Here's how the Phillies' minor league team fared on Thursday, June 26:
Lehigh Valley IronPigs – Triple A
Pitching took center stage during the IronPigs’ 1-0 series-opening victory over the Rochester Red Wings Thursday at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown.
With the victory, the IronPigs snapped a four-game losing streak despite not being able to record an RBI.
Lehigh Valley needed only one run thanks to a dominant outing from starting pitcher Greg Smith, who recorded five strikeouts and allowed only two hits during six innings on the mound. Smith earned the win, which improved him to 6-5 on the season.
After two hitless innings from Hector Neris and Tyler Knigge, Luis Garcia locked up his 13th save of the season by shutting the door on the Red Wings in the ninth despite giving up three hits.
The Lehigh Valley pitching staff allowed a total of five hits and struck out a combined nine batters.
The Rochester pitching staff found a good amount of success as well, holding the IronPigs to merely four hits. Rochester’s starter Kris Johnson walked five batters, but recorded nine strikeouts and allowed only four hits during seven innings of work.
Lehigh Valley’s lone run came during the bottom of the fourth thanks to a single from third baseman Maikel Franco. Franco was not credited with the RBI, as Rochester shortstop Doug Bernier committed a throwing error on the play that allowed the runner to score.
The IronPigs will take on the Red Wings again at 7:05 p.m. Friday. Former major-leaguer Jason Marquis will start for Lehigh Valley.
Reading Fightin Phils – Double A
The comfy confines of FirstEnergy Stadium didn’t change the Fightin Phils’ recent misfortunes, as they fell to the Portland Sea Dogs Thursday by a score of 9-4.
The Fightin Phils have now lost nine in a row, which is their longest losing streak of the season so far.
What cost Reading Thursday was the collapse of the bullpen, which coughed up six runs during the final three innings. Starter Hoby Milner put together a good outing after allowing three runs on five hits during 6.2 innings.
Colton Murray relieved him on the mound and ran into instant trouble. Murray lasted only a third of inning where he gave up three runs on two hits. Mike Nesseth didn’t fare much better, allowing a run on two hits. Nefi Ogando then proceeded to give up two runs on four hits in only one-third.
As a result, Murray was dealt both the blown save and the loss, which were both his second of the season.
While the Sea Dogs heated up during the latter stages of the game, the Fightin Phils were unable to plate a run during the final four innings. They were held to only six hits. Four of those hits came from left fielder Peter Lavin and center fielder Aaron Altherr, who both hit a homer and went 2-for-4. The homers was Lavin’s fourth and Altherr’s fifth.
Only two other Fightin Phils recorded a hit Thursday.
The Fightin Phils will go up against the Sea Dogs again at 7:05 p.m. Friday. Perci Garner (4-4, 4.14 ERA) is scheduled to start for Reading.
Clearwater Threshers – Class A-Advanced
Shortstop J.P. Crawford made his first big impact in a Threshers uniform with a walk-off single during the Threshers’ 4-3 win Thursday over the Tampa Yankees at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla.
With the game tied, 3-3, center fielder Roman Quinn hit a one-out single to right field. With Crawford at the dish, Quinn managed to steal second base. With Quinn now in scoring position, Crawford lined a single to left field, which gave Quinn enough time to beat out the throw at the plate to avoid a Yankees sweep.
Crawford finished the contest 2-for-4 and drove in his first two runs since arriving in Clearwater. Quinn also went 2-for-4 and recorded his sixth RBI of the season. Left fielder Brandon Short drove in his 10th run of the season while second baseman Angelo Mora went 2-for-4 as well.
Starting pitcher Colin Klevin tossed seven solid innings where he allowed only two runs on six hits while recording five strikeouts. He left with a 3-2 lead, but did not get the decision after Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez surrendered the game-tying run during the eighth, which gave him his first blown save.
Lee Ridenhour secured the decision after pitching a hitless inning in the ninth, which improved him to 2-5 on the season.
The Threshers will continue their home stand at 6:30 p.m. Friday when they host the Brevard County Manatees. Jeb Stefan (4-6, 4.63 ERA) will get the start for Clearwater.
Lakewood BlueClaws – Class A
The Greensboro Grasshoppers used a four-run sixth inning to complete a four-game sweep of the BlueClaws by a score of 8-6 at NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro, N.C.
The BlueClaws have now lost five in a row and are only 1-7 since the All-Star break.
Starting pitcher Yacksel posted a shaky outing after surrendering four runs (three earned) on four hits during 4.2 innings. He also walked five batters and allowed a home run.
After being yanked, Shane Martin took over and allowed all four runs during the sixth. Martin lasted only two-thirds of an inning after allowing those four runs on three hits. He also walked two more batters to bring the team’s total to seven during the game. Martin took the loss, which dropped him to 0-3 on the season. His ERA is now up to 10.67.
Second baseman kept his hot streak alive after 1-for-4 from the plate with two RBI, which brought his total to 33 on the season. Right fielder Dylan Cozens and first baseman Zach Green drove in one run apiece.
The BlueClaws will try to shake this slump when they open up a four-game series against the West Virginia Power at 7:05 p.m. Friday at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston, W. Va.
All of the BlueClaws’ games so far since the All-Star break have been against either the Power or the Grasshoppers. Ranfi Casimiro (2-5, 4.77 ERA) will start for Lakewood.
Williamsport Crosscutters – Class A-Short Season
The Crosscutters’ rally fell just short Thursday during a 3-2 loss to the State College Spikes at Susquehanna Bank Park at Bowman Field.
The Crosscutters’ two-game winning streak came to an end despite the team having the tying runs on base during the seventh and ninth innings.
But after falling behind 3-0, the hill proved too steep for the Crosscutters to climb.
The Crosscutters recorded only seven hits Thursday with catcher Deivi Grullon leading the way by going 4-for-4 with an RBI. Grullon proved to be the only offensive weapon for Williamsport in the end.
Starting pitcher David Whitehead produced a good outing by allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits during seven innings on the mound. Delvi Francisco and Calvin Rayburn kept the Spikes off the scoreboard, but Whitehead was handed the loss, which dropped him to 1-1.
The Crosscutters will now play the second game of the four-game set with the Spikes at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park in State College at 7:05 p.m. Friday. Feliberto Sanchez (0-2, 11.37 ERA) will start for Williamsport.