Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Phillies Minor League Report: Pitcher Ethan Martin strong for Clearwater

Ethan Martin. (Charlie Neibergall/AP)
Ethan Martin. (Charlie Neibergall/AP)

Lehigh Valley IronPigs – Triple A

A three-run sixth inning helped the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders down the IronPigs, 4-3, at PNC Field in Moosic, Pa. Saturday.

The IronPigs entered the frame up 2-1 with Sean O’Sullivan on the mound. To that point, O’Sullivan had only surrendered three hits.

He proceeded to allow four singles during the sixth alone. On top of the four hits, O’Sullivan was also charged with a throwing error. Only one of the four runs he allowed Saturday was earned. O’Sullivan’s breakdown during ended his night after 5 2/3. He was dealt his second loss of the season as a result.

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    Trailing 4-2, the IronPigs closed the gap during the eighth inning thanks to center fielder Tyson Gillies' first home run of the season.

    Despite Gillies’ help, the IronPigs were unable to get anything else going during the eighth or ninth.

    Gillies and left fielder Leandro Castro led the IronPigs from the plate, as they both finished 2-for-4. Castro also drove in a run, which occurred during the second inning. Second baseman Reid Brignac (1-for-3) accounted for Lehigh Valley’s only other RBI.

    The IronPigs will look to get the upper hand on the RailRiders when the teams meet at 1:05 p.m. Sunday. Lefty Cesaro Jiminez (0-0, 1.35 ERA) is scheduled to start for the IronPigs.

    Reading Fightin Phils – Double A

    The Fightin Phils were within striking distance heading into the ninth inning Saturday, but the Harrisburg Senators had other ideas and plated five runs to polish off a 10-3 win at FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading.

    The Fightin Phils entered the ninth down 5-3 and put Jay Johnson on the mound to keep things that way.

    However, things couldn’t have gone much worse for Johnson, as he gave up a single, a walk and a three-run homer in consecutive at-bats.

    After retiring the next two, Johnson hit a batter and allowed the second home run of the inning. He managed to end the inning after that, but the damage had already been done. Reading’s deficit proved to be too large.

    When the smoke cleared, Johnson allowed five runs on three hits. As a result, starter Severino Gonzalez (2-1) was handed the loss after he let up three runs on six hits in six innings of work. He also struck out five batters.

    Despite the large margin of defeat, the Fightin Phils jumped on top of the Senators during the first inning after plating two runs.

    Third baseman Carlos Alonso led off the inning with a walk. After shortstop Cesar Hernandez flied out to left field, center fielder Zach Collier and right fielder Cam Perkins hit back-to-back singles to put runners on second and third.

    Catcher Tommy Joseph drove in Alonso with a single of his own. Collier scored on a groundout by left fielder Brock Stassi.

    The Fightin Phils would go scoreless until the seventh inning when Perkins hit an RBI-single to center field.

    Reading recorded 10 hits despite the fact it plated a mere three runs. Hernandez, Collier and Joseph all finished 2-for-5 while Perkins finished 2-for-3.

    The problem wasn’t getting on base. It was driving those base runners home for runs. The Fightin Phils went 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11 base runners.

    They will have a little more time to recover from Saturday’s loss as they have the day off Sunday. They will return to the field at 6:35 p.m. Monday when they host the Richmond Flying Squirrels.

    Luis Paulino is currently scheduled to start for Reading.

    Clearwater Threshers – Class A-Advanced

    The Threshers fell to the Lakeland Flying Tigers in extra innings for the second night in a row Saturday, this time by a score of 4-2 in 11 innings at Bright House Field.

    The loss was Clearwater’s third in a row overall.

    Trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the ninth, center fielder Aaron Altherr singled to center field. He then advanced to second thanks to a wild pitch.

    Third baseman Harold Martinez grounded out, but it allowed Altherr to advance to third. Altherr was finally able to make his way to home plate thanks to an RBI-single from first baseman Art Charles.

    Designated hitter Willie Carmona followed Charles with another single to put runners on the corners. After Charles was substituted in favor of pinch runner KC Serna, catcher Logan Moore hit another single to right field that allowed Serna to cross the plate for the game-tying run. The Threshers recorded a mere five hits on the night with four coming during the ninth.

    Carmona was the Thresher to record multiple hits, going 2-for-5 from the plate, including a double.

    While the Threshers were struggling offensively, the pitching staff as a whole held its own. Starter Ethan Martin posted a strong outing of two runs (one earned) on five hits and seven strikeouts in seven innings.

    Daniel Child relieved Martin and tossed three scoreless innings, allowing three hits.

    The problems began when Chris Burgess entered the game in the 11th. Burgess gave up three singles to the first four batters. He gave up four overall and was saddled with the loss.

    The Threshers have the day off Sunday and will return to the field at 7 p.m. Monday when they host the Daytona Cubs. Jon Prosinski (0-2, 6.89 ERA) will take the mound for Clearwater.

    Lakewood BlueClaws – Class A

    The Hagerstown Suns completed a three-game sweep of the BlueClaws by a score of 11-6 Saturday at Municipal Stadium in Hagerstown, Md.

    The BlueClaws allowed 10 or more runs in each of the three losses, and were outscored by Hagerstown by a whopping 34-17 during the series. They have yet to beat the Suns in seven meetings so far this season.

    A major reason for the losses is the amount of errors Lakewood commits. The team committed nine during the three-game series, including six on Thursday.

    The Suns came right out of the gate, getting at least one runner on base in each of the first six innings.

    The BlueClaws attempted to keep up with Hagerstown, scoring four runs during the second inning and holding a 4-2 lead.

    However, that lead evaporated only a couple of innings later when the Suns scored four runs in one inning.

    The Suns did the bulk of their damage to Lakewood pitchers Shane Martin and Manny Martinez. Martin and Martinez surrendered a combined nine runs, 11 hits and walked a combined six batters. Martinez was handed the loss, which was his first of the year.

    From the plate, third baseman Zach Green, first baseman Willians Astudillo and second baseman Robinson Torres all finished the night 2-for-4. Left fielder Samuel Hiciano went 1-for-2, but drove in two runs.

    The BlueClaws get Sunday off before hosting the Charleston RiverDogs for a three-game series. Mark Leiter (2-1, 3.00 ERA) will take the mound for Lakewood.

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