Phillies Minor League Report: Jesse Biddle struggles yet again for Reading

Reading Fightin Phils Jesse Biddle. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)

Here's how the Phillies' minor league teams fared on Wednesday, June 11:

Lehigh Valley IronPigs – Triple A

The IronPigs enjoyed a much-needed day off Wednesday, as they are in the midst of a three-game losing streak.

The IronPigs will be back on the field at 7:05 p.m. Thursday when they visit the Rochester Red Wings at Frontier Field in Rochester, N.Y. Sean O’Sullivan (3-5, 4.06 ERA) is scheduled to start for Lehigh Valley.

Reading Fightin Phils – Double A

The Fightin Phils’ recent slide continued Wednesday, as they fell to the New Britain Rock Cats, 8-5, at FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading.

The loss dropped the Fightin Phils under .500 for the first time since opening night and put their record in the month of June at an unimpressive 2-8.

The Fightin Phils fell behind early Wednesday, mostly due to another rough outing for pitcher Jesse Biddle. Biddle lasted only 3.1 innings where he allowed five runs (two earned) on three hits and walked six batters.

As a result, Biddle was dealt yet another loss, which dropped his record to 3-7 on the season with a 4.06 ERA.

Despite Biddle’s tough day, the Fightin Phils managed to hang with the Rock Cats thanks to 14 hits. Leading the way for Reading was center fielder Aaron Altherr, who went 3-for-5 and hit his fourth homer of the during the seventh to pull the Fightin Phils to within one run of New Britain.

Unfortunately for Reading, relief pitcher Nefi Ogando surrendered two runs during the ninth inning that put the game out of reach.

Joining Altherr in the multi-hit category was shortstop Edgar Duran (2-for-3), right fielder Jiwan James (2-for-4) and left fielder Albert Cartwright (2-for-5).

The Fightin Phils will try to avoid being swept by the Rock Cats at 7:05 p.m. Thursday. Severino Gonzalez (4-7, 5.02 ERA) will start for Reading.

Clearwater Threshers – Class A-Advanced

The Threshers were off Tuesday. They will return to the field Thursday for a doubleheader with the Tampa Yankees, starting at 5 p.m. Thursday at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla.

Colin Kleven (1-7, 5.17 ERA) will take the mound for Clearwater.

Lakewood BlueClaws – Class A

A strong start from pitcher Mark Leiter and an offensive explosion during the eighth inning lifted the BlueClaws to a 10-2 victory over the Hagerstown Suns at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood Township, N.J.

A night after losing to Hagerstown by a score of 2-0, the BlueClaws found themselves trailing by that same exact score after the first inning Thursday. Leiter recovered nicely, however, as he struck out seven batters and allowed only five hits during 7.1 innings of work.

Leiter earned the victory, which improved his record to 5-5 on the season. Cody Forsythe shut the door on Hagerstown to earn his ninth save of the season.

Forsythe had quite the lead to protect during the final inning, as the BlueClaws plated seven runs during the eighth. The BlueClaws received RBI hits from second baseman Andrew Knapp, first baseman Zach Green, left fielder Samuel Hiciano, catcher Jose Mayorga and shortstop J.P. Crawford to extend their lead to eight runs.

Knapp, Green and Hiciano all went 2-for-4 Thursday and they all drove in two runs. Crawford also finished 2-for-4 and drove in a run as well.

After avoiding a sweep at the hands of Hagerstown, the BlueClaws continue their home stand against the Hickory Crawdads in the final series before the all-star break.

First pitch Thursday is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. with Jon Prosinski (1-0, 2.89 ERA) being called upon to start.

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