, Russ locked up his eighth save with a strikeout of Lester, preserving the 3-2 victory. Randolph finished with three of Reading’s eight base hits, adding his second triple with one out in the eighth inning off Ethan DeCaster.