Reading blanks Richmond Flying Squirrels, 1-0
The Reading Fightin Phils (11-6) rode a sterling performance from lefty Jesse Biddle to a, 1-0, shutout victory over the Richmond Flying Squirrels (11-8) at FirstEnergy Stadium on Wednesday night. The win netted Reading the series, having taken two of the three games in the set. It marked the first time on the season that the Squirrels had been shut out.
Biddle coasted through four scoreless innings, allowing the Squirrels just a lone hit. Richmond right-hander Clayton Blackburn held serve through the first three frames, but blinked first in the bottom of the fourth. Cam Perkins opened the inning with a single through the left side of the infield and advanced to second base on a ground out. Tommy Joseph then knocked him in for a 1-0 lead with a single to left field.
Blackburn (1-2) did not make it through the fifth inning due to an elevated pitch count, departing after 4 2/3 innings. He conceded only the lone run on six hits, walked one and struck out four.
Biddle (2-2) was spectacular over seven innings. He blanked the Squirrels on just two hits, both on the infield, walked one and struck out 10. He increased his league-leading total of strikeouts to 38.
Right-handers Kyle Simon and Kenny Giles completed the shutout. Simon handled the eighth inning, while Giles picked up his league-leading sixth save by working the ninth. The Squirrels had their best scoring opportunity in the ninth when they put runners at the corners with nobody out. However, Giles buckled down to strike out Mario Lisson and ground Brett Krill into a game-ending double play.
Richmond lefty Jack Snodgrass was strong in relief of Blackburn, turning in 3 1/3 scoreless innings in a losing cause.
The Squirrels have completed their weeklong six-game road trip. They will return to Richmond to enjoy an off day on Thursday. They return to action as they open a three-game home series with the New Britain Rock Cats (Minnesota Twins) at The Diamond on Friday night. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.
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