Darick Hall lofted a three-run home run in the first inning to put the Reading Fightin Phils up for good on Wednesday morning, as Reading pounded out 11 hits and salvaged the series finale over the Harrisburg Senators, 7-4 at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Harrisburg (21-5) grabbed the lead in the first inning for the third consecutive day, when Tres Barrera’s two-out RBI single off starter Bailey Falter (2-1) made it 1-0 Senators.
This time, the R-Phils (12-10) came up with a quick response.
With two down in the home half, Adam Haseley ripped an opposite-field double off Tyler Mapes (2-1), and Austin Listi worked a walk. Down in the count 1-2, Hall socked a high fly to left that carried over the wall for a three-run homer, pushing Reading ahead, 3-1.
The long ball for Hall was his fourth of the season, upping his RBI count to a team-leading 15. Hall finished with eight runs batted in during the three-game series.
Falter delivered a solid five innings in the start, limiting the Senators to just a run on six hits and a walk while striking out five. The lefty finished with 85 pitches, 62 strikes (73%).
Reading tacked on a run in the bottom of the fifth after Luke Williams opened the inning with a single, stole second, and advanced to third when the throw from the catcher Barrera squirted through into center.
With one down, Listi looped a single to center to score Williams, making it 4-1 Reading.
Harrisburg made things interesting in the top of the sixth, facing reliever Jeff Singer.
An error on Listi at third allowed Barrera to reach to start the frame, and Rhett Wiseman knocked him in with a single to bring it to a two-run game. With one down, Mapes singled, and Bryan Mejia dropped a double toward the left field corner.
Wiseman scored on the double to make it 6-5, but left fielder Cornelius Randolph came up firing in a strike to the cutoff man Jose Gomez, who delivered an accurate throw home to nail Mapes at the plate and prevent the tying run from crossing.
Reading got some breathing room in the seventh, when Williams and Haseley each singled to greet reliever Ronald Pena. Williams scored on a wild pitch, and after a pop out and a hit batter, Randolph and Austin Bossart each contributed RBI singles to up the lead to 7-3.
Luke Leftwich delivered two more scoreless innings in relief, and has not allowed a run in 14.2 innings of work this season.
The R-Phils hit the road for a four-game series at Akron beginning at 6:35 p.m. on Thursday. Mauricio Llovera will take the hill in game one, and Gregg Caserta will have the call on 610 ESPN and the Fightins Radio Network beginning at 6 p.m.