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Phillies Minor League Report: Maikel Franco returns to form during Lehigh Valley loss

Phillies prospect Maikel Franco. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
Phillies prospect Maikel Franco. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

Here's a rundown on how the Phillies' minor league teams fared on Thursday April 24:

Lehigh Valley IronPigs – Triple A

The IronPigs squandered a two-run lead in the ninth inning on their way to a 9-5 loss to the Norfolk Tides Thursday at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown.

The loss snapped Lehigh Valley’s four-game winning streak.

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    The IronPigs entered the ninth inning with a 5-3 advantage thanks in part to a solo homer from first baseman Maikel Franco during the eighth.

    Seth Rosin took to the mound to secure the victory for Lehigh Valley, but was quickly hit with a rude awakening. Rosin proceeded to let up three hits and walk two batters.

    When the dust settled, Rosin was charged with five runs and was handed his first blown save and loss of the season. Justin De Fratus took over for Rosin and was charged with only one run on two hits.

    Suddenly facing a four-run deficit, the IronPigs went down in order the bottom portion of the frame to seal a heartbreaking loss.

    Rosin’s collapse during the ninth overshadowed a solid performance from starter Sean O’Sullivan, who allowed three runs on six hits during seven innings of work.

    Offensively, the IronPigs posted a nice outing with 10 hits, including five during a four-run fourth inning.

    Franco finally looked like his usual self from the plate, as he went 3-for-4 with a double. His homer during the eighth was his first of the season.

    Right fielder Leandro Castro also posted a good performance from the plate, going 2-for-3 with a triple during the contest.

    The IronPigs will attempt to take three out of four from the Tides at 7:05 p.m. Friday. Jonathan Pettibone is currently scheduled to take the mound for Lehigh Valley.

    Reading Fightin Phils – Double A

    The Fightin Phils received a day off Thursday, but will be back on the field Friday when they open up a three-game series against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats at Northeast Dental Stadium in Manchester, N.H.

    Severino Gonzalez (2-1, 3.13 ERA) is scheduled to start for Reading.

    Clearwater Threshers – Class A-Advanced

    Behind the bat of catcher Logan Moore and the arm of Ethan Stewart, the Threshers held off the Dunedin Blue Jays, 7-5, at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in Dunedin, Fla.

    Moore led the Threshers with a 3-for-5 performance at the plate, where he drove in a season-high three runs. He entered the game with only three RBIs on the season.

    Moore’s performance helped the Threshers record 11 hits and take 6-3 lead into the eighth inning. He also helped extend Clearwater’s advantage during the ninth with an RBI-single.

    Behind Moore was shortstop Malquin Canelo (2-for-5), as both of his hits were doubles. Second baseman KC Serna also finished 2-for-5.

    Also helping the Threshers to that cushion was Stewart, as he allowed three runs on seven hits during a strong seven-inning outing.

    Colton Murray relieved Stewart and ran into a bit of trouble by giving up two runs, but Chris Burgess recorded the final two outs to secure the win and his first save of the season.

    The Threshers will try to make it three wins in a row when they host the Blue Jays in the final three games of this series at Bright House Field. Clearwater’s starting pitcher has yet to be determined.

    Lakewood BlueClaws – Class A

    The Savannah Sand Gnats used a five-run seventh inning to pound the BlueClaws Thursday, 10-3, at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood Township, N.J.

    The BlueClaws trailed by a manageable 4-2 heading into the seventh inning. Lakewood’s manageable deficit quickly turned into an insurmountable one after relief pitcher Shane Martin surrendered five runs during the frame.

    Designated hitter Wilmer Oberto hit a solo homer during the bottom of the ninth, but it wasn’t nearly enough to prevent the BlueClaws from taking their sixth loss in seven games.

    Martin wasn’t alone in being pummeled by the Savannah offense, as the Sand Gnats racked up 17 hits against the Lakewood pitching staff. Every member of the Savannah lineup recorded at least one hit, including six of them with at least two.

    Starter Drew Anderson was dealt his first loss of the season after giving up four runs on nine hits in only five innings of work. All three of the pitchers Lakewood used Thursday night gave up at least one run.

    The BlueClaws will try to bounce back during a doubleheader against the Sand Gnats Friday, beginning at 5:05 p.m.

    Ranfi Casimiro (0-2, 10.80 ERA) is scheduled to start Game 1 while Julio Reyes (0-0, 1.86 ERA) is scheduled to get the nod for Game 2.

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