READING, PA - Reading Fightin Phils catcher Deivi Grullon launched a go-ahead, two-run homer in the eighth to sink the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, 4-3, on Saturday night at FirstEnergy Stadium. Binghamton starter Justin Dunn struck out eight and powered into the seventh inning, but could not save the Rumble Ponies from their second straight loss.
Binghamton handed a one-run lead to Matt Blackham to start the eighth inning. The righty surrendered a one-out single to Damek Tomscha before notching another out. With two gone, Grullon hammered Blackham's 1-1 offering over the left-field wall to put Reading ahead for good. Jeff Singer worked a perfect ninth to secure the Fightins' seventh straight victory.
The Rumble Ponies' offense got off to a good start, posting a pair of runs in the first inning against spot-starter Alexis Rivero. Joey Terdoslavich stroked an RBI triple into the right-field alley to plate Kevin Taylor from first and came home on a sacrifice fly by Tomas Nido.
Binghamton's offense failed to keep the offense momentum rolling. After the first, the Ponies fell into a six-inning drought in which they put seven runners aboard, but failed to score. Binghamton stranded runners at the corners in the third and fourth innings, keeping their lead at just two runs.
Dunn blanked Reading through four but stumbled in the fifth. With a runner in scoring position, Drew Stankiewicz floated a two-out, RBI double to the wall in left-center to get Reading on the board. Cornelius Randolph followed by hammering a game-tying single up the middle. Dunn closed his night by retiring six of the final seven hitters he faced.
Binghamton's fortunes at the plate finally changed in the eighth. John Mora opened the inning with a single against Josh Tols before the lefty issued a pair of walks. With the bases full, Kevin Taylor lined a tiebreaking sacrifice fly to right, giving the Ponies a lead that lasted just a half-inning.
Blackham (0-2) allowed his first career Double-A home run and suffered his first blown save.
The Rumble Ponies (55-63) close out their series in Reading on Sunday at 5:15 PM. RHP Kevin McGowan toes the rubber against RHP Ranfi Casimiro. The Horizons Federal Credit Union pregame show starts at 5:00 PM and can be heard on NewsRadio 1290 AM WNBF and the Binghamton Rumble Ponies channel on TuneIn.
POSTGAME NOTES: Binghamton stranded 11 and went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position…Levi Michael was placed on the disabled list prior to the game after being struck on the cheekbone by a pitch in Friday's game…the Rumble Ponies elimination number was reduced to 12 with the defeat
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.