Swisher Unhappy With R-Phils In Loss To Trenton

The Reading Phillies lost to the Trenton Thunder 7-2 at steamy Waterfront Park on Sunday. Matt DeSalvo pitched well as he improved his record to 5-1 and allowed only one run over his seven innings of work. Mike Smith allowed seven runs (five earned) and three home runs in his four innings of work to fall to 3-7 on the season. Smith was pitching for the R-Phils on three days rest after Allen Davis was called up to Triple-A Scranton/Willkes-Barre and started on Saturday night for the Red Barons.

The R-Phils offense didn't really help Smith as they managed only three hits against a triplet of Trenton pitchers. Reading scored their runs on a ground out and a Thunder error. Reading manager Steve Swisher was frustrated with the performance his team put forth in the final game of the series with Trenton.

"We didn't come to play. They are expected to come to play everyday and we didn't do that today." said the Reading skipper.

Trenton took the lead in the bottom of the first and was in command the entire game. J.T. Stotts hit a one-out double to left and after moving to third on Melky Cabrera's ground out, scored on Shelley Duncan's single to left-center to make it 1-0. The Thunder added two more runs in the third off Smith to lengthen their lead. With two outs, Duncan reached on a ground ball to third base that Juan Sosa committed an error on. The next batter, Eric Duncan, hit a home run off the foul pole in right field to make it a 3-0 game.

Reading cut it to 3-1 in the fourth when Chris Roberson reached on an infield single and moved to third on a single to left off the bat of Ryan Fleming. Roberson made it all the way to third on the play because Thunder left-fielder Kevin Thompson was lackadaisical in returning the ball to the infield. Thompson's nonchalance would result in a run when Roberson scored on a Randy Ruiz ground out to shortstop. That was the only run DeSalvo would give up, despite not being happy with the way he pitched.

"I didn't throw the ball hard today. I thought I threw a couple of pitches they shouldn't have hit, I think, and they did. The team won which makes it more fun, but there are definitely things I need to work on for my next start." said the always eclectic DeSalvo.

Thunder skipper Bill Masse speculated DeSalvo's negative view of the start could have its genesis in the fact that he lacked his good changeup today.

"Matt didn't have his real good change-up today. When he does, that's when he has his double-digit strikeout games. I think he only had three today." said Masse.

Davis was unable to hold the fort and let his teammates try to cut the Trenton lead further as he imploded with the Thunder scoring four in the fourth to break the game open. Davis hit Yobal Duenas to start the inning and the next batter, Jason Brown, followed with a homer to left to make it 5-1. Ramiro Pena followed the home run with an infield single and Thompson hit the Trenton's second two run homer of the inning to make it 7-1.

Duenas reached base three of the four times he came to the plate for the Thunder, going two for three in addition to being hit by the pitch that started the four-run rally in the fourth. Duenas wasn't done yet as he contributed three stellar defensive players in only his third start of the year at third base, including starting an inning ending, around the horn double play by throwing a strike to Stotts from the seat of his pants to double up Tim Gradoville in the third.

There were apparently some fireworks left over from Saturday night's post-game display as Swisher and Masse engaged in a heated war of words as Masse made his way out to the third base coaches box in the bottom of the fifth. All three umpires were needed to break up the dispute and each team's respective hitting coaches kept the managers from escalating their differences. Swisher refused to comment on the dustup after the game that was reportedly started over Trenton pitchers throwing at Reading hitters. Masse did address the issue.

"I came out to coach third base, he said something about our guys throwing at his guys, and words were exchanged. " said the Thunder skipper.

No Reading batters were hit in the series with Trenton, despite the alleged comments of Swisher that incited the verbal war. Cooler heads prevailed and evidently cooled both teams offenses as only one run was scored by both teams after the argument.

The R-Phils added a run in the eighth off Thunder closer Justin Pope to make it 7-2 after Charlie Manning walked the bases loaded to start the inning.

By that point, the game was firmly out of reach.


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