Here's a rundown on how the Phillies' minor league teams fared on Wednesday, April 16:
Lehigh Valley IronPigs – Triple A
The IronPigs faltered late and fell to the Syracuse Chiefs, 6-5, at NBT Bank Stadium in Syracuse, N.Y.
Lehigh Valley surged out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first. With one out, left fielder Tyler Henson doubled and third baseman Maikel Franco singled to start the threat. After a pop out, right fielder Leandro Castro walked to load the bases. The IronPigs made the most their opportunity with four straight singles from shortstop Reid Brignac (two RBI), catcher Koyie Hill (one RBI), second baseman Ronny Cedeno (one RBI) and starting pitcher David Buchanan.
The Chiefs answered in the bottom of the first with two runs off Buchanan, who gave up three runs on six hits and five walks while striking out two over five innings. He did not factor in the decision.
First baseman Jim Murphy provided an insurance run in the seventh with a two-out solo home run, his first of the season.
Unfortunately, the bullpen couldn't secure the win. Leading 5-3 in the bottom of the seventh, righty Phillippe Aumont gave up the lead by allowing two runs across the plate on a hit and two walks in 2/3 of an inning. Lefty Jeremy Horst allowed the winning run to score in the eighth with another hit and two walks to take the loss.
Franco had his first multi-hit game of the year, going 2-for-4 with a run scored and a walk. He's now batting .133 (6-for-45) on the season.
The loss dropped the IronPigs to 4-8 on the season. The teams will play a doubleheader Thursday to wrap up the series. Southpaw Greg Smith (0-0, 5.79 ERA) will take the ball in Game 1 and righty Brad Lincoln (1-0, 0.00 ERA) starts Game 2.
Reading Fightin Phils – Double A
The Fightin Phils couldn't get much going offensively and lost to the Richmond Flying Squirrels, 4-1, at The Diamond in Richmond, Va.
Reading was held to five hits by Richmond starting pitcher Ty Blach and the bullpen pitched 4 1/3 no-hit innings to close out the win.
Trailing 1-0 in the fifth, the Fightin Phils grouped three hits to tie the game. Shortstop Edgar Duran reached on a leadoff single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on third baseman Cesar Hernandez's RBI single.
Hernandez reached base three times and was the only Reading hitter to do so multiple times. He went 1-for-2 with an RBI and two walks.
Right-handed starter Perci Garner allowed a run on a hit and two walks over four innings for the Fightin Phils.
Righty Ken Giles' scoreless streak was snapped as he worked the eighth inning, however the run was unearned due to an error. He walked one and struck out two.
The Fightin Phils fell to 8-4 on the season. Reading will have an off day on Thursday before beginning a quick two-game series with the Harrisburg Senators on Friday.
Clearwater Threshers – Class A-Advanced
The Threshers won back-to-back games for the first time this season by beating the Tampa Yankees, 4-1, at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla.
A pair of two-baggers in the second gave Threshers an early 1-0 lead. Third baseman Harold Martinez doubled to lead off the inning and scored three batters later on catcher Logan Moore's double.
Right-handed starter Miguel Nunez (1-1, 3.00 ERA) quieted the Yankees' bats for most of the game, but Dante Bichette Jr. belted a mistake over the wall in left field to tie the game in the fourth inning. It was the only run Nunez would allow as he struck out six over seven innings. He allowed six hits.
Nunez left with the score tied, but three timely runs in the top of the eighth gave him the win. A walk and an error put two runners on base ahead of center fielder Aaron Altherr's two-RBI triple for a 3-1 lead. Martinez followed with an RBI single.
The win lifted the Threshers to 3-10 on the season. Clearwater will now host the Lakeland Flying Tigers for a three-game series beginning Thursday. Phillies lefty Cole Hamels (0-1, 2.70 ERA) is expected to continue his rehab and make the start.
Lakewood BlueClaws – Class A
The BlueClaws held off the Greensboro Grasshoppers, 3-2, at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood, N.J.
Right-handed starter Tyler Viza (1-2, 3.71 ERA) delivered seven shutout innings to earn the victory. He allowed only six hits and struck out three.
The game was scoreless until the fifth inning when left fielder Larry Greene hit a leadoff single and first baseman Willians Astudillo doubled to put two runners in scoring position. With two outs, center fielder Carlos Tocci came through with a two-run single for a 2-0 lead.
Catcher Gabriel Lino would provided a much-needed insurance run on a solo home run in the seventh.
Relievers Manny Martinez, Tyler Buckley and Cody Forsythe combined to surrender two runs in the ninth, but brought home the win.
Astudillo (3-for-3 with a double and a run scored) and third baseman Zach Green (2-for-3 with a walk) accounted for half of Lakewood's hits.
The BlueClaws improved to 4-8. Lakewood hits the road to begin a three-game set with the Hagerstown Suns on Thursday. Righty Alejandro Arteaga (1-1, 4.91 ERA) takes the hill for the opener.