Phillies Minor League Report: Jim Murphy's walk-off home run saves Reading
Here's how the Phillies' minor-league teams fared on Tuesday, August 27:
Lehigh Valley IronPigs – Triple A
The IronPigs rallied for a 5-3 victory over the Buffalo Bisons at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, Pa.
Right-handed starter David Buchanan (4-1, 2.16 ERA) put the IronPigs in an early 3-0 hole after just two innings, but kept the Bisons off the scoreboard the rest of the way. He allowed seven hits and three walks while striking out three over seven innings for the win.
Lehigh Valley began the comeback in the bottom of the second. Second baseman Michael Martinez, left fielder Leandro Castro and catcher Cameron Rupp strung together singles to load the bases with no outs. Right fielder Cesar Hernandez reached on an error that pushed two runs across to cut the lead to 3-2.
Center fielder Derrick Mitchell tied the game at 3-3 with a leadoff home run in the fifth. It was his fourth of the season.
The IronPigs took the lead with a two-run seventh without a base hit. Mitchell, shortstop Freddy Galvis and designated hitter Steve Susdorf loaded the bases with one out by drawing walks. First baseman Cody Overbeck was plunked and third baseman Tyler Henson drew a walk for a 5-3 lead.
Righty Mike MacDougal pitched a scoreless eighth and southpaw Mauricio Robles notched his seventh save to close out the win.
The win lifted the IronPigs to 71-67. Left-hander Greg Smith (8-3, 2.93 ERA) is slated to start for Lehigh Valley in the opening game of a two-game series with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on Wednesday.
Reading Fightin Phils – Double A
The Fightin Phils blew a five-run lead in the ninth inning, but recovered to beat the Richmond Flying Squirrels, 9-8, in walk-off fashion at FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading, Pa.
Trailing 1-0 in the second inning, the Fightin Phils put a six-spot on the scoreboard to take a huge lead. Shortstop Edgar Duran hit a two-run triple, first baseman Maikel Franco had an RBI single, left fielder Jim Murphy hit an RBI single and right fielder Anthony Hewitt capped off the inning with a two-run single.
Left-handed starter Mario Hollands was the beneficiary of Reading's offense. He gave up two runs on six hits and three walks while striking out five over 5 2/3 innings. He failed to get the victory for his 122-pitch effort because of the bullpen.
Right-handed relievers Seth Rosin and Hector Neris were torched for a combined six runs (four earned) on five hits and a walk in the ninth inning to hand Richmond a 8-7 lead.
Reading's usual suspects turned the game around in the bottom of the ninth. With one out, Franco singled and Murphy followed with a clutch two-run, walk-off home run for the win.
Murphy (3-for-4 with a home run, a walk, three RBI and a run scored) is now tied for the Eastern League lead with 22 home runs to go along with 81 RBI on the season. He is batting .272.
Franco (2-for-5 with an RBI, two runs scored and a strikeout), Hewitt (2-for-4 with a double, two RBI, a run scored and a strikeout) and Duran (2-for-4 with a triple, two RBI, two runs scored and a stolen base) also had multi-hit games.
The Fightin Phils' record stands at 59-77. Southpaw Jesse Biddle (5-13, 3.66 ERA) will take the bump for Reading when the series continues Wednesday.
Clearwater Threshers – Class A-Advanced
The Threshers beat the Tampa Yankees, 3-2, in walk-off fashion at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla.
In the first inning, the Threshers struck early for a 1-0 lead. Second baseman Carlos Alonso reached on a leadoff walk and later scored on center fielder Aaron Altherr's RBI groundout.
Right-handed starter Severino Gonzalez gave Clearwater a stellar outing, but he ended up with a no-decision. He allowed one run on four hits and three walks while striking out six over seven innings.
The game was tied 1-1 heading into the ninth. Things looked grim as right-hander Ryan O'Sullivan walked four in the inning to give Tampa a 2-1 lead.
However, Tampa returned the favor in the bottom of the ninth. Clearwater drew four walks to tie the game and third baseman Harold Martinez hit a walk-off sacrifice fly to win the game.
Clearwater could only muster one hit in the game. Left fielder Peter Lavin (1-for-3 with a walk, a run scored and a strikeout) singled in the first inning with no outs.
The Threshers are now 66-63 on the season. The teams will play a doubleheader Wednesday to wrap up the series. Pitching matchups have not been announced yet.
Lakewood BlueClaws – Class A
The BlueClaws held on to beat the Hagerstown Suns, 6-5, at Municipal Stadium in Hagerstown, Md.
Lakewood surged out to a 5-0 lead after four innings of play.
Shortstop J.P. Crawford singled and third baseman Willie Carmona reached on an error to set up first baseman Art Charles' three-run blast in the first for a 3-0 lead.
Charles now has 11 home runs and 71 RBI on the season.
In the fourth, right fielder Brian Pointer drew a leadoff walk and designated hitter Chace Numata reached on an error to put runners in scoring position for catcher Gabriel Lino, who lifted a sacrifice fly to the outfield. An error on the play would allow both runners to score for a 5-0 lead.
Right-handed starter Jeb Stefan (5-7, 3.70 ERA) gave the BlueClaws a solid outing and earned the victory. He allowed three runs on four hits and a walk over six innings.
Leading 5-3 in the eighth, Lino would deliver a two-out RBI double to plate Numata for insurance.
The Suns would score twice in the eighth, but righty Chris Burgess nailed down the win with a scoreless ninth for his fifth save of the season.
The BlueClaws improved to 54-77. The series continues Wednesday. Starting pitchers have not been announced yet.
Williamsport Crosscutters - Class A-Short Season
The Crosscutters fell to the State College Spikes, 5-3, in 11 innings at Bowman Field in Williamsport, Pa.
Designated hitter Herlis Rodriguez led off the bottom of the first with a double and scored on an error to give the Crosscutters an early 1-0 lead.
Right-handed starter Drew Anderson gave Williamsport five scoreless innings, but settled for a no-decision. He gave up two hits and struck out six.
Righty Kievi Rojas came into the game in the sixth and immediately squandered the lead in his first inning of relief, but in the bottom half of the frame right fielder Dylan Cozens hit a leadoff double and scored on catcher Andrew Knapp's RBI single to retake the lead.
Righty Mark Meadors would relieve Rojas in the eighth, but he would also give up the lead.
The game would remained tied, 2-2, until righty Tyler Buckley allowed three runs in the 11th for the loss.
The Crosscutters outhit the Spikes, 10-8, but were a dismal 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position in the game.
Knapp (2-for-5 with an RBI and three strikeouts), first baseman Logan Pierce (2-for-4 with a walk) and shortstop Jairo Cardozo (2-for-4 with a double) posted multi-hit games.
The loss dropped the Crosscutters to 31-35. The rubber match is scheduled for Wednesday as Williamsport hands the ball to right-hander Yacksel Rios (4-2, 4.22 ERA).