Phillies Minor League Report: Reading's Tyson Gillies homers twice, Lakewood's Yoel Mecias to have Tommy John surgery
Here's how the Phillies' minor league teams fared on Friday, June 28:
Lehigh Valley IronPigs – Triple A
The IronPigs took both games of a doubleheader with the Durham Bulls at Coca-Cola Field in Allentown as they won the first game, 6-5, and the second game, 2-1.
Although the IronPigs came away with two victories, the big story Friday was the status of former Major League-pitcher Carlos Zambrano.
Zambrano pitched the first two innings for the IronPigs during the first game, but left the game with right shoulder tightness.
The tightness in his shoulder may have contributed to him giving up four earned runs on three hits in his short time on the mound.
Lehigh Valley started the first game hot offensively as they scored four runs in the bottom of the first. Third baseman Cody Asche got the scoring started with a one-out RBI-double that scored center fielder Jermaine Mitchell, who reached base earlier in the inning due to an error.
Asche crossed the plate himself after the next at-bat courtesy of left fielder Darin Ruf, as he hit a single to right field.
That set the stage for first baseman Cody Overbeck to hit a two-run home run to close out the scoring for the IronPigs in the first. The homer was Overbeck’s 100th of his career.
The Bulls matched the IronPigs in the top of the second with four runs of their own. After the IronPigs failed to break the tie in the bottom half of the inning, the Bulls took their first lead thanks to an RBI-double from designated hitter Shelley Duncan, which made the score 5-4.
The IronPigs were able to tie the game up again in the bottom of the fourth when Ruf hit a sacrifice fly to center field that allowed Mitchell to cross the plate.
Mitchell broke the tie in the bottom of the fifth with a sacrifice fly of his own to put the IronPiga up for good.
Mauricio Robles shut the door on the Bulls in the top of the seventh as he did not allow a hit and picked up his second save of the season.
The IronPigs used four pitchers in total during Game 1, with Mike MacDougal picking up his first victory of the season after allowing only two hits in two innings.
Ruf (2-for-3) and Asche (2-for-4) were the only IronPigs to record multiple hits during the contest. Ruf and Overbeck led the team with two runs batted in.
The second half of the doubleheader was less eventful, but it still turned out to be a positive for the IronPigs.
For the second game in a row, the IronPigs plated the game’s first run in the bottom of the first inning.
With one on and two outs, Ruf drove in his 42nd RBI of the season courtesy of a double to center.
Both teams were held scoreless all the way until the bottom of the sixth when the IronPigs plated their second run courtesy of an RBI-double from Overbeck to give the IronPigs a 2-0 lead.
The Bulls cut the deficit in half thanks to a wild pitch from Lehigh Valley pitcher Luis Garcia, which allowed first baseman Leslie Anderson to score from third base.
Garcia eventually regained his composure and control and thwarted the rally attempt from Durham. He picked up his first save of year in the process.
Overbeck had another strong outing from the plate as he went 2-for-3 with an RBI. Both of his hits went for extra bases. In total, Overbeck went 3-for-7 from the plate during the doubleheader Friday.
Greg Smith started the game on the mound for the IronPigs and threw only three innings, but gave up only two hits.
Zach Miner took the ball for the next three innings and kept the shutout alive to the tune of two strikeouts and only three hits.
The IronPigs continue their nine-game home stand at 6:35 p.m. Saturday when they host the Toledo Mud Hens. Tyler Cloyd (1-6, 7.69 ERA) is expected to start for Lehigh Valley.
Reading Fightin Phils – Double A
Behind a strong offensive showing from center fielder Tyson Gillies, the Fightin Phils knocked off the New Britain Rock Cats for the second night in a row, 6-5, at New Britain Stadium in New Britain, Conn.
Gillies led the Fightin Phils with two homers and finished 4-for-5 from the plate overall. He also had a highlight-worthy catch in the outfield to boot.
Gillies led off the game with his first homer, this one to right field and gave the Fightin Phils the early advantage.
The Fightin Phils added two more runs in the top of the second when shortstop Edgar Duran hit a two-run homer over the right field wall as well and helped his take a 3-0 lead over the Rock Cats.
The Rock Cats weren’t able to cross the plate until the bottom of the fourth when they cut the deficit to one run at 3-2.
Even when Gillies did something wrong things still went right as during the top of fifth inning he grounded into a double play, but it still allowed Duran to score from third base and extend the Reading advantage to 4-2.
The Figthin Phils pushed their lead to 5-2 in the top of the eighth when Gillies went yard for the second time and upped his home run total to seven on the season.
