Reading wins heated opener with Altoona


Jan Hernandez socked a go-ahead, two-run homer off Montana DuRapau  in the ninth inning to lift the Reading Fightin Phils over the Altoona Curve, 4-2, on Tuesday at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
The Curve (26-27) outhit the Fightin Phils (25-31), 11-8, and left 11 men on base, including multiple runners on the base paths in four separate innings, en route to the third straight loss for Altoona. 
Eduardo Vera  tossed seven strong innings in his second Double-A start as he did in his debut on May 30. He faced the minimum through the first trip through Reading’s order and had two runners reach second base through the first five. The Fightin Phils scored their only two runs off Vera in the sixth on a two-out, two-run homer to center by Darick Hall to take a 2-1 lead over the Curve. Vera finished with a no-decision and allowed six hits, walked one batter and struck out five.
Hall led off the ninth with a single and reached second on a fielding error. DuRapau (Loss, 0-1) sat down the next two batters before Hernandez hit the game-winner for the Fightin Phils.
Altoona scored first in the ballgame during the fifth on an RBI double by Stephen Alemais  to score Jin-De Jhang, who singled and moved up to second on a wild pitch. With Alemais on second and no outs, the Curve went down in order to end the fifth.
In the seventh inning, Jason Martin  hit an RBI double to tie the game, 2-2, after Reading inserted Tyler Gilbert (Win, 4-1) in relief of starter Franklyn Kilome. Tyler Gaffney  scored the tying run from second base, running as a pinch-runner in his Double-A debut with Altoona. 
Bryan Reynolds  recorded his first multi-hit game in the Pirates organization with a 2-for-4 showing and was joined by Cole Tucker  (2-for-4) and Jhang (3-for-4) with multiple hits.
The Curve and Fightins continue their three-game series on Wednesday at 7 p.m. with the Pirates’ top prospect, Mitch Keller  (5-2, 3.60), pitching against Reading’s Jose Taveras (0-1, 5.84).
Wednesday will be Winning Wednesday while fans have opportunities to win prizes from the PA Lottery. The ballpark gates will open at 6 p.m. 

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