Phillies Minor League Report: Reading Fightin' Phils win on walk-off wild pitch
Here's how the Phillies' minor-league teams fared on Thursday, Aug. 29:
Lehigh Valley IronPigs – Triple A
The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders used a hot start and a strong finish to defeat the IronPigs for the second night in a row, 9-2, at PNC Field in Moosic, Pa.
The RailRiders started white from the plate, as they put up four runs in the first inning.
Those runs came at the expense for Lehigh Valley starter Adam Morgan, who only pitched 1 1/3 inning Thursday. Morgan surrendered four runs on only four hits as the RailRiders hit three home runs during the first.
Morgan also walked three batters. He took the loss, which his record to 2-7 on the season.
Despite recording eight hits, the IronPigs were held off the scoreboard until the fifth inning when catcher Steven Lerud hit a single to center field that plated third baseman Michael Martinez, who singled earlier in the inning.
The IronPigs were able cut the lead down to two runs during the sixth thanks to a single from designated hitter Josh Fields that brought home right fielder Steve Susdorf, who recorded his 20th double of the season earlier in the frame.
While the IronPigs were slowly chipping away at their deficit, Jay Johnson and Mike Nesseth combined to throw 4 2/3 no-hit innings.
Mike MacDougal took over for Nesseth before the seventh, where he retired the RailRiders in order.
The eighth inning, however, was less than kind to MacDougal.
MacDougal allowed five runs only two hits during the frame. That was mainly due to him walking four batters where he walked a runner home twice. He also hit a batter.
MacDougal’s rough eighth inning put the game firmly out of reach for the IronPigs.
After MacDougal was pulled 2/3 of the way through the inning, Fields actually took the mound and recorded the final out.
Fields was one of three IronPigs to record multiple hits Thursday night as he went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Martinez (2-for-4) and Lerud (2-for-3) were the other two.
The IronPigs have two more chances to gain a victory over the RailRiders before the end of the regular season beginning at 7:05 p.m. Friday at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown.
Phillies prospect Tyler Cloyd (5-9, 4.89 ERA) is scheduled to start for Lehigh Valley.
Reading Fightin Phils – Double A
The Fightin Phils secured a series victory over the Richmond Flying Squirrels, 9-8, by virtue of a walk-off wild pitch at FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading.
The walk-off wild pitch capped off a late-game rally where the Fightin Phils overcame a two-run deficit during the eighth and ninth innings.
Heading into the bottom of the eighth, the Fightin Phils trailed the Flying Squirrels, 8-6. Thanks to singles from Jim Murphy (who started the game in left field), third baseman Matt Tolbert and catcher Sebastian Valle, the Fightin Phils were able to load the bases.
Shortstop Troy Hanzawa was then hit by a pitch, which allowed Murphy to cross the plate to make the score 8-7.
After a pitching change from Richmond, Kelly Dugan slapped a pinch-hit single to right field that plated Tolbert and tied the game up.
Austin Wright pitched the top of the ninth and kept Richmond off the scoreboard, setting up a dramatic finish.
In the bottom of the ninth, first baseman Maikel Franco and Murphy hit back-to-back singles that put runners on first and second.
Right fielder Anthony Hewitt then came to the plate and laid down a sacrifice bunt that moved Franco to second and Murphy to third.
With Tolbert in the batter’s box, a wild pitch was thrown that allowed Franco to race home for the game-winning run.
The wild affair featured a total of 27 hits with Reading accounting for 16 of them. Murphy put together a monster outing as he went 4-for-5 with a home run. His homer came during the fourth inning and was his 23rd of the season.
Franco also homered to go along with a 2-for-5 performance from the plate. The homer was his 16th since joining the Fightin Phils.
Hewitt posted an impressive night from the plate as well as he went 3-for4. Valle also joined the multi-hit ranks as he went 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Pitching was not a strong suit for Reading Thursday as starter Perci Garner gave up seven runs (six earned) on nine hits and walked four batters. He threw five innings and recorded only three strikeouts.
Wright earned the victory after keeping Richmond off the scoreboard during the ninth.
