TRENTON, NJ - With the eyes of the baseball world on ARM & HAMMER Park, rehabbing third-baseman Alex Rodriguez homered in the 3rd inning to announce his arrival to the Thunder roster.
Trenton would ride homers from Rodriguez and Roller- and later a two-run double by Roller- to a 6-2 win over the Reading Fightin Phils in Game 1 of the three-game series.
Rodriguez took Jesse Biddle deep in his second plate appearance of the night against the lefty, to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead. His titanic shot to left field brought a full ovation for Rodriguez from the 8,080 fans at the park Friday night. The attendance was the 15th time in the 20 seasons of the ballpark (and the second time this season) that a crowd of over 8,000 has passed through the turnstiles.
Mikey O'Brien made his second start since returning to the rotation and allowed two runs over six innings. He struck out a pair and scattered four hits while needing an economical 84 pitches to secure his sixth win of the season.
Reading tied the game with a run in the top of the 4th inning, but with the game tied 2-2 in the bottom of the 4th, Roller lined a homer to right-center field for his team-leading 14th home run of the season. It also gave the Thunder the lead and Trenton would lead the rest of the way. Roller tacked on a two-run double in the 7th inning and finished 2-for-4 with a double, home run and three RBI.
Rodriguez continues his rehab with the Thunder Saturday night at ARM & HAMMER Park. The ballgame begins at 7:05 p.m. and features RHP Graham Stoneburner (0-1, 3.86) pitching for the Thunder against RHP Brody Colvin (3-2, 6.39). Limited tickets still available at www.trentonthunder.com/tickets or by calling the Thunder Ticket Office at (609)394-3300. Radio coverage on 91.3 FM (WTSR) and streaming online begins at 6:45 p.m.