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Phillies Minor League Report: Mark Leiter stumbles during Lakewood win

Mark Leiter Jr. of the Lakewood BlueClaws. (Photo courtesy of the Lakewood BlueClaws.)
Mark Leiter Jr. of the Lakewood BlueClaws. (Photo courtesy of the Lakewood BlueClaws.)

Here's a rundown of how the Phillies' minor league teams fared on Wednesday, May 22:

Lehigh Valley IronPigs – Triple A

Despite outhitting the Toledo Mud Hens, the IronPigs lost for the fourth time in six games, 9-4, in the series opener Thursday at Coca-Cola Field in Allentown.

The IronPigs recorded 12 hits to Toledo’s 11, but failed to plate any runs after the fourth inning. Eight of those 12 hits came from first baseman Jim Murphy, designated hitter Steve Susdorf, second baseman Ronny Cedeno and center fielder Tyson Gillies, who all had two hits apiece.

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    Starting pitcher Sean O’Sullivan wasn’t as productive for the IronPigs, as he lasted only four innings after giving up six runs on eight hits. O’Sullivan took the loss, which dropped his record to 1-4.

    Kyle Simon relieved O’Sullivan and did not fare much better, allowing three runs (two earned) in only 1 1/3.

    The IronPigs will try to get out of their current funk when they host the Mud Hens at 6:35 p.m. Friday. Brad Lincoln (1-1, 3.18 ERA) will get the start for Lehigh Valley.

    Reading Fightin Phils – Double A

    Two late-innings runs halted the Fightin Phils’ six-game winning streak by way of a 3-1 loss to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats at FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading.

    The Fightin Phils were tied with the Fisher Cats, 1-1, heading into the eighth inning with starter Severino Gonzalez in the midst of a strong start. However, Gonzalez gave up a two-run homer to New Hampshire right fielder Ryan Schimpf that put the Fisher Cats in front for good.

    Gonzalez was taken off the mound after giving up a single in the next at-bat. Before his departure, he allowed only three runs on six hits in 7 1/3 innings. Besides the homer, Gonzalez only real blemish was walking five batters. He took the loss, which dropped his record to 4-4.

    The Fightin Phils struggled mightily offensively, recording a mere three hits. Two of those hits came from left fielder Cam Perkins, who finished 2-for-4. He also drove in the lone run for Reading. He now has 28 RBI on the season and is batting .343.

    After taking three of four from New Hampshire, and 6-2 over their home stand, the Fightin Phils will hit the road Friday to take on the Akron RubberDucks at Canal Park in Akron, Ohio.

    First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. Lefty Hoby Milner (3-2, 4.03 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Fightin Phils.

    Clearwater Threshers – Class A-Advanced

    The Threshers’ losing streak climbed to six Thursday after a 6-4 loss to the St. Lucie Mets at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

    A major contributor in the Threshers’ loss was the rough start of Colin Klevin. Klevin allowed five runs on nine hits in only 5 2/3 innings of work. Klevin fell to 1-6 on the season as a result.

    The Threshers’ offense fared a little better by recording 10 hits, but only plated runs in the second and eighth innings. The Threshers also went 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left six runners on base.

    Leading the way for the Threshers offensively was first baseman Gabriel Lino, who finished 2-for-3 with an RBI. Second baseman Angelo Mora and center fielder Peter Lavin joined Lino in the multi-hit department, as they both 2-for-4.

    The Threshers will try to avoid being swept by the Mets at 6:30 p.m. Friday. Clearwater’s starting pitcher has yet to be determined.

    Lakewood BlueClaws – Class A

    Cody Forsythe survived a furious rally to secure a 10-9 victory for the BlueClaws over the West Virginia Power in the series opener at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston, W.Va.

    The BlueClaws held a 10-6 advantage heading into the bottom of the ninth, but Delvi Francisco walked the first four batters he saw during the frame, plating one run. Forsythe came in for Francisco and gave up two more runs, but they were charged to Francisco.

    Forsythe shook off the runs to get all three outs to lock up the BlueClaws’ second win in a row and their fifth win in six games. Forsythe also locked up his seventh save of the season.

    The big win came at the expense of starting pitcher Mark Leiter. Leiter lasted only four innings Thursday, surrendering six runs (four earned) on six hits. He struck out five batters and walked another three. His ERA climbed to 4.53.

    Yacksel Rios gained the victory after tossing three innings in relief of Leiter where he gave up only one hit and earned five strikeouts.

    Francisco wasn’t the only pitcher to have control issues, however, as the Lakewood pitchers combined to record 10 walks.

    Second baseman Andrew Pullin led the BlueClaws from behind the plate, as he went 2-for-5 and hit his fifth home run of the season during the first inning. Also hitting a homer was left fielder Samuel Hiciano. The homer was his only hit of the contest and his fourth of the season.

    The BlueClaws received RBI from seven different batters, including one from catcher Deivi Grullon, who also went 2-for-4 from the plate.

    The BlueClaws will look to keep their recent momentum going when they face the Power against at 7:05 p.m. Friday. Alejandro Arteaga (3-5, 8.66 ERA) is scheduled to start for Lakewood.

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