Trenton jumped to a 3-0 lead in the third after Rudy Guillen led off the inning with a single to center that was followed by a walk to nine-hole hitter Ramiro Pena. Two batters later, Bronson Sardinha extended his five game hitting streak with a three-run homer to right center to give his team the early 3-0 lead. Trenton added one more in the fourth to take a commanding 4-0 lead and never looked back. Eric Duncan walked to start the inning, stole second, advanced to third on Omir Santos’ groundout, and scored when Smith uncorked his eleventh wild pitch of the season with two outs and Pena at the plate.
Trenton put the game away in the sixth when they took a 6-0 lead. Shelley Duncan led off the inning with a walk from Smith before Eric Duncan launched a mammoth homerun that sailed over the scoreboard in right-center. The homer was his 19th of the year and completed a 3-for-3 day for the struggling third baseman who was the Yankees top prospect before this season.
Maduro, who was 3-7 with a 7.53 ERA with the Phils in 1997, dazzled the Reading hitters, allowing only one run in his six innings of work. Maduro, though was not pleased with his outing.
“I wouldn’t say I dominated. I got away with a lot of stuff tonight.” said the former Phillie.
Reading’s only run of the night came in the ninth on only their second hit of the game. Reading manager Steve Swisher pinch hit Jim Deschaine for Ryan Barthelemy in the ninth and Deschaine did not disappoint. He launched his 14th homer of the year to left center off Trenton reliever Charlie Manning to keep the R-Phils from being shut-out in the season finale.
Thunder manager Bill Masse was pleased with the way his team responded after he launched into a tirade after two games in which the Thunder barely showed up to start the series.
“Yeah. I don’t do that [go into a tirade] because I want to. It’s not my style but the way the team played was unacceptable and when you do that, you’re going to hear about it….They responded well.” said the skipper.
Reading is now 9-4 against Trenton this season as the two teams complete the season series with each other next week in Reading. The R-Phils had their chances to win this one though as they were the recipients of four free passes and left seven runners on base. The R-Phils are described by Swisher as a resilient bunch and they will try to rebound when they return home Thursday night to open a four-game series with the Altoona Curve. The Thunder meanwhile will try to build on their momentum from the series finale as they open a series at home against Southern Division leading Akron Thursday night at 7:05 at Waterfront Park.