Phillies Minor League Report: Maikel Franco homers during Lehigh Valley victory

Phillies prospect Maikel Franco. (Charles Fox/Staff Photographer)

Here's how the Phillies' minor league teams fared on Thursday, Aug. 7:

Lehigh Valley IronPigs – Triple A

The IronPigs used 16 hits to propel them past the Toledo Mud Hens by a score of 9-5 Thursday at Fifth Third Field in Toledo, Ohio.

The Lehigh Valley offense provided a balanced attack against the Toledo pitching staff, where all but one member of the lineup recorded at least one hit.

The IronPigs plated at least one run in six of the nine innings, including three during the fifth, which gave them the lead for good.

Shortstop Freddy Galvis and third baseman Maikel Franco led the IronPigs from the plate as they both recorded three hits and hit solo home runs.

Galvis’ came during the third inning and was his second of the season. Franco’s was his 10th of the year and came during the sixth. The duo combined for eight RBI. Franco now has 59 RBI this season.

Catcher Koyie Hill, second baseman Cesar Hernandez, first baseman Jim Murphy and right fielder Leandro Castro all recorded two hits apiece.

Castro drove in two runs to move his total to 46 on the season. Designated hitter Russ Canzler drove in a run as well to increase his RBI total to 51.

After a rocky start, the Lehigh Valley pitching staff steadied itself and kept the Mud Hens off the scoreboard during the final five innings.

Starter Jo-Jo Reyes allowed four runs (one earned) on five hits and four walks during only three innings of work.

After Reyes left the game, the IronPigs let up only three hits the rest of the way. Ethan Martin was credited with his first victory with the IronPigs this season after tossing three innings where he gave up one run.

Hector Neris and Luis Garcia combined for three scoreless innings. Neris struck out four batters over the course of two innings.

After taking the series opener, the IronPigs will face the Mud Hens again at 7 p.m. Friday. Lehigh Valley’s starter has not been announced as of this writing.

Reading Fightin Phils – Double A

The Reading pitching staff tossed a combined two-hitter to complete a four-game sweep of the Harrisburg Senators, 3-0, at FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading.

The series sweep is the Fightin Phils’ first since May of 2013 when they completed a four-game sweep of the Altoona Curve.

The Fightin Phils’ dominance on the mound started with Chris Bootcheck, who allowed only two hits during a brief three-inning outing. Although his outing was brief, he still managed to record five strikeouts.

The victory was handed to Kyle Simon after he tossed four hitless innings and also struck out five batters. He improved his record to 4-2 as a result.

Colton Murray earned his fourth save of the season after tossing two hitless innings.

The Fightin Phils didn’t do much offensively, but did receive solo homers from center fielder Aaron Altherr and third baseman Jake Fox. For Altherr, the homer was his 10th whereas Fox hit his 17th. The tandem has driven in 44 and 56 runs respectively.

Right fielder Kelly Dugan led the Fightin Phils by going 2-for-3 from the plate and also drove in his 28th RBI of the year.

The Fightin Phils’ home stand will continue at 7:05 p.m. Friday when they open a three-game set with the Curve. Ryan O’Sullivan (5-7, 3.75 ERA) is scheduled to start for Reading.

Clearwater Threshers – Class A-Advanced

The Threshers did not receive anything close to a dominant pitching performance Thursday, as they received an 18-2 beating at the hands of the Daytona Cubs at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla.

The loss was the Threshers’ third in their last four games.

The Cubs tallied 14 hits against the Threshers, including five off starter Mark Leiter. The struggling Leiter allowed six runs during only 1.2 innings on the mound. He was dealt the loss, which dropped his record to 2-3. His ERA is now up to 5.26.

All six runs Leiter gave up came during the second inning and left the Threshers in a 6-0 hole.

Leiter was taken out in favor of Jeb Stefan, who proceeded to allow seven more runs (three earned) in only three innings. He also walked five batters.

Kevin Walter and Perci Garner followed Stefan and coughed up a combined five runs between them.

All four Clearwater pitchers walked at least batter and combined to walk 12 during the contest.

Offensively, the Threshers only recorded five hits, three of which came from left fielder Herlis Rodriguez. First baseman Art Charles also drove in two runs. He now has 42 on the year.

The Threshers will attempt to recover from Thursday’s beating when they play the Cubs again at 6:30 p.m. Friday. Jordan Guth (2-3, 2.50 ERA) is slated to start for Clearwater.

Lakewood BlueClaws – Class A

Despite three hits and a homer from second baseman Andrew Pullin, the BlueClaws dropped a 12-inning decision to the Delmarva Shorebirds by a score of 5-3 at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood Township, N.J.

Pullin led the BlueClaws to 10 hits Thursday, as he hit his eighth home run of the season and drove in two runs.

But the BlueClaws were still tied with the Shorebirds, 3-3, in the top of the 12th. That was until pitcher Aaron Baker allowed two runs to give Delmarva its first lead of the contest.

Pullin was among the BlueClaws those that were retired in the bottom half of the frame.

Baker was handed the loss, which dropped his record to 1-2 on the season. Starter Jon Prosinski left the mound with a lead after he allowed only two runs on three hits during six innings of work.

However, Delvi Francisco earned his third blown save of the season after allowing the game-tying run during the eighth.

The BlueClaws are scheduled to play at least 14 more innings Friday when they play the Shorebirds in a doubleheader that starts at 5:05 p.m. Yacksel Rios (5-0, 3.33 ERA) will take the mound for Lakewood.

Williamsport Crosscutters – Class A-Short Season

The Williamsport offense hit a roadblock during the team’s third consecutive loss, this time by a score of 5-2 to the Hudson Valley Renegades at Dutchess Stadium in Wappingers Falls, N.Y.

The Crosscutters recorded a mere six hits during the loss, two of which came from first baseman Rhys Hoskins. They also received a solo homer from right fielder Cord Sandberg, which was his fourth of the season.

Outside of an RBI from third baseman Jan Hernandez, that was all of the offense the Crosscutters provided Thursday.

It didn’t help that starting pitcher Alejandro Arteaga coughed up four runs on eight hits in six innings of action. Arteaga took the loss, which dropped his record to 1-6 on the season.

The Crosscutters will try to avoid being swept by the Renegades at 7:05 p.m. Friday. Ricardo Pinto (0-3, 2.86 ERA) will start for Williamsport.

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