(Reading, Pa.)---While the Reading Phillies (66-57) dropped a close game, 6-5, to the Trenton Thunder (71-52) on Wednesday at FirstEnergy Stadium, Darin Ruf continued to awe Baseballtown fans as the left fielder launched his 29th home run of the season. Ruf's two-run shot in the sixth inning was his 11th in the past 13 games. It was the fifth straight game where Ruf hit a home run.
The 2009 draft pick of the Philadelphia Phillies now sits alone at fifth among all-time single-season home run leaders in Reading baseball history. He is two shy of the fourth place spot held by Willie Darkis (1983).
The home run that also plated Tyson Gillies kick started a sixth inning where Reading went on to score four runs to cut the Thunder's lead to one. Catcher Tommy Joseph reached base after Trenton first baseman dropped the ball at first. Jiwan James singled for the second of his two hits after Joseph before second baseman Miguel Abreu roped a double to left field to score both players. Abreu went 2-for-4 with three RBI and James was 2-for-4 with two RBI.
Reading found itself buried by three unearned runs early in the ballgame after Leandro Castro made three errors, two fielding and one throwing, in the second inning. His two errors caused JR Murphy to score from first to home after the right fielder let a ball get away from him at first in the outfield. Then, on the throw to second, Castro made an errant throw.
The Thunder kept attacking Reading starter Austin Hyatt in the fourth and fifth frames, tagging the Alabama product for three earned runs, including a Murphy solo home run. Hyatt was done after 4.1 innings pitched where he gave up six hits over 100 pitches (69 strikes). He also struck out five in his first losing decision since July 9.
Former starter Julio Rodriguez made an impact in his second bullpen appearance of the season. The Puerto Rico native struck out seven Thunder batters over three innings while allowing just two hits.
With a single tonight, Cody Asche extended his hitting streak to 11 games.
The R-Phils' loss drops the team to third in the Eastern Division standings following an extra-innings victory by the New Britain Rock Cats. Reading is now five games from division leader Trenton and one game behind New Britain for the second place playoff berth.
RHP Brody Colvin (1-1/8.56 ERA) will start on Thursday as he looks to rebound following a rough starter at New Britain last week. 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. Steve Degler and Tim Neiman will also have the call in sparkling high-definition live on SECTV 2 Sports.
Tickets for all regular season and playoff home games, including the Harry Kalas Talking Bobblehead giveaway on August 27th, 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.