Phillies Minor League Report: Maikel Franco has productive night for Lehigh Valley

Phillies prospect Maikel Franco. (Ed Hille/Staff Photographer)

Here's a rundown on how the Phillies' minor league teams fared on Friday, May 16:

Lehigh Valley IronPigs – Triple A

Five unanswered runs from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders led to the IronPigs losing for the first time in nearly a week, 5-3, at Coca-Cola Park Friday in Allentown.

The loss snapped the IronPigs’ five-game winning streak and thwarted the chance to complete a four-game sweep of the RailRiders.

The IronPigs jumped on the RailRiders early with three runs in the first two innings. Unfortunately for the IronPigs, the RailRiders plated a run in four of the final five innings to pull away.

Starting pitcher Sean O’Sullivan bore the brunt of the RailRiders’ run. After throwing four scoreless innings, O’Sullivan allowed three runs during the fifth and sixth, which allowed the RailRiders to tie the game. The three runs ended O’Sullivan’s after allowing three runs on eight hits. He also walked three batters and recorded three strikeouts.

The RailRiders scored their final two runs during the seventh and ninth innings off Kyle Simon and Ethan Martin. Simon was dealt the loss, which dropped his record to 0-2.

The IronPigs recorded nine hits Friday, as third baseman Maikel Franco lead the way. Franco finished 3-for-4 with an RBI and brought his average up to .248 on the season.

Not far behind Franco was left fielder Tyler Henson, who went 2-for-5. Catcher Cameron Rupp and center fielder Tyson Gillies were responsible for the other two runs batted in.

The IronPigs will attempt to begin a new streak when they travel to Buffalo, N.Y. to begin a four-game set with the Buffalo Bisons Saturday at Coca-Cola Field.

First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. The IronPigs are expected to start Jonathan Pettibone.

Reading Fightin Phils – Double A

The Fightin Phils’ late-inning rally fell short and their three-game winning streak came to an at the hands of the Bowie Baysox, 5-3, at FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading.

The Fightin Phils entered the bottom of the eighth inning trailing 5-1 until first baseman Brock Stassi hit a two-run homer to bring the Fightin Phils to within two runs of the Baysox.

During the bottom of the ninth, the Fightin Phils managed to get a man on first and second base, but couldn’t bring anyone home.

Leaving runners on base was the story of Reading’s night. The Fightin Phils went 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position and left a total eight runners stranded.

Stassi’s homer was his only hit of the contest and was his eighth of the season. The man Stassi drove in on his homer was Albert Cartwright, who went 2-for-5 from the plate.

Starting pitcher Mike Nesseth put in his longest outing of the season with five innings of work. His five innings, however, left a little to be desired. Nesseth gave up three runs on eight hits and was handed his third loss of the season as a result.

The Fightin Phils will try bounce back at 6:35 p.m. Saturday when they host the Baysox in the second of their three-game series. Severino Gonzalez (3-3, 5.73 ERA) will get the start for Reading.

Clearwater Threshers – Class A-Advanced

A streak of a different kind ended for the Threshers Friday, as they snapped their five-game losing streak by way of a 2-1 win over the Charlotte Stone Crabs at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Fla.

The Threshers went into the eighth inning tied, 1-1, with the Stone Crabs until catcher Logan Moore hit a sacrifice fly to left field that plated Angelo More to take the lead.

Pitchers Roman Oviedo and Jordan Guth held off the Stone Crabs to secure the win. Guth was credited with his second save of the season.

Starter Ethan Stewart tossed five innings where he gave up one run on five hits. He walked three batters, but also struck out two more. Relief pitcher Lee Ridenhour was given his first victory of the season after throwing two innings where he struck out two batters and gave up one hit.

Moore was one of three Threshers that recorded multiple hits Friday. Moore finished 2-for-3 while Harold Martinez and KC Serna both finished 2-for-4.

The Threshers will try to continue their winning ways when they face the Stone Crabs again at 6 p.m. Saturday. Colin Kleven (1-4, 5.63 ERA) will start for Clearwater.

Lakewood BlueClaws – Class A

The BlueClaws split a doubleheader with the Hagerstown Suns by losing the first contest 11-0 and winning the second 9-2 at Municipal Stadium in Hagerstown, Md.

In Game 1, the BlueClaws pitching staff surrendered 15 hits, 11 of which came off starter Alejandro Arteaga. Arteaga also allowed seven runs, which ended his night after only two innings.

The BlueClaws, on the other hand, were only able to muster four hits.

Things turned around considerably for the BlueClaws during Game 2, as they recorded 12 hits, which contributed to them scoring eight unanswered runs over the course of the final four innings.

Leading the way for Lakewood was left fielder Samuel Hiciano and catcher Willians Astudillo, who both finished 3-for-4. Austudillo drove in four runs while Hiciano drove in three. Center fielder Jiandido Tromp also posted good outing from the plate, finishing 2-for-4 with an RBI of his own.

Starting pitcher Mark Leiter picked up his fourth victory of the season after giving up only two runs on six hits in five innings of work. He also struck out five batters.

After avoiding being swept by the Suns, the BlueClaws return home Saturday to host the Rome Braves at 4:05 p.m. Lakewood’s starting pitcher has yet to be determined as of this writing.

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