(PR) (Reading, PA) – The Trenton Thunder (48-41) could not overcome a five-run bottom of the fourth inning on Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium as the Reading Phillies (46-43) won 8-5 in game three of a four-game series. In the loss, the Thunder’s eighth straight, Ray Kruml and Melky Mesa combined for five hits, but the rest of the team had just two. The eight-game slide stands just two shy of tying a franchise record of ten straight losses.
For the fourth straight game, the Thunder grabbed an early lead as the team pestered Reading starter Joe Esposito in the top of the first inning. With runners at first and third and one out, Melky Mesa scored Corban Joseph on a broken bat infield single. The Thunder then added two more runs on two bases loaded hit-by-pitches to DeAngelo Mack and Jose Gil and led the game 3-0 after just one half of a frame.
After Reading scored seven unanswered runs to take a 7-3 lead, Ray Kruml single-handedly tried to bring the Thunder back in the game. The speedy outfielder hit his fourth career Double A homerun to lead off the fifth inning to make the score 7-4 Reading. Then, in the top of the seventh, Kruml singled to in the first at bat of the frame and advanced to third on a botched pickoff attempt by Reading reliever Derrick Loop. With two outs, Mesa singled home Kruml on a bloop single to right field to cut the R-Phils’ lead to just two runs at 7-5.
But, the R-Phils bats were once again too much for the Thunder to handle as seven unanswered runs, including a two-run first and a five-run fourth, stormed the team past the Thunder. The loss also clinches a series victory for the Reading Phillies. The Thunder must win on Monday afternoon to avoid an 0-8 road trip to finish the first half.
The Thunder will wrap their four-game series in Reading, their eight-game road trip and their first half of the 2011 season on Monday at 12:05 PM from FirstEnergy Stadium. Trenton will send RHP Craig Heyer (7-4, 3.19), while Reading will counter with B.J. Rosenberg (2-4, 4.65). The SBLI Pre-Game Show with Hank Fuerst and Ben Youngerman begins at 11:50 AM. Tune-in to the game on 91.3 WTSR, WBCB 1490-AM or log-on to trentonthunder.com.