Phillies Minor League Report: Reading, Clearwater cough up late-inning leads
Here's a rundown on how the Phillies' minor league teams fared on Wednesday, June 4:
Lehigh Valley IronPigs – Triple A
Despite taking an early lead, the IronPigs were dealt their fifth loss in six games after a falling to the Louisville Bats, 4-2, at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown.
An RBI-single from shortstop Ronny Cedeno during the second inning and second baseman Tyler Henson’s third home run of the season during the third were the only runs the IronPigs could muster Wednesday.
From there, the IronPigs were blanked despite recording 10 hits. Cedeno (2-for-3), Henson (2-for-5) and right fielder Steve Susdorf (2-for-3) led the way for the IronPigs offensively.
The IronPigs as a team, however, left 11 runners on base and went 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
Starting pitcher Greg Smith posted a solid outing, allowing three runs on nine hits during his six innings on the mound. Smith took the loss, which dropped his record to 4-4 on the season.
Reliever Seth Rosin managed to keep the deficit to one run with two scoreless innings, but Ken Giles allowed a run during the ninth inning, which put the game a little too far out reach for the IronPigs.
Lehigh Valley will try to end its recent slump when it hosts the Bats again at 7:05 p.m. Thursday. Barry Enright (3-3, 4.36 ERA) is scheduled to start for the IronPigs.
Reading Fightin Phils – Double A
The Fightin Phils’ lead disintegrated due to a furious rally from the Harrisburg Senators, and it cost them a 5-4 decision Wednesday at Metro Bank Park in Harrisburg.
The Fightin Phils held a 4-0 lead at before the bottom of the third inning thanks to RBI hits from right fielder Peter Lavin, first baseman Brock Stassi, third baseman Anthony Phillips and center fielder Aaron Altherr.
After scoring two runs during the bottom of the third, the Senators plated a run in each of the final three innings to send the Fightin Phils to their fifth loss in six games.
Harrisburg’s rally came at the expense of pitcher Colton Murray, who allowed the game-tying and game-winning runs. Murray was dealt his blown save and first loss of the season as a result.
Starter Perci Garner received a no decision after tossing six innings where he surrendered three runs on eight hits. He also recorded eight strikeouts.
Offensively, the Fightin Phils recorded 11 hits with Lavin (2-for-5) and Phillips (2-for-4) leading the way. A major blemish was that the Fightin Phils struck out 12 times, nine of which came from Harrisburg starter Omar Poveda.
The Fightin Phils will try to get out of their current rut in the series finale against the Senators at 7 p.m. Thursday. Left-hander Adam Loewen will take the mound for Reading.
Clearwater Threshers – Class A-Advanced
The Fightin Phils weren’t the only team to cough up a late lead Wednesday.
The Threshers allowed three runs in the bottom of the ninth on their way to a 4-3 loss to the Palm Beach Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla.
Heading into the bottom of the ninth, the Threshers held a 3-1 lead with Jordan Guth on the mound to secure the victory.
After gaining the first two outs, Guth gave up three hits, tossed a wild pitch and was the victim of a passed ball en route to the Threshers dropping their fourth consecutive game.
Guth’s third blown save of the season overshadowed a strong start from Ryan Demmin. In seven innings on the mound, Demmin allowed only one run on six hits and recorded five strikeouts.
What was also overshadowed was a great offensive game from first baseman Art Charles, who finished 3-for-4 from the plate with two doubles. Behind Charles was center fielder Brian Pointer, second baseman Angelo Mora (both 2-for-4) and left fielder Brandon Short (2-for-5).
The Threshers will square off against the Cardinals at 6:35 p.m. Thursday. Lefty Ethan Stewart (2-6, 4.91 ERA) will get the start for Clearwater.
Lakewood BlueClaws – Class A
The BlueClaws split a doubleheader with the Greensboro Grasshoppers Wednesday at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood Township, N.J.
The BlueClaws dropped the first game, 1-0, but managed to take the second with a shutout of their own, 2-0.
Lakewood was shut down in the first game by Greensboro pitcher Ryan Newell, who tossed a complete game shutout by allowing only four hits and one walk.
The BlueClaws held the Grasshoppers off the scoreboard as well, but gave up the game’s only run during the sixth inning.
During the second game, the BlueClaws used strong pitching performances from Julio Reyes and Ulises Joaquin to blank the Grasshoppers.
Reyes pitched five innings where he gave up five hits and recorded two strikeouts. Joaquin threw the final two innings and allowed merely one hit. Reyes picked up his first win of the season while Joaquin recorded his second save.
Catcher Willians Astudillo was responsible for Lakewood’s first run during the first inning after an RBI-single. The run was the 33rd he drove in this season. Third baseman Mitch Walding was responsible for the other via a sacrifice fly during the sixth. It was his 13th RBI of the season.
After splitting four games with the Grasshoppers, the BlueClaws will begin a four-game set with the Delmarva Shorebirds at Perdue Stadium in Salisbury, Md. Game 1 starts at 7:05 p.m. Friday. Lakewood’s starter has yet to be determined.