Phillies Minor League Report: Lehigh Valley bullpen collapses during loss

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IronPigs relief pitcher Jeremy Horst. (Photo by Digital Photographic Inc.)

Here's a rundown on how the Phillies' minor-league teams fared on Saturday, May 10:

Lehigh Valley IronPigs – Triple A

For the second night in a row, the IronPigs coughed up a late-inning lead and fell to the Gwinnett Braves, 10-8, in 11 innings at Coca-Cola Field in Allentown.

The IronPigs entered the top of the ninth with a 7-4 advantage, but a collective bullpen failure handed them their second loss in a row.

After giving up two runs during the eighth, Kyle Simon was on the mound for Lehigh Valley in the ninth, but walked the first two batters he faced during the frame.

Jeremy Horst quickly replaced Simon and promptly gave up the tying runs. Two of the three runs allowed were charged to Simon.

Horst then tossed a scoreless 10th before Seth Rosin took his turn on the mound during the 11th. Rosin proceeded to surrender three more runs and was dealt his third loss of the season in the process. Horst was handed the blown save, which is his second of the season.

The porous bullpen outing overshadowed a quality performance from starter Barry Enright, whom allowed only two runs on seven hits in seven innings of work. Enright’s outing helped the IronPigs hold a 7-2 lead when he left the game.

Offensively, the IronPigs recorded 13 hits. Catcher Koyie Hill and Right fielder Steve Susdorf each led the way by going 3-for-4 with one RBI apiece. Two of Susdorf’s hits were doubles.

Left fielder Matt Tolbert had good outing from the plate as well, as he went 2-for-4.

The IronPigs will try to the finish line Sunday when they host the Braves at 1:35 p.m. Sean O’Sullivan is scheduled to start for Lehigh Valley.

Reading Fightin Phils – Double A

The Fightin Phils and the Trenton Thunder were in the midst of a marathon Saturday, but the game was temporarily suspended in the middle of the 13th inning due to rain at Arm & Hammer Park in Trenton, N.J.

The game was tied, 3-3, and will pick back up at 1:05 p.m. Sunday. The normally scheduled game for Sunday will take place soon after the first one is finished.

Trenton got on the board first with two runs during the fourth inning. Reading quickly answered with two runs of their own during the fifth.

After the Thunder plated a run during the sixth, the Fightin Phils answered once again with a run during the seventh. Since that run during the seventh, the game has gone scoreless since.

As expected, the team has used a plethora of pitchers during the long contest. The Fightin Phils have used six and the Thunder has used five.

Clearwater Threshers – Class A-Advanced

Despite home runs from catcher Gabriel Lino and center fielder Peter Lavin, the Threshers were pounded in the series finale against the Dunedin Blue Jays, 11-3, at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla.

Part of the reason why the Threshers dropped the rubber match with the Blue Jays was because of the tough outing for starting pitcher Ethan Stewart.

Stewart allowed eight runs on eight hits in only five innings on the mound Saturday. He also walked four batters and gave up a home run during the fifth. Stewart was handed the loss, which dropped his record to 2-3.

The Threshers’ offense didn’t fare much better, as they went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left 10 baserunners stranded. Lavin (4-for-5) provided half of the Thresher’s eight hits.

The Threshers didn’t plate their first run until the fifth inning thanks to an RBI-hit from first baseman Darin Ruf. Lino’s and Lavin’s homers came during the eighth and ninth innings respectively.

Clearwater has the day off Sunday, but will be back in action at 7 p.m. Monday when the team hosts the Jupiter Hammerheads. Colin Kleven (1-3, 6.12 ERA) will is scheduled to start.

A seventh-inning solo homer from shortstop KC Serna lifted the Threshers to a 2-1 victory over the Dunedin Blue Jays Friday at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in Dunedin, Florida.

The Threshers entered the frame tied with the Blue Jays at 2. After Nick Ferdinand struck out, Serna picked a very good time to hit his first home run of the season. It was also Serna’s (1-for-4)

After Serna gave Clearwater the lead on the offensive end, Jeb Stefan and Jordan Guth secured the win for the team on the mound. Stefan tossed 2 1/3 innings where he gave up one hit and struck out two batters. His efforts earned him the win. Guth picked up his first save of the season as well.

Despite only plating two runs, the Threshers recorded 11 hits. Leading the way was center fielder Peter Lavin, as he finished 3-for-4. Left fielder Darin Ruf, first baseman Art Charles and second baseman Anthony Phillips all recorded two hits apiece.

Starting pitcher Luis Paulino posted a strong outing, as he surrendered only one run on two hits in five innings of action.

The Threshers will try to even up their four-game series at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Bright House Field in Clearwater. Ethan Stewart (2-2, 3.23 ERA) will take the hill for Clearwater.

Lakewood BlueClaws – Class A

The BlueClaws dropped their fourth game in a row after taking an 8-1 loss at the hands of the Delmarva Shorebirds at Perdue Stadium in Salisbury, Md.

The BlueClaws trailed only 2-1 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, but a grand slam from Delmarva shortstop Jeff Kemp off pitcher Ulises Joaquin broke the game wide open.

Starter Alejandro Arteaga was handed the loss, as the team was trailing at the time of his departure. Despite the loss, Arteaga put together a good outing, allowing only two runs on seven hits during his five innings of work.

The BlueClaws only mustered seven hits, but three of them came from shortstop J.P. Crawford, who finished 3-for-3.

The BlueClaws will attempt to snap their losing streak when they face the Shorebirds at 2:05 p.m. Sunday. Mark Leiter (3-3, 3.89 ERA) will get the start.

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