Curve beaten in 9th inning
READING- The Curve were just one out away from evening the series with Reading, but a familiar face sank them again.
Fightin Phils center fielder Zach Collier this time hit a walk-off two-run single for a 4-3 win over the Curve at First Energy Stadium.
Collier went 2-for-5 with the RBI. He hit the game winning home run Friday night in the 10th inning.
Joely Rodriguez (4-11) gave up both runs – one earned – on three hits, striking out two before taking the loss.
The Curve bullpen that seemed to have put everything together, has blown back-to-back save chances, and has failed in 21 opportunities.
One-run games have been tough enough on the team, as they’ve gone 4-19 on the road, 16-30 overall. They’ve now dropped two decisions by that margin in back-to-back nights.
The loss is their seventh when they lead after the eighth inning.
Reading scored the first two runs in the fourth and fifth, and kept the Curve off the board until a three-run rally in the eighth.
Gift Ngoepe started the comeback with a walk, and scored on Stetson Allie’s to get the Curve on the board.
Josh Bell followed Ngoepe with a single, scoring on Diaz sacrifice fly to tie the game. Willy Garcia added the go-ahead double, driving in Allie to give the Curve the lead.
Allie went 2-for-2 with two walks, RBI, and the run scored. He was just one of two Curve batters to have multiple hits.
Angel Sanchez went six innings in his second start since joining the Pirates organization, July 31. He went six innings, allowing two runs on eight hits with three strikeouts, despite getting no decision.
Colton Murray (1-4) got the win in relief for the Fightin Phils, going 1 innings, striking out one, and walking two.
Key player: Reading CF Zach Collier went 2-for-5 with a two-run single in the ninth.
Key play: Collier’s single was the game winning hit.
Key stat: The Curve have dropped two straight games on the last at-bat.
How they scored
Bot 4th: Altherr doubled, scored on Moore double (0-1).
Bot 5th: Loewen doubled, scored on Sanchez wild pitch (0-2).
Top 8th: Ngoepe walked, scored on Allie single (1-2); Bell singled, scored on Diaz sacrifice fly (2-2); Allie scored on Garcia double (3-2).
Bot 9th: Duran singled, Valle singled, both scored on Collier single (3-4).