Ruf Ties Howard's Single-Season HR Record in 12-8 WinAugust 29, 2012 - Eastern League (EL) Reading Fightin Phils
Along with a loss by New Britain on Tuesday, the R-Phils now hold a four-game lead for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Division. Reading's magic number rests at three heading into Wednesday night.
Schoolteacher Mark Dudash caught Ruf's home run on the Coors Light Left Field Deck and exchanged the record-tying ball for autographed memorabilia from the slugger following the game.
Through 28 games in the month of August, Ruf has hit 19 home runs after throttling 18 through the first 105 games of the season. He now is one home run away from tying Sammy Sosa's professional baseball record of 20 home runs in a single month set with the Chicago Cubs in 1998. Ruf also leads the Omaha Storm Chaser's Wil Myers by two for the Minor League Baseball lead in home runs.
With 37 home runs and 98 RBI this season, Ruf stands to make a run for the Eastern League Triple Crown, a feat only accomplished by five batters in the league's 90 seasons. The Creighton product is hitting .317 (148-for-467), second-best among Eastern League hitters. He trails Brock Holt, formerly of the Altoona Curve, by .005 points heading into the final six games of the season. Holt was promoted to Triple-A Indianapolis earlier this month.
Along with Ruf's home run, the Reading offense helped bail out starter Ethan Martin, who was tagged four six earned runs in the fourth inning after yielding four walks, two doubles, and a two-run home run to Juan Lagares. Catcher Tommy Joseph, who went 3-for-5, led off the bottom half of the inning with a doubled and scored on pitcher Colby Shreve's fielder's choice ground out. The runs continued to pour in when Tyson Gillies, who also went 3-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored, smoked a ball to deep centerfield for his fourth home run of the season. Jake Fox brought the R-Phils within two runs with an RBI double to plate Cody Asche.
Asche, who is hitting a whopping .378 (42-for-111) over 28 games in the month of August, finished with three hits and three runs scored.
Shreve gave up two earned runs in the next frame, but Reading hitters continued to rack up hits against Binghamton hitters after Ruf and Jake Fox took Armando Rodriguez deep with two outs in the sixth inning to grab the lead. Gillies added an RBI single in the seventh and Joseph knocked in a two-run homer in the eighth as the R-Phils cinched its lead and won its fifth game out of the past six.
The Reading bullpen held on to the lead over the final three innings with Tyler Knigge and Kyle Simon holding Binghamton bats scoreless. As the pitcher of record, Shreve improved his record to 3-1.
Southpaw Adam Morgan (3-0/3.00 ERA) aims to remain unbeaten at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday night. Tune into 1340 WRAW-AM on the radio dial or online at 1340WRAW.com starting at 6:35 p.m. for the game broadcast with the voice of the Reading Phillies, Brian Seltzer.
Tickets for all regular season home games, including the 2012 Eastern League Playoffs, can be purchased online at www.RPhils.com, by phone at 610-370-BALL, and in person at the R-Phils Ticket Office at FirstEnergy Stadium. The 2012 season featuring the Baseballtown All-Star Classic at America's Classic Ballpark is presented by Pepsi.
Eastern League Stories from August 29, 2012
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- Sea Dogs Game Notes August 29 at New Hampshire - Portland Sea Dogs
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- Baysox Announce 2013 Home Schedule - Bowie Baysox
- Ruf Ties Howard's Single-Season HR Record in 12-8 Win - Reading Fightin Phils
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