Phillies Minor League Report: Jesse Biddle settles for no-decision in Reading's win
Here's how the Phillies' minor-league teams fared on Thursday, July 4:
Lehigh Valley IronPigs – Triple A
The IronPigs dropped both ends of a doubleheader against the Syracuse Chiefs at NBT Bank Stadium in Syracuse, N.Y.
In the first contest, right-handed starter Tyler Cloyd (1-8, 7.69 ERA) was torched for seven runs on 11 hits and a walk to take the loss. Lehigh Valley lost, 7-4.
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On the offensive side, third baseman Cody Asche and left fielder Darin Ruf recorded RBI doubles in the sixth inning. While center fielder Tyson Gillies hit a two-run home run in the seventh.
The IronPigs blew two leads and lost the second game, 6-5.
Lehigh Valley took a lead after the first batter of the game. Shortstop Freddy Galvis homered to start off the game. Ruf would single home center fielder Cesar Hernandez in the inning for an early 2-0 lead.
Right-handed starter Zach Miner would immediately surrender the lead in the bottom of the first. Miner went five innings, allowing two runs on four hits.
The second lead would come with a two-out rally in the sixth inning. Four consecutive singles by Ruf, left fielder Leando Castro, shortstop Michael Martinez (one RBI) and catcher Cameron Rupp (two RBI) gave Lehigh Valley a 5-2 lead.
Syracuse would storm back in the last inning off righty Justin Friend, who took the loss by giving up three runs on three hits and two walks in the inning. Danny Espinosa had the walk-off single.
After the losses, the IronPigs' record stands at 46-42. The four-game series ends Friday. Right-hander Ethan Martin (9-3, 4.57 ERA) is slated to take the hill for Lehigh Valley.
Reading Fightin Phils – Double A
The Fightin Phils eked out a 5-4 win over the Trenton Thunder at Arm & Hammer Park in Trenton, N.J.
Phillies top prospect Jesse Biddle made the start for Reading. The southpaw held Trenton to a run on three hits and a walk over six innings. He struck out nine in his 95-pitch outing.
Right fielder Derrick Mitchell's seventh homer of the season, a solo shot to begin the fourth inning, gave Reading the lead.
Mitchell led off the sixth inning with a base on balls and ignited a two-run frame. He stole second and scored on second baseman Albert Cartwright's RBI single. Cartwright also would steal second and score on third baseman Tommy Mendonca's RBI single.
Biddle was in line for the win, but Trenton tied the game in the seventh inning. Biddle settled for a no-decision.
An error aided the Fightin Phils when they took the lead in the eighth. Center fielder Zach Collier drew a lead-off walk. A batter later, the opposing pitcher fielded a ball from Cartwright, but threw it away to allow Collier to score and Cartwright to reach third base. First baseman Jim Murphy would add an important insurance run with an RBI single.
The insurance run was needed as Trenton scored a run, but couldn't overcome the deficit.
The win lifted the Fightin Phils to 38-47. The series will continue Friday when right-hander Brody Colvin (3-1, 5.87 ERA) takes the ball for Reading.
Clearwater Threshers – Class A-Advanced
The Threshers lost to the Dunedin Blue Jays, 5-4, in walk-off fashion at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in Dunedin, Fla.
The Blue Jays cracked the scoreboard with two runs in the third inning, but the Threshers immediately answered in the fourth.
Second baseman Carlos Alonso reached with a one-out base knock and center fielder Aaron Altherr followed with a two-run home run to left field. The inning was capped off by designated hitter Tommy Joseph's RBI double to score right fielder Kelly Dugan, who reached on a walk.
A long ball in the sixth inning tied the game at 3-3, but Clearwater took another lead in the eighth.
Alonso was again involved in the offense as he reached on an infield single to lead off the inning. A balk and a wild pitch moved Alonso to third base with nobody out. Two batters later, Dugan hit a ground ball that pushed the go-ahead run across the plate.
The Threshers handed the ball to right-handed closer Colton Murray in the ninth inning to nail down the win, but he was unable to do so. Murray blew his third save of the season and allowed two runs on two hits and two walks. Gabe Jacobo singled with one out and the bases loaded to score two.
Left-handed starter Ethan Stewart gave up two runs on five hits and two walks while striking out three over five innings for Clearwater.
Alonso and Joseph notched multi-hit games. Joseph went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI to raise his average to .095 (4-for-42) with Clearwater.
The Threshers fell to 40-39 with the loss. Clearwater will send left-hander Mario Hollands (4-1, 1.67 ERA) to the mound when the series concludes Friday.
Lakewood BlueClaws – Class A
Like the Threshers, the BlueClaws fell to the Greensboro Grasshoppers, 4-2, on a walk-off hit at NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro, N.C.
Lakewood took an early lead, but it didn't hold up.
With two outs in the first inning, designated hitter Willie Carmona singled and first baseman Art Charles hit an RBI double for a 1-0 lead.
In the third inning, second baseman Gustavo Gonzalez led off the third inning with a home run, his first of the season, to extend the lead.
The Grasshoppers responded with power in the bottom of the third as a two-run home run evened the score.
Right-handed starter Shane Watson allowed two runs on three hits and two walks over five innings. Watson did not factor in the decision.
The score remained tied until the bottom of the ninth. Righty Chris Burgess served up a two-run home run to Blake Barber to end the game.
The heart of the BlueClaws lineup, Carmona, Charles and left fielder Larry Greene, all went 2-for-4 in the game.
The loss dropped the BlueClaws to 30-52. Right-hander Jeb Stefan (2-4, 4.30 ERA) will take the hill when the series continues on Friday.