The Harrisburg Senators rallied with two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, but fell short 3-2 in the series opener against the Reading Fightin Phils at Metro Bank Park.
Reading left-hander Jesse Biddle was perfect through six and one-third innings, before Sean Nicol walked and Destin Hood singled, breaking up the perfect game and no-hitter in successive fashion. Biddle completed seven shutout innings, gave up just the one hit, and struck out a career-high 16.
The Fightin Phils took the lead in the fourth on a two-run homer by Zach Collier off Harrisburg starter Paul Demny. They added another in the fifth on Albert Cartwright's RBI single, scoring Biddle from second base. Biddle was two-for-three with two doubles at the plate.
In the eighth, Ricky Hague doubled to open the inning for the Sens and was sacrificed to second by Josh Johnson. Pinch hitter Francisco Soriano walked, before Brian Goodwin drove home Hague with an RBI double, and Nicol brought Goodwin in on a groundout. The Senators threatened in the ninth, putting the tying and winning runs on base, but Johnson grounded out to end the game.
Demny took the loss, giving up three runs and striking out eight in five innings. Matt Swynenberg pitched three shutout innings in relief for the Sens and fanned seven.
Tomorrow, the Senators continue their three-game series against the Reading Fightin Phils at Metro Bank Park. Game time is 7:00 p.m. and the game can be heard on 1460am The Ticket, on the Internet through the Senators website, and it's available through iHeart Radio beginning with the pregame show at 6:45 p.m.