Phillies Minor League: Maikel Franco records three hits in Reading season finale
Lehigh Valley IronPigs – Triple A
The IronPigs ended the 2013 season on a three-game losing streak after being blanked by the Pawtucket Red Sox, 4-0, Monday at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown.
The three-game slide dropped to the IronPigs to an even 72-72 in 2013. The team finished at least .500 for the third consecutive season.
As for Monday’s game, the IronPigs were held to a mere two hits, their lowest output of the season. They were also shutout for the 12th time this season, which is one short of the team’s single-season record that was set in 2012.
Pawtucket on the other hand recorded 11 hits against the IronPigs and plated one run in four consecutive innings between the fourth and seventh.
Lehigh Valley starter Greg Smith bore the brunt of the Pawtucket offensive barrage as he gave up 10 of the 11 hits. He also gave all four of Pawtucket’s runs during his seven innings on the mound.
Smith finished the 2013 campaign with an 8-4 record and an ERA of 3.31.
Lehigh Valley’s two hits came from third baseman Tyler Henson and left fielder Leandro Castro.
Henson led the IronPigs with a batting average of .316 in 2013. He also posted an OPS of .902.
First baseman Cody Overbeck led the team in homers with 19. He finished second in RBI (65) to Cody Asche (68) who is with the Phillies.
Ethan Martin led the IronPigs in innings pitched (115.2), strikeouts (107) and wins (11). Martin also finished with an ERA of 4.12 and a WHIP of 1.39.
Reading Fightin Phils – Double A
The Fightin Phils finished a last-place campaign on a good note as they defeated the New Britain Rock Cats, 3-2, at New Britain Stadium in New Britain, Conn.
The Fightin Phils earned a four-game split with the Rock Cats and finished the 2013 season 62-80.
As for the season finale, the Fightin Phils powered their way to 13 hits despite recording only three runs. Reading went 3-for-12 with runners in scoring position against the Rock Cats Monday.
The Fightin Phils plated their first run during the top of the second. Down 1-0 with two outs, shortstop Troy Hanzawa hit a double to right field that plated Anthony Hewitt and tied the ball game.
The teams went five innings without plating a run. In the top of the seventh the Fightin Phils finally broke the tie thanks to an RBI-double from center fielder Albert Cartwright.
Cartwright was driven home during the next at-bat after left fielder Matt Tolbert singled to left field. The Rock Cats cut the lead to one run during the bottom half of the frame.
Kyle Simon was sent in during the ninth inning to preserve the victory and picked up his 11th save of the season in the process.
Maikel Franco was back at third base, and finished his season with the Fightin Phils on a high note as he went 3-for-4 from the plate with a double.
Tolbert (2-for-4), Cartwright (1-for-5) and Hanzawa (2-for-3) accounted for the three RBI for Reading.
Hewitt also posted a multi-hit night as he went 2-for-4 from the plate.
Both of New Britain’s runs came off Severino Gonzalez who pitched a solid 6 2/3 innings. During his time on the mound, Gonzalez surrendered two runs on eight hits and recorded six strikeouts.
With his performance, Gonzalez picked up his first win with the Ironpigs.
Franco hit .339 in 69 games and 277 at-bats with the Fightin Phils. His batting average is second to Cesar Hernandez, who hit .500 in only 10 at-bats in Reading.
Franco also posted slugging percentage of .563, an OPS of .926 and an on-base percentage of .363.
Pitcher Jesse Biddle may have ended his season a disappointing 5-14, but finished with 154 strikeouts and an ERA of 3.64. He also led the team with 138.1 innings and posted a WHIP of 1.34.
Lakewood BlueClaws – Class A
In a fitting end, the BlueClaws’ abysmal 2013 season came to an early end after their season finale with the Greensboro Grasshoppers at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood Township, N.J. was rained out and will not be made up.
The BlueClaws finish the 2013 season two games out of last place at 56-80. They did, however, win their last outing of the season Monday, 3-1 over the Grasshoppers.
First baseman Art Charles led the BlueClaws with 11 home runs and 72 RBI, but hit .251 from the plate.
Designated hitter Willie Carmona finished with the most at-bats on the BlueClaws and hit .303.
Miguel Nunez led the BlueClaws in wins (10) and innings pitched (130). However, he posted an ERA of 4.22. Jeb Stefan was second on the team with 111.2 innings and led the team with 93 strikeouts.
Williamsport Crosscutters – Class A-Short Season
The Crosscutters were four outs away from being no-hit Monday as they took a beating from the Batavia Muckdogs, 6-2, at Dwyer Stadium in Batavia, N.Y.
The Crosscutters didn’t record their first hit until the top of the eighth inning when shortstop Malquin Canelo hit a single to center field.
Surprisingly, the Crosscutters had plated a run during the top of the first despite not recording a hit.
That run came as the result of two errors from the Muckdogs during the frame. The first came on a fielding error by Batavia left fielder Victor Castro that allowed right fielder Dylan Cozens to get on base. Cozens advanced all the way to third on the play.
During the next at-bat, a passed ball by Batavia catcher Chad Wallach allowed Cozens to plate the first run of the game.
From there, things went down hill for the Crosscutters.
The Muckdogs went on to score six unanswered runs, three of which came of Williamsport starter Yacksel Rios. Rios surrendered those three runs on six hits during five innings of work.
Jonathan Musser replaced Rios on the mound and gave up the final three Batavia runs during his two innings on the mound.
Williamsport’s second and final run came during the top of the ninth thanks to a solo home run from Cozens. The homer was Cozens’ ninth of the season.
The Crosscutters are the only one of the Phillies’ minor-league teams that still has games to be played as they will square off against the Muckdogs again at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday.
Julio Reyes (2-2, 3.47 ERA) is scheduled to get the start for the Crosscutters.