Here's a rundown of how the Phillies' minor league teams fared on Thursday, April 10:
Lehigh Valley IronPigs – Triple A
The Lehigh Valley bats went ice cold Thursday, and the team paid for it by way of a 4-2 loss to the Rochester Red Wings at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown.
The IronPigs didn't record their first hit until the fourth inning and only mustered a total of five during the contest.
Who is most responsible for the recent sloppy play by the Phillies?
With the IronPigs trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth, first baseman Jim Murphy provided the hit and brought home catcher Cameron Rupp, who reached base due to a fielding error, for the team's first run.
The Red Wings extended their advantage during the fifth and sixth innings by knocking around Lehigh Valley starter Barry Enright.
Enright was in the midst of a solid outing until he gave up four hits and two runs between the two innings, which ended his night. He was dealt his first loss of the season after he surrendering four runs (three earned) on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings. Phillippe Aumont relieved Enright and gave up three hits in 2 1/3.
With the score now 4-1, the IronPigs cut into the deficit during the seventh after an RBI-single from third baseman Maikel Franco. Franco's RBI turned out to be the last offensive gasp Lehigh Valley could muster on this night.
Second baseman Andres Blanco (2-for-4) and Murphy (2-for-3) accounted for four of the IronPigs' five hits. The other came from Franco (1-for-4). Center fielder Clete Thomas, whose posted a hit in all but two games this season, had a rough day from the plate as he went 0-for-5 and struck out once.
After dropping the series opener, the IronPigs will try to bounce back in the second of the four-game set at 7:05 p.m. Friday. Right-hander Sean O'Sullivan (0-1, 9.00 ERA) is scheduled to start for Lehigh Valley.
Reading Fightin Phils – Double A
The Fightin Phils held off the Harrisburg Senators just enough to secure their fourth-straight win, 2-1, Thursday at Metro Bank Park in Harrisburg.
Reading held a 2-0 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth with Tyler Knigge on the mound. After retiring the side in the eight, Knigge gave up a triple to Harrisburg's Cutter Dykstra on the first at-bat in the frame.
Knigge was then taken off the mound in favor of Jay Johnson, who proceeded to force the next two batters to ground out and fly out. Dykstra scored courtesy of the groundout, but the run was charged to Knigge. Johnson earned himself his first save of the season in the process.
The Reading pitching staff held Harrisburg to a mere three hits during the game. Starter Hoby Milner put in 4 2/3 innings of work where he struck out three batters and allowed only one hit. However, Austin Wright earned the victory after throwing 2 1/3 of scoreless innings.
With the pitching stifling the Senators, the Fightin Phils didn't need much in the run support department, but got some in the form of Kelly Dugan's first home run of the season during the fourth inning.
Reading padded its lead in the top of the sixth when first baseman Brock Stassi hit a single to right field that brought home left fielder Cam Perkins, who led off the inning with a single of his own.
Other than that, the Fightin Phils didn't much offensively as they only recorded seven hits and went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position. Perkins (2-for-4) was the only Fightin Phil to record multiple hits.
The Fightin Phils will try to make it five in a row when they face the Senators again at 7 p.m. Friday. Perci Garner (1-0, 3.00) will start on the mound for Reading.
Clearwater Threshers – Class A-Advanced
An offensive surge in the seventh inning from the Tampa Yankees led to the Threshers to being swept Thursday by a score of 7-3 at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla.
The loss was Clearwater's fifth in a row overall.
In the top of the seventh, the Threshers plated their first run of the game thanks to a groundout from catcher Logan Moore that allowed first baseman Art Charles to score from third base and make the score 2-1 in favor of Tampa
However, in the bottom half of the frame, Clearwater pitcher Jon Prosinski's outing turned into a complete nightmare. Prosinski surrendered five runs on four hits during the frame, which allowed Tampa's lead to balloon all the way to 7-1.
After bearing the brunt of that onslaught, Prosinski's night unceremoniously ended after 6 2/3 innings on the mound. He was handed his second loss of the season after allowing seven runs (four earned) on eight hits. He also only struck out one batter.
The Threshers strung together two runs in the top of the eighth after right fielder Brian Pointer led off the inning by reaching on a fielding error. Second baseman Freddy Galvis quickly capitalized by knocking a triple to center field that drove in Pointer. Center fielder Peter Lavin drove Galvis home courtesy of a sacrifice fly to left field.
After a Tampa pitching change, third baseman Harold Martinez singled to right field, but was left stranded after Charles struck out swinging and designated hitter KC Serna popped out to second base. The Threshers went down in order in the ninth.
The Threshers recorded six hits Thursday, two of which came from Serna (2-for-4).
The Threshers will try to end their five-game losing skid at 7:11 p.m. Friday when they begin a three-game series with the Lakeland Flying Tigers at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Fla. Miguel Nunez (0-0, 5.40 ERA) will get the ball for Clearwater.
Lakewood BlueClaws – Class A
The BlueClaws were dominated by the Hagerstown pitching staff, as the Suns handed them their fourth consecutive loss, 6-0, at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood Township, N.J. Thursday.
Hagerstown pitchers Lucas Giolito and Wander Suero combined for a three-hit shutout of the BlueClaws and struck out a combined eight batters. There was only one walk between them.
Giolito started the game for Hagerstown and fanned six batters while surrendering only one hit and one walk in five innings. Suero threw the next four and allowed only two hits.
Lakewood's three hits came from center fielder Carlos Tocci, designated hitter Samuel Hiciano and catcher Gabriel Lino.
While the Suns' starter enjoyed a dominant performance, Lakewood starter Tyler Viza struggled mightily Thursday. Viza allowed five runs (four earned) on five hits, but did manage to strikeout five batters. Viza was handed his second loss of the season as a result.
The BlueClaws hope to get back on track at 7:05 p.m. Friday when they host the Suns for the second of their four-game series. Alejandro Arteaga (1-0, 3.60 ERA) will start for Lakewood.
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