Phillies Minor League Report: Maikel Franco's big game carries Reading
Here's how the Phillies' minor-league teams fared on Wednesday, August 21:
Lehigh Valley IronPigs – Triple A
The IronPigs were idle on Wednesday.
Lehigh Valley will begin a four-game road series against the Buffalo Bisons on Thursday. Right-hander David Buchanan (2-1, 1.77 ERA) is slated to make the start.
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Reading Fightin Phils – Double A
The Fightin Phils shut out the Altoona Curve, 8-0, at Peoples Natural Gas Field in Altoona, Pa.
Three Reading pitchers stifled Altoona and combined for a six-hitter.
Left-handed starter Bobby Bramhall (1-3, 3.23 ERA) allowed two hits and two walks over six innings for the win.
Relievers Austin Wright (two innings) and Seth Rosin (one inning) each gave up two hits in their appearances.
The two-through-five hitters led the way for the Fightin Phils, especially third baseman Maikel Franco in the three-hole. Franco went 3-for-4 with a home run, a double, a walk, two RBI and three runs scored in the contest. He is now batting .333 on the season with 11 home runs and 10 doubles.
Shortstop Troy Hanzawa (3-for-6 with a double, two runs scored and a strikeout), first baseman Jim Murphy (2-for-5 with a home run, two RBI, a run scored and a strikeout) and left fielder Kelly Dugan (2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored) rounded out the middle of the order.
Murphy now has 21 home runs and 76 RBI for the season.
The Fightin Phils (55-74) took three of four from the Curve. Reading now hosts the New Hampshire Fisher Cats for a five-game series beginning Thursday with left-hander Mario Hollands (3-1, 3.91 ERA) on the bump.
Clearwater Threshers – Class A-Advanced
The Threshers snapped a six-game winning streak with a 4-2 loss to the Tampa Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla.
Clearwater struck first in the second inning. Designated hitter Cameron Perkins hit a leadoff double and scored two batters later on third baseman Harold Martinez's RBI double for a 1-0 lead.
Right-handed starter Severino Gonzalez (3-5, 2.10 ERA) was charged with three runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out six over five innings to suffer the loss.
Center fielder Aaron Altherr added a solo home run, his 11th of the season, in the sixth. Altherr had the Threshers' only multi-hit game as he singled in the third. He also struck out twice.
Clearwater could only muster five hits in the game.
The loss dropped the Threshers to 63-61. Clearwater will turn to southpaw Ethan Stewart (1-4, 6.54 ERA) as both teams look for a series win in the finale.
Lakewood BlueClaws – Class A
The BlueClaws collapsed late and fell to the Hagerstown Suns, 4-3, at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood Township, N.J.
Right-handed starter Jeb Stefan put his team in an early 2-0 hole after the first two innings of play. He settled in to hold Hagerstown to two runs. Stefan allowed four hits and two walks while striking out four over five innings. He did not factor in the decision.
Lakewood evened the score in the fourth inning. Left fielder Larry Greene singled and right fielder Brian Pointer was plunked to start the inning. Designated hitter Zach Taylor would plate both of them with a one-out double.
Taylor wreaked more havoc in the seventh. He hit a leadoff single and advanced to second on a throwing error. Center fielder Carlos Tocci sacrificed Taylor to third, where he scored on a wild pitch to give the BlueClaws a 3-2 lead.
However, the lead wouldn't hold up as righty Delvi Francisco surrendered a run in both the eighth and ninth innings for the loss.
The BlueClaws fell to 50-76. The rubber match is scheduled for Thursday. Righty Ramon Oviedo (1-3, 5.60 ERA) takes the ball for Lakewood.
Williamsport Crosscutters - Class A-Short Season
The Crosscutters were crushed by the State College Spikes, 9-3, at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park in University Park, Pa.
Williamsport was down 7-0 after four innings. Right-handed starter Mitch Gueller (3-7, 5.66 ERA) was pounded for six runs (four earned) on 10 hits and three walks over 3 1/3 innings.
Second baseman Andrew Pullin and first baseman Logan Pierce were the lone bright spots on offense.
Pullin went 3-for-5 with three RBI. He delivered a two-out, two-run single in the fifth and an RBI groundout in the seventh.
Pierce finished 4-for-5 with two doubles and a run scored.
The Crosscutters failed to reach .500 and went to 29-31 on the season. The series wraps up Thursday as Williamsport will trot out righty Drew Anderson (6-3, 2.17 ERA) to the mound.