Darin Ruf clubbed his 33rd homer, and closer Justin Friend recored his 21st save in 21 opportunities, last night in the R-Phils' 7-6 win over Erie.
Ruf's homer, a massive 400-foot grand slam, moved him into a tie with Greg Luzinski (1970) for third among single-season home run leaders in Reading history and he is now just four off the record set by Ryan Howard (37) in 2004. Thursday's homer represented his 15th this month and fourth in five games. Meanwhile, Friend, who is 2-0 with an 0.25 ERA and 38/14 K/BB in 34 appearances (36 IP) for Reading, recorded a five-out save, striking out the side in the ninth, to preserve the win. Neither Ruf nor Friend rated in Baseball America's Top 25 Phillies prospects before the season.
Beerleaguer: Even if they are a little long in the tooth for the league, it's hard to ignore a pair of prospects who are threatening to rewrite the record books in a very competitive Double-A setting, particularly Ruf, who is keeping elite company among Reading's best All-Time sluggers. I did not think Howard's mark would ever be broken. Considering how white-hot he is, the 26-year-old Ruf's got a shot.