R-Phils Bludgeon Thunder to Earn Split
(READING, PA) - Trying to avoid just their third 3-game losing streak of the season, the Reading Fightin Phils found their bats just in time for Sunday's series finale against the Trenton Thunder. After dropping the previous two games, the lineup exploded in Seth McGarry's longest start since the end of his rookie season in 2015. Jose Gomez and Darick Hall came through with three hits, while first-rounders Mickey Moniak, Cornelius Randolph, and Alec Bohm tacked on two each en route to an 8-2 win before a crowd of 6,608 at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Making his second straight Sunday start, McGarry was around the plate from the first pitch on. In his first two innings, he logged just 25 pitches while throwing 22 strikes. Thunder starter Nick Green needed just eight pitches in the first, but got shaken up in the second when Hall and Randolph reached on infield singles to start the inning. On a 1-2 pitch, Gomez clubbed a 2-RBI triple to open the scoring, but never scored to keep the lead at 2-1.
Trenton's only hit off McGarry (2-0) in his five innings came on a Kyle Holder two out home run in the third to cut the deficit in half. McGarry then retired the next five with three strikeouts sprinkled in, and ended his start by getting Matt Lipka to hit into an inning-ending double play in the fifth after Rashad Crawford reached on a walk.
Bohm took a hanging curveball deep to right in the third, with his fifth home run pushing the lead back to two at 3-1. The big inning came in the third, when the R-Phils batted around for the fourth time this season.
Gomez led off with a single, and on the very next pitch, Arquimedes Gamboa rolled a single into right field. After a fielder's choice groundout from Henri Lartigue, Raul Rivas brought in his ninth run of the season with a slow chopper to first that Gomez beat to the plate on the ensuing throw. The next three picked up hits, with a Luke Williams RBI single starting the stretch atop the lineup. The lead grew to 8-1 when Moniak hit his league leading 10th triple to drive in a pair, and Bohm backed him up with a double for his second run batted in.
Reading nearly added more in the sixth when they loaded the bases on a Moniak double, and singles from Hall and Gomez. However, lefthander Trevor Lane recorded the final out, and righty Brooks Kriske was sharp, striking out five over two scoreless innings in the seventh and eighth.
The Fightin Phils bullpen nearly got three perfect innings from Jakob Hernandez, who came within a strike until Lipka doubled with two outs in the eighth. Gosuke Katoh then made it 8-2 with an infield single, but that's as close as the Thunder would get, with Jeff Singer striking out a pair in a 1-2-3 top of the ninth.
On Monday night, the Fightin Phils play the Binghamton Rumble Ponies for the first time at NYSEG Stadium. First pitch is at 6:35 PM, with the Fightin Phils Pregame Show starting at 6:00 on the Fightin Phils Radio Network (610 ESPN Radio, TuneIn/iHeart apps).
America's Classic Ballpark is proud to be a part of Pennsylvania's Americana Region and was voted the #1 stadium in all of Double-A by MiLB's Ben Hill. Follow the Fightins on Twitter at @ReadingFightins and like them on Facebook via www.facebook.com/fightins. Purchase tickets at the Seidel Auto Group Deck TODAY - call or TEXT 610-370-BALL, and download the Fightins game and promotional schedule at fightins.com/calendar.
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