Phillies Minor League Report: Aaron Altherr extends hitting streak to 13 games during loss

Aaron Altherr. (Charlie Neibergall/AP)

Here's how the Phillies' minor league teams fared on Friday, June 20:

Lehigh Valley IronPigs – Triple A

The IronPigs pushed their winning streak to four games Friday by way of a 4-3 series-opening victory over the Columbus Clippers at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown.

Lehigh Valley’s fourth straight win came mostly because of a strong performance from its pitching staff, which allowed only five total hits.

All five of those hits were charged to starter Greg Smith, who improved his record to 5-5 after allowing only three runs during his six innings of work. After two scoreless innings from Hector Neris, Luis Garcia shut the door on the Clippers in the ninth to secure his 12th save of the season.

With the pitching staff keeping the Clippers at bay, the IronPigs didn’t need a ton of offensive production. The IronPigs recorded only eight hits Thursday, with center fielder Tyler Henson and left fielder Cam Perkins leading the way by both going 2-for-4. Designated hitter Steve Susdorf provided the power, as he hit his second home run of the season during the third inning.

The IronPigs will try to keep their recent run of momentum going when they face the Clippers again at 6:35 p.m. Saturday. Barry Enright (3-6, 4.77 ERA) is scheduled to start for Lehigh Valley.

Reading Fightin Phils – Double A

Reading center fielder Aaron Altherr extended his streak to 13 games Friday during a 10-8 loss to the New Britain Rock Cats at New Britain Stadium in New Britain, Conn.

Altherr went 2-for-4 Friday and drove in two runs during the Fightin Phils’ fourth straight loss. His batting average is now at .249.

The Fightin Phils trailed the Rock Cats, 5-0, after five innings. All of those runs came at the expense of Reading starter Hoby Milner, who allowed four earned runs on six hits in only 4.1 innings.

The Fightin Phils managed to close the gap to one run after plating four during the sixth. Center fielder Anthony Phillips drove in three of the four runs thanks to a double to center field. Catcher Logan Moore drove in Phillips after a single to center field during the next at-bat.

After the Rock Cats plated a run during the bottom of the frame to make the score 6-4, the Fightin Phils tied the game during the seventh after back-to-back RBI doubles from Altherr and designated hitter Jake Fox.

Nefi Ogando was then sent to the mound for Reading, but surrendered four runs that put the Fightin Phils behind, 10-6. The Fightin Phils managed to plate two runs during the top of the ninth, but it the hill proved too steep to climb. Ogando was hit with his first loss of the season as a result.

Reading saw a lot of production from its lineup Friday, as the team recorded 13 hits. Phillips led the way, going 2-for-4 with three RBI. Fox (2-for-4) drove in a pair of runs as well.

The Fightin Phils will look to shake the current rut they’re in at 6:35 p.m. Saturday. Perci Garner (4-3, 4.10 ERA) will take the mound for Reading.

Clearwater Threshers – Class A-Advanced

An eventful ending allowed the Threshers to earn a 6-5 victory over the Dunedin Blue Jays Friday at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla.

With Lee Ridenhour on the mound, the Threshers were clinging to their one-run lead with one on and one out. The Blue Jays had already plated a run during the frame and looked poised to plate another.

Dunedin second baseman Christian Lopes singled off Ridenhour to center fielder Roman Quinn, who quickly got the ball to shortstop J.P Crawford. Because Dunedin third baseman Gustavo Pierre took a wide turn at second, Crawford was able to tag him out on his way to third.

Crawford then saw Lopes advancing to second and attempted to throw him out, but the ball hit Pierre on its way to the base. As a result, Lopes was called out and the games suddenly over.

The double play allowed Ridenhour to survive and earn his fifth save of the season. The victory went to starter Ethan Stewart, who tossed five innings where he allowed four runs on five hits. He is now 4-6 on the season.

Although he made a great defensive play to end the game, Crawford struggled from the plate again Friday, going 0-for-3. Designated hitter KC Serna led the Threshers from the plate, going 2-for-4.

Left fielder Brandon Short and first baseman Art Charles drove in two runs apiece despite going a combined 1-for-5.

After splitting a quick two-game series with the Blue Jays, the Threshers will host the Lakeland Flying Tigers at 6:30 p.m. Saturday to start a three-game set. Colin Klevin (2-7, 5.32 ERA) will get the start for Clearwater.

Lakewood BlueClaws – Class A

The BlueClaws’ losing streak is now at five games after they fell to the West Virginia Power, 4-2, at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood Township, N.J. Friday.

The BlueClaws fell behind the Power, 4-0, after five innings. Only one of the runs was earned after an error during the second inning from second baseman Andrew Pullin allowed three unearned runs.

The runs came at the expense of starter Jon Prosinski, who was charged with four runs on six hits during six innings on the mound. Prosinski was dealt the loss, which dropped him to 2-1.

The BlueClaws posted a pretty productive night offensively with 11 hits. They were led by shortstop Malquin Canelo, as he went 4-for-4. Willians Astudillo continued his All-Star season by going 2-for-4.

The BlueClaws will try to get their first win in more than a week at 7:05 p.m. Saturday. Yacksel Rios (1-0, 3.29 ERA) is scheduled to start.

Williamsport Crosscutters – Class A-Short Season

Three runs off pitcher Manny Martinez cost the Crosscutters the series opener with the Auburn Doubledays by a score of 5-3 at Falcon Park in Auburn, N.Y.

The Crosscutters held a 3-2 lead heading into the eighth inning thanks in part to a two-run homer from right fielder Cord Sandberg.

The Doubledays managed to take the lead off Martinez during the frame, which handed his first loss and blown save of the season. It also took away a possible decision away from starter David Whitehead, who allowed only two runs on six hits during 5.2 innings.

Sandberg’s homer was his second of the season, as he was one of seven Crosscutters to record a hit Friday. Left fielder Matt Shortall led the team by going 3-for-3.

After having their three-game winning streak snapped, the Crosscutters will play the Doubledays again at 7:05 p.m. Saturday. Feliberto Sanchez (0-1, 6.75 ERA) will start for Williamsport.

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