Phillies Minor League Report: O'Sullivan shines for Lehigh Valley; Biddle struggles for Reading
Here's how the Phillies' minor league teams fared on Friday, June 6:
Lehigh Valley IronPigs – Triple A
A big night for pitcher Sean O’Sullivan helped the IronPigs avoid being swept by the Louisville Bats by way of a 7-2 victory Friday at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown.
O’Sullivan put on a dazzling performance on the mound, allowing only one run on five hits during seven strong innings.
O’Sullivan was in such a zone, he even helped his own cause from the behind the plate. He recorded a double during the fifth inning and took bases-loaded walks during the second and sixth, which earned him his first two RBI of the season.
After O’Sullivan’s night was over, Shawn Camp and Tyler Knigge each tossed an inning apiece to secure the much needed win for Lehigh Valley.
The IronPigs’ seven runs came off only six hits for the squad, as catcher Cameron Rupp led the way, going 2-for-3.
Center fielder Leandro Castro (1-for-5), third baseman Maikel Franco (1-for-5), second baseman Tyler Henson (0-for-3) and shortstop Andres Blanco (1-for-3) all drove in runs for Lehigh Valley.
The IronPigs will try to carry the momentum of Friday’s win into the next series in their home stand against the Indianapolis Indians. The first in the four-game series begins at 6:35 p.m. Saturday. Brad Lincoln (2-3, 4.75 ERA) will start for Lehigh Valley.
Reading Fightin Phils – Double A
Another rough start for pitcher Jesse Biddle contributed to the Fightin Phils being drubbed by the Richmond Flying Squirrels in the series opener Friday, 12-2, at FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading.
The Fightin Phils returned from a long road trip only to take their third straight loss and their ninth defeat in their last 11 games.
Biddle didn’t get to see much of this one, as the Flying Squirrels plated seven runs, including two homers. Biddle lasted only 2.1 innings and was handed his sixth loss of the season.
After Biddle’s swift exit, Colton Murray managed to keep Richmond off the scoreboard for 3.2. However, Mike Nesseth took his place on the mound for the seventh, and proceeded to give up four runs (three earned) on five hits. Nesseth’s ERA on the season is now all the way up to 9.58.
The Fightin Phils struggled just as mightily from the plate despite recording a respectable eight hits. The problem was driving runners in, as they went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left nine men on base.
Half of Reading’s hits came from Carlos Alonso and Logan Moore, who each went 2-for-4 during the contest. Alonso hit his sixth homer of the season during the first inning.
The Fightin Phils will try to finally get out this slump when they face the Flying Squirrels again at 6:35 p.m. Saturday, as Severino Gonzalez (4-6, 5.19 ERA) is scheduled to start.
Clearwater Threshers – Class A-Advanced
After being dominated in their fifth consecutive defeat Thursday, the Threshers were handed their sixth straight loss Friday in much more dramatic fashion.
The Threshers coughed up a one-run lead during the bottom of the ninth after a two-run walk-off single lifted the Palm Beach Cardinals to a 4-3 win. The Threshers are now a dismal 12-48 on the season.
Clearwater held a 3-2 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth after staging a rally of their during the eighth and ninth frames. Trailing 2-0, the Threshers plated one run during the eighth and two more during the ninth for their first lead of the game.
In an effort to secure the win, the Threshers sent out Lee Ridenhour to get the final three outs. He got two, but coughed up the game-winning hit to send the Threshers to yet another loss.
Ridenhour’s blown save was his second of the season. He was also handed the loss, which was his first of the campaign. Ridenhour’s blown save also overshadowed a strong outing for starter Ethan Martin.
In seven innings on the mound, Martin allowed only two runs on seven hits and recorded five strikeouts.
The Threshers recorded nine hits, but four of them came from third baseman KC Serna. Serna also drove in a run and recorded two doubles. Right fielder Anthony Hewitt joined Serna in the multi-hit department, going 2-for-4.
Clearwater will try to avoid being swept by the Cardinals at 6:35 p.m. Saturday with Colin Kleven (1-7, 5.50 ERA) heading to the mound.
Lakewood BlueClaws – Class A
The BlueClaws used runs in three of the final four innings to take down the Delmarva Shorebirds, 7-3, Friday at Perdue Stadium in Salisbury, Md.
Lakewood entered the sixth inning trailing the Shorebirds 3-0, but managed to tie the game with three runs during the frame.
After a scoreless seventh, a bases-loaded walk allowed center fielder Carlos Tocci to cross the plate and give the BlueClaws their first lead of the game. The weren’t done yet, as they tacked on three insurance runs during the top of the ninth to defeat the Shorebirds for only the second time in 10 tries this season.
Tocci and right fielder Dylan Cozens led the BlueClaws in the hitting department, as they both recorded two. Cozens also drove in two runs where Tocci drove in one. Catcher Willians Astudillo also drove in two runs, which brought his team-leading total to 35. Cozens is second on the squad with 25.
Starting pitcher Mark Leiter posted a good outing as well, as he allowed three runs on seven hits during five innings on the mound. He also struck out six batters. Leiter did not garner the decision; however, as that went to Tyler Buckley after he tossed two scoreless innings. The win was Buckley’s first of the season.
It was the first save of the season for Yacksel Rios, who shut the door on Delmarva by allowing only one hit in two innings.
The BlueClaws and the Shorebirds will lock up once again at 6:35 p.m. Saturday. Jon Prosinski (1-0, 3.86 ERA) is scheduled to start for Lakewood.