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Taveras makes season debut

Jose Taveras pitches for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in a game at Coca-Cola Park on August 22, 2017. (Photo by Cheryl Pursell)

Making his season debut and just his third start ever in a Fightin Phils uniform, Phillies 40-man roster member Jose Taveras worked himself into an early jam only to work himself right out of it. Taveras didn’t figure in the decision in the Fightins 7-2 loss.

Taveras ran into some trouble in the second when he loaded the bases with a pair of walks and an error. He then got Jonathan Davis on a popout to retire the side, which started a run in which the right-hander retired 10 of the next 12 batters he faced.

During his final inning in the sixth, Taveras walked Cavan Biggio to start the frame. Harold Ramirez followed by getting on with a fielder’s choice back up the middle, and a passed ball advanced the runners into scoring position with no outs. Taveras left after Max Pentecost popped out to short for the first out, and was bailed out in the Baseballtown return of left-hander Austin Davis, who took care of the next two hitters to keep the Fightin Phils in front 1-0.

Taveras was on the DL with shoulder stiffness.

The Fightins had a long night traveling home from Erie and held a 1-0 lead on Zach Green’s first inning single off the unbeaten Jordan Romano. The lead lasted until the top of the seventh, when the visitors blew the game open by batting around and scoring seven times on the way to a 7-2 win in the first game of a three-game series.

In the bottom of the first, Malquin Canelo got on with a one out infield single into the shortstop hole off Romano, who came in leading the league with a 7-0 record. Two batters later it was Green, who stroked a 1-1 pitch into left for a 1-0 lead before Romano retired seven straight starting in the bottom of the second.

The seventh inning wasn’t as kind to the Fightins because the Fisher Cats didn’t waste their opportunities with men on base, initially getting a bases loaded walk from Biggio to tie the score. The next four hitters came away with runs batted in and the final blow was delivered by Patrick Cantwell, whose third single of the night brought in two more runs for a seven-run inning.

Reading’s last burst came in the bottom of the seventh during Romano’s final inning of work. Damek Tomscha reached with one out on an infield single, and two batters later, Deivi Grullon rocked a double into right center to make it a 7-2 ballgame and end Romano’s (8-0) night. Tommy Bergjans and Alexis Rivero each threw a scoreless inning of relief to close things out as the Fisher Cats improved to 5-2 in the season series.

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