Fueled by a four-run outburst in the eighth inning, the Senators topped the Reading Fightin Phils, 4-1, to regain first place. Nate Karns and Reading’s Jesse Biddle engaged in a scoreless duel until the Fightin Phils broke through scoring a run on a bases-loaded hit batsman. The Senators responded with a rally of their own as Destin Hood and Billy Burns delivered hits for the lead and some breathing room.
* Prior to the game, Pat Lehman was activated off the disabled list to take the roster spot of the recently promoted Taylor Hill. As part of his rehab in the Gulf Coast League Lehman made eight appearances, throwing ten innings, allowing one run on only four hits, and striking out seven.
* Matt Swynenberg will make a spot start on Saturday in Altoona to keep the rotation on track with Hill’s promotion. Hill, by the way, tossed 4.2 innings as he scattered eight hits and gave up three runs in his Triple-A debut on Thursday night.
* The four runs were the most scored in an inning for the Senators since they plated five against the Akron Aeros on July 18th.
Manager Matt LeCroy on the failed opportunities such as bases-loaded and no one out in the first inning, “Real frustrating early with the situations we had and chances we had. For Karns to give up the run the way he did, I would have been really frustrated to see him get the loss. The boys grinded out and found a way to get it done…As a manager, I know you don’t care how you win them, but at the beginning I was like ‘Man, you’ve got be kidding me’.”
After beaning Albert Cartwright, Karns went to a 3-0 count on Zach Collier before coming all the way back and keeping it a one-run game. “It was just one of those times where you lose focus and the game gets out of hand real quick. Bases-loaded, 3-0, you’re not in a position you want to be in,” Karns said, “At that point, I really had nothing to lose…I trusted my defense the whole time and at 3-0 I was going to groove it in there. Grooved it in there again and he fouled it off. I was like I can’t walk him. I have to force him to put it into play. Fortunately, our things came out on our side of the ball that time.”
LeCroy on Collier’s at-bat, “It was huge. He lost feel there. Really, if I had to do it all over again I probably wouldn’t have walked the guy (Suomi). My whole managing career seems like it never goes the way I want it to go when I walk the bases loaded…He fought hard all game and I was just hoping we could get him a run, two runs.”