READING, Pa. – The Trenton Thunder held a 4-3 lead in the 5th inning, but the Reading Fightin Phils scored three unanswered runs down the stretch to avoid a sweep in their 6-4 win Monday morning.
In the 14th annual Morning Game held at First Energy Stadium, Reading jumped out to three runs in the first inning off Thunder starting pitcher Matt Tracy. Tracy recorded eight straight outs from the 2nd-4th inning before running into trouble in the 5th. With two outs in the inning, Tracy was lifted with the bases loaded and two outs after two runs had already scored. Cesar Vargas entered and retired the only man he faced in the inning to strand the bases loaded and keep the deficit 5-4. Tracy finished with five runs allowed over 4.2 innings on eight hits and three walks.
Offensively the Thunder rallied from the early deficit in the 2nd inning when Mark Payton slapped a double into the left field corner to score Dan Fiorito and Tony Renda to get to within a run. In the 3rd inning, Trenton tied it on a Fiorito RBI single before Rob Segedin smoked a home run two innings later for a 4-3 lead. That would be the only time Trenton led in the game as Reading rallied for a pair of runs the very next time up.
The loss snaps a streak of four straight wins over which the Thunder offense had scored 44 runs and batted 61-for-159 (.384 AVG). Even with the loss, Trenton has won nine of the last 12 games and remains 2.0 games ahead of Reading for first place in the East Division standings.
The Thunder pile on the bus and head north to Manchester, N.H. for the final time this season to begin a three-game series with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats Tuesday night. Trenton sends LHP Caleb Smith (6-4, 4.11) to the mound with pre-game coverage beginning at 6:50 p.m. on 91.3 FM WTSR or online at www.trentonthunder.com.