Thursday marked the end of the home schedule for the Fightin Phils in 2013 as they will finish the season with four games on the road against the New Britain Rock Cats.
The first game at Willow Brook Park in New Britain, Conn. is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Friday with Ryan Demmin (1-1, 3.29 ERA) taking the mound for the Fightin Phils.
Clearwater Threshers – Class A-Advanced
The Threshers’ offensive struggles continued Thursday as they were shut out for the third game in a row during an 8-0 loss to the Dunedin Blue Jays at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in Dunedin, Fla.
The Threshers have not scored a run since the ninth inning of a 3-2 win over the Tampa Yankees Tuesday. Their scoreless streak currently stands at 25 innings.
While the offense struggled once again, the pitching staff didn’t fare much better Thursday. Starter Hoby Milner gave up three runs on eight hits in five innings of work. He did record five strikeouts, however.
The Threshers recorded a mere six hits Thursday with four of them coming from right fielder Cameron Perkins and third baseman Harold Martinez. They both went 2-for-4.
The Threshers will try to finally score a run when they play the Blue Jays again at 6:30 p.m. Friday. Nic Hanson (0-1, 7.11 ERA) will make the start for the Threshers.
Lakewood BlueClaws – Class A
The BlueClaws were pounded by the Hagerstown Suns Thursday, 14-1, at Municipal Stadium in Hagerstown, Md.
The BlueClaws went into the bottom of the sixth down 2-1. They scored that run during the fourth when third baseman Willie Carmona hit an RBI-double to center field that plated the Phillies’ 2013 first-round pick J.P. Crawford.
Things completely fell apart for the BlueClaws beginning in the sixth inning.
Starting with Chris Nichols and ending three pitchers later with Josh Ludy, the BlueClaws pitching staff surrendered 12 runs over the course of the last three innings.
The Suns actually scored more and more as the game went on with two runs coming in the sixth, four runs in the seventh and six runs during the eighth.
The pitchers gave up eight hits and walked eight batters during the onslaught, including four from Lino Martinez.
Despite all of the damage being done to the bullpen, starter Jon Prosinski was still handed the loss the BlueClaws trailed when he left the game.
He walked four batters himself during his five innings of work to make it 12 walks overall for the Lakewood pitching staff.
The BlueClaws were just as bad offensively as they recorded only four hits and were fanned by Hagerstown pitchers 11 times.
Carmona had the best considering the circumstances, as he went 2-for-4 with the lone run batted in.
After losing two of three to the Suns, the BlueClaws return home for the final four games of the season against the Greensboro Grasshoppers.
The first game at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood Township, N.J. is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Friday. Mark Leiter (1-0, 0.00 ERA) is scheduled to start for Lakewood.
Williamsport Crosscutters – Class A-Short Season
The Crosscutters played part of one game and all of another as they split with the Batavia Muckdogs Thursday at Bowman Field in Williamsport.
The first game was picked up in the bottom of the sixth after it was suspended back on June 25. The Crosscutters dropped that game, 7-5, despite two homers from third baseman Zach Green.
Green hit a pair of two-run homers and drove in all five runs for the Crosscutters. But a blown save from relief pitcher Jonathan Musser took away the chances of Green’s big outing coming during a win.
Musser took the mound with a 5-3 advantage, but gave up three runs on six hits and was dealt his first blown save and loss in the process.
Green’s homers brought him to 13 on the season, which tied the franchise single-season record.
The Crosscutters were more fortunate during the second game as they held off the Muckdogs to secure a 6-5 win.
The Crosscutters used a four-run third inning to help them hold a 6-3 lead heading into the seventh and final inning.
Keivi Rojas allowed two runs, but hung on to record his second save of the season and a big win for the Crosscutters.
Williamsport only recorded six hits, but they came from six different batters and was just enough to earn the win.
Three of those six hits, however, went for extra bases. Three different batters drove in runs for the Crosscutters as well.
The Crosscutters will finish up their three-game set with the Muckdogs at 7:05 p.m. Friday. Williamsport’s starting pitcher has yet to be announced.