(PR) (Trenton, NJ) – A ninth inning comeback for the Trenton Thunder (50-44) fell just short as the Reading Phillies (48-46) held on for the 4-3 victory on Sunday at Waterfront Park. The second win in-a-row for the R-Phils, who welcomed Shane Victorino and Brad Lidge to the team for the second consecutive day, salvages a four-game series split with the Thunder. Damon Sublett, Addison Maruszak and Jose Pirela all drove home runs for the Thunder in the loss.
The R-Phils scored two runs in the top of the first inning against Manny Banuelos, but the Thunder scraped across two of their own to tie the score thanks to legging out infield hits. In the bottom of the second with a runner at third, Damon Sublett beat out a throw at first base to score Melky Mesa. Then, with Jose Pirela at third and two outs in the bottom of the fourth, Addison Maruszak reached first base safely on an infield base hit to score Pirela and tie the game at 2-2.
Trailing 4-2 in the bottom of the ninth, the Thunder brought the winning run to first base. Zoilo Almonte singled to left field to load the bases with one out. Then, Jose Pirela brought in a run on a sacrifice fly to left field, bringing the Thunder to within one run at 4-3. With two outs and runners at first and second, Damon Sublett struck out to end the game.
Trenton finished the afternoon stranding 14 runners on the base paths, which ties a season high for the team. Despite not pitching poorly, the lack of Thunder offense on Sunday forced Banuelos into a losing decision. The lefty allowed three runs in five innings and lost for the third consecutive outing.
The Thunder will start a three-game series with the Erie SeaWolves on Monday night at 7:05 PM. RHP Dellin Betances (4-3, 2.62) will get the pearl for Trenton, while Erie will counter with LHP Casey Crosby (5-3, 3.73). The SBLI Pre-Game show with Jay Burnham and Hank Fuerst begins at 6:45 PM. Tune-in to the game on 91.3 WTSR and trentonthunder.com.
The first 1,000 fans six and older to Monday’s game will receive Souvenir Travel Cups. For ticket information, call the Thunder Ticket Office at 609-394-3300 or log on to trentonthunder.com.