READING, Pa.---Jim Murphy hit a solo home run in the fourth inning, but it wasn't enough for the Reading Fightin Phils (12-12) in the team's 2-1 loss to the Portland Sea Dogs (15-9) Wednesday afternoon at FirstEnergy Stadium.
For the second straight game, Reading hitters were stymied by Portland starting pitching. In the tight game on Wednesday, Matt Barnes struck out 10 hitters through six innings to pick up his second winning decision of the season. Fightins batters were only able to scatter three hits, including Murphy's home run, off the no.3 Boston prospect.
Through 24 games, Murphy has reached base safely in 21 games. His four home runs rank fourth in the Eastern League, two behind league leader Ryan Schimpf of New Hampshire.
In his return game from his stint on the disabled list, Brody Colvin struck out three and gave up a an earned run before exiting after three innings due to his reinjuring his right groin during the start. Colvin's lone earned run came during the first inning after J.C. Linares hit a run-scoring double to plate shortstop Xander Bogaerts.
The Fightins bullpen was effective for the remainder of the game with Mauricio Robles, Tom Cochran, and Tyler Knigge each pitching two innings. Portland's game-winning run occurred in the seventh inning when Cochran surrendered a solo home run to center fielder Shannon Wilkerson. Both Robles and Knigge were scoreless in their appearances. A native of Venezuela, Robles is now 2-0 with a 1.76 ERA in nine relief appearances this season.
Tyler Henson saw his seven game hitting streak come to an end after going 0-for-4 with four strikeouts. During the stretch, Henson was 11-for-27 (.407) with three doubles, a triple, three RBIs, and three runs scored.
The Fightins wrap up their seven-game homestand on Thursday afternoon at 11:35 a.m. when they send Hector Neris (2-0, 2.95 ERA) to the mound in his third start of the season against Portland's Anthony Ranuado (3-0, 0.83 ERA). Tune into Oldies 1340 WRAW-AM or MiLB.TV for the game broadcast with Fightins play-by-play announcer Anthony Oppermann starting at 11:05 p.m.
Fightins Fillers: After the game, pitcher Brandon Erbe was released by the Philadelphia organization.