Here's a rundown on how the Phillies' minor league teams fared on Saturday, April 26:
Lehigh Valley IronPigs – Triple A
A four-run seventh inning from the Pawtucket Red Sox sent the IronPigs to their second loss in a row, 7-5, at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown.
The IronPigs entered the seventh with a 4-3 lead with the help of a strong performance from starting pitcher Jonathan Pettibone. Pettibone tossed six innings where he gave up three runs (two earned) on five hits.
Cesar Jimenez took the mound in relief of Pettibone and was met with four consecutive singles from the Red Sox. Jimenez was quickly yanked in favor of Phillippe Aumont, but was charged with all four Pawtucket runs during the frame. Jimenez was also hit with his first blown save and loss of the season.
Trailing 7-4 heading into the bottom of the ninth, the IronPigs managed to plate one run courtesy of a fielding error from Pawtucket shortstop Brock Holt that allowed center fielder Clete Thomas to score from third base.
Unfortunately for the IronPigs, they could not muster any more runs on their way to losing the series opener against Pawtucket.
Leading the way offensively for Lehigh Valley was designated hitter Steve Susdorf, who went 3-for-5 with a double. Catcher Koyie Hill and right fielder Tyler Henson weren’t far behind with two hits apiece. First baseman Jim Murphy led the team Saturday with two RBI.
The IronPigs continue their four-game series with the Red Sox at 1:35 p.m. Sunday. David Buchanan (2-0, 2.74 ERA) is scheduled to start for Lehigh Valley.
Reading Fightin Phils – Double A
A night after scoring 10 runs in a losing effort, the Fightin Phils were kept off the scoreboard all together via a 5-0 loss to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats at Northeast Dental Stadium in Manchester, N.H.
The Fightin Phils were stifled by the Fisher Cats due to a dominant performance from pitcher Scott Copeland, who allowed a mere four hits in seven innings of work.
Reading’s Hoby Milner, on the other hand, had a little bit rougher of a go by giving up four runs on five hits in only four innings. As a result, Milner was dealt his first loss of the season.
The Fightin Phils mustered only five hits Saturday, two of which came from third baseman Cesar Hernandez. The other three came from left fielder Cam Perkins, designated hitter Chris Serritella and shortstop Edgar Duran.
Reading will finished up its three-game set with New Hampshire at 1:35 p.m. Sunday. Perci Garner (2-0, 2.65) will take the mound for the Fighin Phils.
Clearwater Threshers – Class A-Advanced
Despite a strong performance from pitcher Jon Prosinski, the Threshers fell to the Dunedin Blue Jays, 2-1, at Bright House Field in Clearwater.
Prosinski tossed seven innings for Clearwater where he gave up only one run on six hits. He also recorded four strikeouts.
Unfortunately for Prosinski, the Clearwater bats never got into a rhythm. The Threshers offense mustered only five hits and plated their only run during the fourth inning courtesy of an RBI-single from designated hitter Willie Carmona.
Although pitcher Kevin Walter allowed the eventual game-winning run during the eighth, the lack of offensive production proved to be the major flaw in the Threshers’ game Saturday.
Two of the five Clearwater hits came from third baseman Harold Martinez, who finished the contest 2-for-4.
A stellar performance from Dunedin pitcher Taylor Cole didn’t help the Threshers’ cause, as Cole struck out eight batters in six innings of work. The Threshers struck out 12 times total.
The series will shift back to Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in Dunedin, Fla. for the finale between the two. The game is scheduled to start at 1 p.m.
Miguel Nunez (1-2, 5.48 ERA) will get the ball for Clearwater.
Lakewood BlueClaws – Class A
Behind a stellar performance from Mark Leiter, the Blue Claws snapped a four-game losing streak by defeating the Savannah Sand Gnats, 3-0, at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood Township, N.J.
Leiter dazzled Saturday by tossing eight scoreless innings where he allowed only four hits. He also tallied four strikeouts. Leiter’s performance dropped his ERA on the season to 1.97 and improved his record to 3-1.
Leiter’s outing perfectly set up Cody Forsythe to secure the win and notch his third save of the season in the process.
Leiter gained some early run support during the second inning thanks to a sacrifice fly from right fielder Jiandido Trump that allowed second baseman Andrew Pullin to score for the game’s first run.
It was another five innings before the BlueClaws plated another run and Leiter held steady through all of them. The seventh-inning scoring got kicked off courtesy of a solo homer from left fielder Samuel Hiciano. Later in the inning, a fielder error from Savannah second baseman Jorge Rivero allowed third baseman Jan Hernandez to plate the game’s final run.
Hiciano’s homer capped of a big night for him from the plate, as he went 3-for-4. The BlueClaws only recorded six hits as a team.
The BlueClaws managed to score their three runs despite going 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
The BlueClaws will try to even up the four-game series at 1:05 p.m. Sunday. Tyler Viza (1-2, 3.97 ERA) will start for Lakewood.