(READING, PA) - For the second straight night, the Fightin Phils didn't score their first run until the bottom of the eighth. The only difference was that on Monday night at FirstEnergy Stadium, they were still in the ballgame in their first home meeting against the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. Even in the ninth inning, they brought up the winning run, but Adonis Uceta picked up his third save to preserve the 3-2 win. In the loss, Mickey Moniak and Alec Bohm each brought in runs, while right fielder Raul Rivas finished with two hits for the second straight game.
In a very well-pitched game between JoJo Romero and Tommy Wilson , the key was that they started on time because of a dire rain forecast that would come into effect later in the evening. Romero was locked in once again, continuing his recent trend of cruising through the first five innings. He allowed just one single to Andres Gimenez with two outs in the second, and was able to face the minimum in the fourth and fifth because of a double play and a caught stealing.
The game remained scoreless until the sixth inning, with the Fightin Phils only generating two singles from Rivas in the third and fifth. Rumble Ponies right fielder Quinn Brodey opened the inning with a wind-aided home run, and two batters later, Sam Haggerty singled with one out. After the first of Reading's four errors, Patrick Mazeika lined a single into right for a 2-0 Ponies lead.
With two outs in the top of the seventh, the umpires called for the tarp, which resulted in a 42-minute delay that halted play until right before 9:30. When the teams re-took the field, Jakob Hernandez closed out his inning with his second strikeout in relief of Romero (4-4).
Defensively, the Fightins committed two more errors in the top of the eighth, which allowed Gavin Cecchini to double in a run with two outs off Jonathan Hennigan . The unearned run loomed large, but Hennigan bounced back by escaping a bases loaded jam with an inning-ending double play off the bat of Eastern League Player of the Week Jason Krizan .
During Steven Villines' second inning of relief in the bottom of the eighth, the R-Phils showed signs of life when Jose Gomez singled with one out after entering in a double switch. A Luke Williams single brought up the heart of the lineup, and Moniak made it happen again with a single through the right side to make it a 3-1 game. With the tying runs at the corners, Bohm smoked a sacrifice fly into center to get the Fightin Phils within a run. Darick Hall also flied out to center to end the inning, giving Reading one more chance to win it in the bottom of the ninth.
Uceta's ninth started with a leadoff single from Cornelius Randolph to bring the winning run to the plate. The righthander then got Austin Bossart to bounce into a 6-4-3 double play, but the comeback continued when pinch-hitter Josh Stephen lined a double into right field. With the count up to 3-2 on Rivas, Uceta earned his third save with a strikeout to give the 'Ponies game one and send the Fightin Phils to their third straight loss on the homestand.
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