Ben Lively (6-0) struck out a career high 12 batters as the Reading Fightin Phils (24-13) beat the Trenton Thunder (19-16) on Sunday 7-2. Lively last struck out ten batters or more back in 2014 with Bakersfield.
Reading took a 1-0 lead off Thunder starter Matt Wotherspoon (0-1) in the top of the first inning. Roman Quinn scored on a ground ball double-play hit by Rhys Hoskins. The Fightin Phils extended their lead to 6-0 in the top of the third inning. Logan Moore flew out to center field for the first out of the inning. Wotherspoon issued back-to-back walks to Angelo Mora and Quinn. Quinn stole second base before Mora reached on the walk.
Hoskins hit a RBI double then Dylan Cozens added another run on a RBI single. Jake Fox hit a three-run home run for the final three runs of the inning. The home run for Fox was his sixth of the season.
The Thunder got a run off Jeremy Bleich in the bottom of the eighth inning to cut Reading's lead to 6-1. Dustin Fowler scored on a ground-out by Lane Adams. Reading got the run back in the top of the ninth inning as Fox hit a RBI single for his fourth RBI of the day.
Yacksel Rios gave up a run in the bottom of the ninth inning as Jose Rosario scored on a fielder's choice. Miguel Nunez struck out two batters in relief of Rios to close out the game.
The Fightin Phils are off on Monday. They will continue their road trip on Tuesday as they'll begin a three-game series with the Bowie Baysox. First pitch is at 6:35 pm from Prince George's Stadium. Fans can listen to the game on Sports Radio AM 1240/FM 98.5 and fightins.com at 6:05 pm.
Tickets for the 2016 season are available online at Fightins.com, by phone at 610-370-BALL, and in-person at FirstEnergy Stadium.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.