Reading, PA (WBNG Binghamton) Reading Fightin Phils starter Hoby Milner went the distance in a three-hit shutout to hand the Binghamton Mets a 1-0 loss in the series finale on Sunday evening at FirstEnergy Stadium. The southpaw faced two over the minimum and received just enough offensive support to snap the B-Mets’ four-game winning streak. Binghamton’s magic number to clinch a playoff spot remains at four with the defeat.
The Fightin Phils cracked the scoreboard in the fourth after Steven Matz and Milner traded zeroes through the first three innings. Albert Cartwright started the frame by lacing a double to the left-field alley. Matz retired the next two batters to keep Cartwright at second before Jake Fox poked a single into right to put Reading on the board.
Binghamton finally put a threat together in the fifth after Milner retired the first 13 batters he faced. TJ Rivera singled to left and swiped second base, his first steal as a B-Met. With two outs, Wilfredo Tovar ripped a 2-1 pitch up the middle, but second baseman Carlos Alonso made a diving catch to end the inning.
The B-Mets showed off their own defensive prowess to keep Reading off the board in the bottom of the fifth. After Matz issued a one-out walk to KC Serna, Raywilly Gomez deposited a 2-2 pitch into the left field corner. Dustin Lawley tracked the ball down and fired to Tovar. In one motion, the B-Mets shortstop received the throw and fired home where Juan Centeno planted a tag on Serna to keep the deficit at one run.
Milner continued his cruise by posting perfect frames in the sixth and seventh before using a double play to erase a single in a blank in eighth.
Binghamton had one last chance in the ninth. Kyle Johnson started the inning by pulling a leadoff double into the left-field corner. With the tying run aboard, Milner retired the next three B-Mets, capping his first career complete game by striking out Dilson Herrera looking with a changeup on the outside corner.
Milner (8-6) issued no walks, struck out five and held the B-Mets hitless in four at-bats with runners in scoring position, including three in the ninth, in the win. Matz (5-4) surrendered one run on six hits in seven innings in the hard-luck loss.
The B-Mets (76-51) continue their two-city road trip by opening a three-game series against the Erie SeaWolves on Monday at 7:05 PM. RHP Greg Peavey takes the mound against RHP Jeff Ferrell.
(Courtesy: Binghamton Mets)