Phillies Minor League Report: J.P. Crawford struggles in Clearwater debut


Here's how the Phillies' minor league teams fared on Thursday, June 19:

Lehigh Valley IronPigs – Triple A

A walk-off single from third baseman Maikel Franco capped off yet another rally from the IronPigs during a 4-3 victory over the Charlotte Knights Thursday at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown.

The IronPigs went into the bottom of the ninth trailing the Knights by a score of 3-2. Right fielder Rusty Ryal tied the game up with an RBI-single to left field that plated shortstop Andres Blanco. Three batters later, Franco hit a single to right field to clinch the IronPigs’ third straight come-from-behind win over the Knights.

Franco’s game-winning single was his only hit of the game, as he went 1-for-5. The hit was also his second in walk-off fashion this season. His batting average currently sits at .215. Blanco led the way for the IronPigs with a 3-for-5 performance. Ryal wasn’t far behind, as he finished 2-for-4.

The Lehigh Valley pitching staff held the Knights’ bats largely in check during the contest. Starter Chris Bootcheck recorded six strikeouts and allowed only two runs on six hits during seven innings of work. The decision, however, went to B.J. Rosenberg, who pitched one scoreless inning. The win improved his record to 2-1.

After taking three out of four from the Knights, the IronPigs will continue their home stand against the Columbus Clippers at 7:05 p.m. Friday. Greg Smith (4-5, 4.31 ERA) is scheduled to start.

Reading Fightin Phils – Double A

A strong performance from Akron RubberDucks pitcher Will Roberts kept the Fightin Phils at bay, as they fell 3-2 at FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading.

Roberts shut down the Fightin Phils by recording seven strikeouts and allowing only two runs on four hits during eight innings of work. The eight-inning outing was his longest of the season.

Reading starter Severino Gonzalez, on the other hand, wasn’t quite as successful, but posted a solid outing nonetheless. Gonzalez pitched 5.1 innings where he allowed three runs on eight hits. He also struck out four batters. However, he was dealt the loss, which dropped his record to 4-8.

The only Fightin Phil with any real production from the plate was third baseman Carlos Alonso, who hit a two-run homer during the third inning. The homer was his seventh of the season. The Fightin Phils recorded only six hits as a team.

After being swept by the RubberDucks, the Fightin Phils try to get back in the win column when they face the New Britain Rock Cats at 6:35 p.m. Friday at New Britain Stadium in New Britain, Conn. Left-hander Hoby Milner (5-3, 3.49 ERA) will get the start.

Clearwater Threshers – Class A-Advanced

A walk-off single from Dunedin Blue Jays right fielder Marcus Knecht sent the Threshers to a 5-4 loss to Thursday at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in Dunedin, Fla.

The big story coming out of this game was the Florida State League debut of shortstop J.P. Crawford. Crawdford struggled in his first FSL outing, going 0-for-5 from the plate and committing two of the Threshers’ three errors on the day.

The rest of the Threshers had a productive day from the plate as the team recorded 13 hits. Right fielder Brian Pointer led the way as he went 4-for-4 with two RBI. Third baseman Harold Martinez wasn’t too far behind, going 3-for-4.

Despite the 13 hits, the Threshers went 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position and left 10 runners on base.

The Clearwater pitching staff’s night could have gone better, as starter Miguel Nunez lasted six innings where he allowed four runs (three earned) on five hits.

The Threshers still held a 3-0 leading into the bottom of the seventh, but Nunez and Ramon Oviedo surrendered to the lead Blue Jays after they gave up four runs during the bottom of the inning.

Oviedo was dealt his first blown save of the season. Daniel Child was handed the loss after giving up the clinching run in the ninth.

The Threshers will try to bounce back against the Blue Jays at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla. Ethan Stewart (3-6, 4.36 ERA) will take the mound for Clearwater.

Lakewood BlueClaws – Class A

Not even the All-Star break could halt the BlueClaws’ losing streak, as they fell to the West Virginia Power at FirstEnergy Park Thursday in Lakewood Township, N.J.

The loss was Lakewood’s fourth in a row despite a strong outing from starter Mark Leiter. Leiter struck out nine batters while giving up only two runs (one earned) on four hits during seven innings on the mound. Leiter was dealt the loss, which dropped his record to 5-6.

The BlueClaws’ main issue was providing the pitching staff some run support.

The BlueClaws plated their only run during the second inning courtesy of a solo homer from first baseman Zach Green, which was his first of the season. Green finished the contest 2-for-3. Center fielder Carlos Tocci also recorded two hits, going 2-for-4.

After Green’s home run, there wasn’t a whole lot of production from the Lakewood bats. The BlueClaws recorded eight hits, but went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

The BlueClaws are back on the field at 7:05 p.m. Friday against the Power.  Jon Prosinski (2-0, 2.55 ERA) will get the ball for Lakewood.

Williamsport Crosscutters – Class A-Short Season

The Crosscutters completed a three-game sweep of the Jamestown Jammers Thursday by a score of 4-2 at Susquehanna Bank Park at Bowman Field in Williamsport.

The Crosscutters plated two runs apiece during the fourth and fifth innings and it turned out to be all of the runs they needed. That’s because the five pitchers they used Thursday shut down the Jammers by allowing a combined two unearned runs on five hits.

Richard Bielski was handed the win after he pitched two scoreless innings, but did record three walks. The win was Bielski’s first of the season.

Leading the way offensively for the Crosscutters was center fielder Aaron Brown, who finished 3-for-4.

The Crosscutters will try to continue their momentum when the face the Auburn Doubledays at Falcon Park in Auburn, N.Y. Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. with David Whitehead (1-0, 0.00 ERA) taking the mound for the Crosscutters.

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