Duran struck again in the top of the ninth with a sacrifice fly to center field that plated the final run for the Fightin Phils.
The Rock Cats did not go quietly into the night, however. Reading pitcher Tyler Knigge took the mound to replace Mike Nesseth who threw a scoreless eighth inning.
Knigge then proceeded to give up three earned runs to the Rock Cats, which pulled the lead to only one run with two outs.
The Fightin Phils brought in Jay Johnson to get the final out and he came through for his third save of the season.
While Gillies was putting on a highlight reel on offense, Reading starter Seth Rosin posted a strong outing himself.
Rosin allowed only two runs on three hits in seven innings of work. He earned his sixth win of the season for his efforts.
Duran was the only other Fightin Phil besides Gillies to have a good offensive night. Duran went 3-for-3 from the plate and drove in three runs.
Red-hot third baseman Maikel Franco cooled off a little bit Friday, but still went 1-for-4.
The Fightin Phils will try to make it three in a row over the Rock Cats at 6:35 p.m. Saturday with highly touted prospect Jesse Biddle (3-7, 3.21 ERA) scheduled to make the start.
Clearwater Threshers – Class A-Advanced
Despite a dominant performance from pitcher Mario Hollands, the Threshers fell to the Brevard County Manatees, 2-1, at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla.
Hollands was on top of his game Friday as he recorded nine strikeouts in seven innings on the mound. He only allowed two runs on seven hits.
His performance was only topped by Brevard County’s Brent Suter, who pitched a complete game against Threshers where he gave up only five hits and struck out five batters.
Hollands took his first loss of the season despite his stellar performance.
Both teams notched their first runs during the second inning. The Manatees struck first with an RBI-single from designated hitter Ben McMahan. The Threshers answered courtesy of left fielder Brock Stassi’s third home run of the season.
The score remained 1-1 until the sixth inning when shortstop Yadiel Rivera hit an RBI-single to give Brevard County the lead for good.
The Threshers’ offense had an abysmal day as they mustered only five hits. Right fielder Kelly Dugan led the Threshers with two hits in four at-bats. Designated hitter Aaron Altherr and second baseman Carlos Alonso recorded one hit apiece.
After losing two of three to the Manatees, the Threshers will play the Daytona Cubs at 7:05 p.m. Saturday at Jackie Robinson Ballpark in Daytona Beach, Fla. The Threshers’ starter has yet to be announced.
Lakewood BlueClaws – Class A
The BlueClaws’ bad luck against the West Virginia Power continued Friday as they lost, 8-6, at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood Township, N.J.
In 14 meetings with the Power this season, the BlueClaws are 2-12.
West Virginia jumped out to an early lead with a run in the top of the first. The BlueClaws didn’t answer until the bottom of the second.
The BlueClaws loaded the bases with one out courtesy of a single from left fielder Larry Greene, a walk from third baseman Mitch Walding and catcher Chace Numata being hit by a pitch.
Center fielder Carlos Tocci followed Numata and hit a sacrifice fly that scored Greene and moved Walding over the third. Second baseman Alejandro Villalobos tied the ball game during the next at-bat with an RBI-single to center field.
The lead and momentum was short-lived as the Power scored two runs in both the third and fourth innings to take a 5-2 lead.
The Power extended their advantage to 7-2 with two more runs in the top of the seventh. The BlueClaws scored two runs in the in the bottom portion of the inning thanks to back-to-back RBI-doubles from designated hitter Willie Carmona and first baseman Art Charles.
West Virginia tacked on an insurance run in the top of the eighth to push its lead to 8-4 and held the advantage heading into the bottom of the ninth.
With one swing of the bat, Charles pulled the BlueClaws to within two runs with a two-run homer over the right field wall with one out.
After Greene flied out to left field, Walding took a walk and Numata came to the plate representing the tying run. But Numata grounded out to first base to end another defeat to the Power.
Both Charles and Carmona (both 3-for-5) led the BlueClaws with three hits. Charles led the way with three RBI.
Lakewood starter Miguel Nunez had a rocky outing Friday. Nunez gave up five runs (three earned), walked four batters and relinquished six hits in only five innings on the mound. He was dealt the loss, which brought his record to 5-6.
Geoff Broussard came in relief of Nunez and gave up the last two West Virginia runs in two innings.
Mecias has started 11 games for the BlueClaws this season and has an ERA of 3.79.
The BlueClaws will try to shake off their recent string of bad luck and bad news when they face the Power once again at 7:05 p.m. Saturday. Right-hander Shane Watson (3-6, 5.31 ERA) will start for the BlueClaws.