Phillies Minor League Report: Darin Ruf, Sebastian Valle have clutch performances during victories
Here’s a rundown on how the Phillies’ minor league teams fared on Thursday, June 13:
Lehigh Valley IronPigs – Triple A
A clutch home run from left fielder Darin Ruf propelled the IronPigs to a 4-2 victory over the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Raiders on a rainy night at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown Thursday.
With the game tied 2-2 in the bottom of the seventh, Ruf hit his sixth home run of the season to give the IronPigs the lead for good. The IronPigs tacked on another run later in the inning to put the Raiders away. The win was Lehigh’s ninth in their last 12 games.
The game was scoreless until the fourth inning when the Raiders put up what turned out to be their only runs of the game thanks to three walks off IronPigs starter Carlos Zambrano. A couple of timely hits and a sacrifice fly also helped give the Raiders a 2-0 advantage.
The IronPigs answered with a run in the bottom half of the inning when designated hitter Steve Susdorf grounded out, but brought home Ruf who walked earlier in the inning.
Lehigh Valley managed to tie it up in the bottom of the sixth when first baseman Cody Overbeck hit his 12th homer of the season.
After Ruf broke the tie, a single from catcher Cameron Rupp provided the insurance run for the IronPigs as Leandro Castro crossed the plate to make the score 4-2.
Castro struck out earlier in the inning, but reached base because of a dropped third strike.
Ruf finished the day 2-for-2 from the plate and drew two walks. Rupp went 2-for-4 on the day.
Zambrano threw a shaky five innings, throwing 101 pitches during his time on the morning. He also walked four batters, but did manage to record five strikeouts.
Justin Friend (4-1) picked up the win for the IronPigs after throwing 1 2/3 hitless innings. He also recorded two strikeouts.
Cesar Jimenez closed the door on the Raiders in the ninth and picked up his first save with the IronPigs.
The IronPigs will play the second of a four-game set against the Raiders at 7:05 p.m. Friday. Right-hander Ethan Martin (5-3, 5.64 ERA) will get the start for the IronPigs.
Reading Fightin Phils – Double A
A big night from catcher Sebastian Valle capped off a 4-3 win for the Fightin Phils over the Bowie Baysox at FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading.
Valle went 3-for-4 from the plate and drove in two runs, the second of which was in the eighth inning and proved to be the game-winner.
In the four games since becoming the full-time catcher in Reading after the promotion of Cameron Rupp, Valle has hit .400. That is a stark contrast from the rest of his season where he was hitting below the Mendoza line. His performance Thursday brought his average up to .234.
As for Thursday, the game’s first run came in the same fashion as the last: Valle driving home right fielder Anthony Hewitt. This came after Valle hit a single to put the Fightin Phils up 1-0.
The Fightin Phils put up two more runs during the third inning after shortstop Tommy Mendonca hit a two-run single that scored center fielder Tyson Gillies and second baseman Albert Cartwright give them a 3-0 lead. Mendonca is currently hitting a team-leading .328 on the year.
After three scoreless innings, Bowie tied the game during top of the seventh. Despite giving up the lead, the Fightin Phils managed to fight off the Baysox and bad weather to avoid being swept.
Reading starter Brody Colvin didn’t factor into the decision, but recorded four strikeouts in five shutout innings Thursday.
Luis Garcia (1-1) did pick up the victory for the Fightin Phils after going two innings where he struck out two batters and allowed only one hit.
The Fightin Phils begin a three-game series against the Richmond Flying Squirrels at The Diamond in Richmond, Va. Friday. Phils prospect Jesse Biddle (3-6, 3.03 ERA) is schedule to take the mound Reading.
Clearwater Threshers – Class A-Advanced
The Threshers lost their third game in four days to the St. Lucie Mets Thursday, this time by a score of 5-4 at Bright House Field.
After a scoreless first inning, Clearwater starter Ethan Stewart ran into a jam during the second.
Stewart walked the bases loaded with no outs. Stewart then forced a double play, but a St. Lucie runner scored in the process. Later in the inning, St. Lucie’s Jonathan Clark hit an RBI double to give the Mets a 2-0 lead.
The Threshers answered with a run in the bottom of third when catcher Logan Moore hit double to right field, which scored third baseman Maikel Franco who reached base earlier in the inning with a leadoff single.
The Mets extended their lead in the top of the fourth with two runs, which made the score 4-1.
Clearwater answered again in the bottom half of the inning, this time as St. Lucie starter Domingo Tapia walked the bases loaded. Tapia issued another walk to Kelly Dugan with two outs and made the score 4-2.
Despite having the bases loaded, Tapia got out of the jam by forcing Franco to pop out and end the inning.
With Tapia out of the game by seventh, The Threshers were finally able to draw even with Mets. Franco made amends for leaving the bases loaded during the fourth by hitting a two-run homer to make the score 4-4.
Franco’s home run was his 15th of the season and his third in two days.
After St. Lucie took the lead in the top of the ninth, the Threshers were unable bring a run across the plate despite having runners on second and third base.
In total, the Threshers left 11 runners on base and went 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position.
Franco had another good night from the plate, however, going 2-for-4. Alonso topped Franco in the hitting department, going 3-for-4.
Stewart had a rough outing on the mound as he only pitched four innings. In those four innings, he walked four batters and gave up four earned runs.
Jordan Guth (1-1) was dealt the loss after throwing one inning where he allowed the game-winning run and two hits.
The Threshers are off until Monday, June 17 because of the Florida State League all-star break. When they take field as a team again, they will host the Dayton Cubs for a three-game series. The Threshers currently trail the Cubs by a half game in the FSL North Division.
Lakewood BlueClaws – Class A
The BlueClaws were supposed to begin a four-game series against the Hagerstown Suns, but the game was postponed due to rain at Municipal Stadim in Hagerstown, Md. The game has been rescheduled for Saturday.
Game two of the four-game set is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Friday with right-hander Jonathan Musser scheduled to take the mount for Lakewood.