ERIE — The Erie SeaWolves continued their clutch play on Monday night as they took down the Reading Fightin Phils 5-4 in front of 5,605 fans on “buck night” at Jerry Uht Park.
Kenny Faulk, Will Startup and Jose Valdez combined to throw 4 2/3 scoreless innings as the ‘Wolves won their fifth straight.
Dixon Machado had three hits, including his third home run of the season, while Jason Krizan had two doubles.
Francisco Martinez reached on an error, stole second and third base before scoring on a ground out in the seventh inning to break a 4-4 tie.
Erie (49-53) moved to four games under .500 for the first time since June 7 (28-32). The SeaWolves also moved within 7 1/2 games of Akron for the wild-card spot in the Western Division.
Reading jumped ahead in the top of the first inning against Erie starter Jeff Ferrell. Former major leaguer Jake Fox belted an opposite-field, two-run home run to right,
Erie responded in the second when Dixon Machado blasted a solo home run to left.
The ‘Wolves grabbed the lead in the bottom of the third. Jason Krizan led off with his second double of the game. Corey Jones singled putting runners on the corners. Ramon Cabrera grounded out to first, plating Krizan, tying the game.
With two outs, Francisco Martinez and Machado each drove in runs for a 4-2 lead.
Krizan’s two doubles brings his total up to 24 on the season. Machado was 3 for 3 with one walk, two RBI, a stolen base and his third homer.
Valdez earned his 14th save with a quick ninth inning. Valdez is sixth all-time in franchise history with 14 saves in one season.
Erie will not go with a six-man rotation. Wilsen Palacos will head to the bullpen for the time being.
The homestand continues tonight against Reading, then a 12:05 p.m. game on Wednesday.