Tim Mayza stopped a late Reading rally, preserving the New Hampshire Fisher Cats 8-7 victory.
Mayza pitched two innings to get his third save of the year, but narrowly escaped the ninth. Scott Kingery lead off the inning with his fourth home run of the series and Kyle Martin brought home Harold Ramirez on a two-out line drive.
After Martin’s hit, Mayza got a visit to the mound, followed by a foul pop-up on the first base side that prevented New Hampshire’s nightmare from developing any further.
Seven of New Hampshire’s eight runs came in two big spurts. First, a four-run effort in the third that saw five consecutive hits, six in total, including three for extra bases. Three more runs came in the eighth, thanks largely to a sacrifice bunt that put runners into scoring position, continuing the rally.
A Derrick Loveless single brought home Heidt in the sixth for New Hampshire’s other run.
Loveless had eight of New Hampshire’s 11 hits on the day, with Ryan McBroom and Michael DeLaCruz also grabbing two hits each.
Kingery’s homer in the ninth was the third of the day for Reading, he also had a homer in the seventh, adding to a two-run shot in the first by Malquin Canelo. Kingery came home in the fifth as well thanks to a Carlos Tocci double. Just two pitches earlier, he stole third on a wild pitch that let Joel Fisher cross the plate.
The Reading slugger had two more hits to go along with his home runs, accounting for half of Reading’s hits on the day.
New Hampshire’s Sean Reid-Foley went six innings, but couldn’t get a decision, allowing four runs and five hits, striking out six and walking four.
Instead, the win went to Justin Shafer. Shafer allowed Reading to tie the contest on Kingery’s first home run, but he stayed in the contest just long enough to see the Fisher Cats second rally regain the lead for New Hampshire.
Yacksel Rios (1-2) got the loss for Reading, allowing three hits and three runs over the eighth and ninth innings.
New Hampshire’s win began their second winning streak of the year and helped them out of the worst winning percentage in Minor League Baseball. They’re now above the Advanced-A Winston-Salem Dash of the Carolina League and the Augusta Greenjackets of the Class-A South Atlantic League.
The Fisher Cats now return to New Hampshire for a four-game set against the Portland SeaDogs. Conner Greene (1-3, 3.69) will start the opener for New Hampshire against Portland’s Travis Lakins (0-1, 27.00).