Phillies Minor League Report: Aaron Nola has good outing during Clearwater loss

Phillies newly-drafted pitcher Aaron Nola. (Matt Slocum/AP)

Here's how the Phillies' minor league teams fared on Saturday, July 19:

Lehigh Valley IronPigs – Triple A

After being decimated by the Syracuse Chiefs the last two days, the IronPigs swept them during a doubleheader by scores of 4-2 and 5-0 at NBT Bank Stadium in Syracuse, N.Y.

The IronPigs took Game 1 behind a complete game from pitcher Brad Lincoln. Lincoln allowed only two runs on eight hits and struck out seven batters. His efforts earned him his fifth win of the season.

The IronPigs plated all four of their runs during the fifth inning thanks to a leadoff homer from center fielder Leandro Castro and RBI from shortstop Nate Spears, second baseman Tyler Henson and third baseman Maikel Franco. Spears led the IronPigs from the plate by going 2-for-4.

Castro’s home run was his sixth of the season.

Lehigh Valley rolled on all cylinders during Game 2 with 10 hits offensively and a collective four-hitter from its pitching staff.

Four different IronPigs recorded two hits, as shortstop Freddy Galvis and Franco both went 2-for-4, and Castro and Spears both went 2-for-3.

Spears went a combined 4-for-7 Saturday with three RBI and a home run during the second inning of Game 2. The homer was his first of the season.

Castro drove in two runs during the second game to give him a combined three during the twin bill.

Hector Neris, Jeremy Horst and Cesaro Jimenez came together to shut down the Chiefs. Neris pitched three innings where he allowed only one hit.

Horst was credited with the victory after tossing two innings and gave up only two hits. His record moved to 4-1 as a result.

The IronPigs and the Chiefs will have another doubleheader scheduled for 5 p.m. Sunday. Greg Smith (7-6, 3.86 ERA) is scheduled to start Game 1 and Jason Marquis (0-0, 0.50 ERA) is slated to start Game 2.

Reading Fightin Phils – Double A

The Fightin Phils also swept a doubleheader Saturday, as they defeated the New Britain Rock Cats by scores of 1-0 and 3-2 at FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading.

The twin bill sweep clinched the Fightin Phils’ first series victory since Father’s Day weekend, which was also the last time they won back-to-back games.

Game 1 was a pitcher’s duel where both teams combined to record only seven hits. Starting pitcher Sean O’Sullivan tossed a three-hitter during his six innings of work, which helped him improve his record to 4-5.

Both teams were held scoreless until catcher Wil Nieves finally broke through with an RBI-single in the bottom of the sixth.

Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez had little trouble securing the victory during the seventh to earn his fourth save with Reading.

There were a lot more hits in Game 2 as both squads combined for 18 hits. The most important hit, however, came courtesy of designated hitter Jake Fox, as he hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh to give the Fightin Phils the narrow victory. Fox’s clutch hit was his only of the night and pushed his RBI total to 29.

Center fielder Aaron Altherr led the Fightin Phils by going 2-for-3 with a double. Second baseman Carlos Alonso wasn’t far behind, as he went 2-for-4.

The Reading pitching staff allowed 10 hits during Game 2, but managed to keep the Rock Cats to 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

Colton Murray allowed only one hit in two innings in his second start of the season. Nefi Ogando gained the victory after allowing only one hit in one inning. His record is now 3-1.

The Fightin Phils will attempt to take three out of four from the Rock Cats at 1:35 p.m. Sunday. Left-hander Adam Loewen (1-3, 3.99 ERA) will start for Reading.

Clearwater Threshers – Class A-Advanced

Despite a solid pitching display from Aaron Nola, the Threshers dropped the series finale with the Bradenton Marauders by a score of 4-2 at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, Fla. Saturday.

Nola struck out five batters and allowed only two runs on five hits during five innings of work. A lack of run support contributed to him suffering his third loss with the Threshers.

The Threshers recorded seven hits Saturday, including three from the Phillies’ Reid Brignac and Carlos Ruiz, but was not able to bring home enough runners for the win.

First baseman Chris Serritella went 2-for-3 while center fielder Roman Quinn went 1-for-4 with a solo homer during the ninth inning.

After splitting a four-game set with the Marauders, the Threshers return home to Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla. to begin another four-game series against the Charlotte Stone Crabs. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m., as Mark Leiter (1-1, 5.29 ERA) will take the mound.

Lakewood BlueClaws – Class A

Matt Imhof’s rough start led to the BlueClaws falling to the Kannapolis Intimidators, 8-4, at CMC Northeast Stadium in Kannapolis, N.C.

Imhof lasted only three innings where he surrendered three runs (two earned) on five hits. Imhof’s outing left the BlueClaws trailing 3-0 after three innings.

Will Morris was dealt the loss after tossing two innings in relief of Imhof. Morris’ record dropped to 1-2 after he allowed two runs on three hits.

Offensively, third baseman Mitch Walding led the BlueClaws by going 3-for-4 with two RBI. He now has 32 on the season. Catcher Andrew Knapp went 2-for-3 with both hits going for doubles.

Center fielder Carlos Tocci also had a productive outing, as he went 2-for-4 with an RBI as well.

After splitting the first two games in the series, the BlueClaws and the Intimidators will go at it again at 5:05 p.m. Sunday. Tyler Viza (3-13, 5.17 ERA) will start for Lakewood.

Williamsport Crosscutters – Class A-Short Season

Six runs in the bottom of the sixth doomed the Crosscutters during an 8-4 loss to the Brooklyn Cyclones at MCU Park in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The game was scoreless until the top of the sixth when left fielder Chase Harris recorded an RBI-single to put the Crosscutters in front, 1-0.

After going through five innings without giving up a run, starter Alejandro Arteaga was ran into a ton of trouble and was charged with four runs during the frame. After his outing ended, Keive Rojas was hit with the remaining two runs.

The Cyclones plated two insurance runs during the eighth off Scott Harris to make to take a commanding 8-1 lead.

First baseman Rhys Hoskins pulled the Crosscutters to within four with a three-run homer during the top of the ninth, but Jan Hernandez struck out during the next at-bat to end the game.

Hoskins’ homer was his fourth of the season and his only hit of the contest. He now has 21 RBI on the year. Designated hitter Aaron Brown and center fielder Jiandido Tromp led the Crosscutters, as the both went 2-for-4.

Arteaga took the loss, which dropped his record to 1-4 on the season.

The Crosscutters take on the Cyclones again at 5 p.m. Sunday. Ricardo Pinto (0-1, 1.04 ERA) is scheduled to start.

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