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Phillies Minor League Report: Pitcher Greg Smith strong during Lehigh Valley win

Here's a rundown on how the Phillies' minor league teams fared on Thursday, April 17:

Lehigh Valley IronPigs – Triple A

The IronPigs split a doubleheader Thursday by shutting down the Syracuse Chiefs, 4-0, only to be blanked in Game 2, 3-0, at NBT Bank Stadium in Syracuse, N.Y.

In Game 1, the IronPigs were led by pitcher Greg Smith, whom tossed seven shutout innings, struck out six batters and allowed a mere four hits. Smith's efforts earned his first win of the season. The shutout was the first by a Lehigh Valley pitcher since Jonathan Pettibone back on Aug. 21, 2012.

Offensively, the IronPigs only recorded six hits, four of which came off the bats of second baseman Reid Bignac and catcher Koyie Hill (both went 2-for-3).

Brignac's first hit came during the top of the second when he hit his second home run of the season to notch the game's first run.

The IronPigs plated their second run during the fifth after shortstop Ronny Cedeno grounded into a force out, which allowed Hill to safely cross the plate.

The IronPigs put the final touches on the win during the seventh with two more runs. Lehigh Valley started the frame with three consecutive hits from first baseman Jim Murphy, Brignac and Hill. Brignac's hit allowed Murphy to cross the plate and make the score 3-0.

Right fielder Steve Susdorf followed Hill by hitting a sacrifice fly to center field that allowed Brignac step on home plate for the game's final run.

The second game was a different story for Lehigh Valley, as it couldn't get anything going from the plate. The IronPigs recorded only two hits and struck out a combined eight times.

Syracuse pitcher Aaron Laffey was behind six of those strikeouts, as he threw five innings and gave up Lehigh Valley's only two hits.

Lehigh Valley starter Brad Lincoln posted a good outing, letting up one run and one hit in four innings of work.

Justin De Fratus and Shawn Camp followed Lincoln on the mound and gave up three hits apiece, but surrendered only one run apiece. The IronPigs let up a run in each of the final three innings.

Despite a strong performance from the pitching staff, the IronPigs' lack of offense proved too costly. Lehigh Valley's only two hits came from center fielder Clete Thomas and right fielder Tyler Henson.

The IronPigs will continue their road trip Friday when they travel to PNC Field in Moosic, Pa. to take on the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders at 7:05 p.m.

Barry Enright (0-1, 6.52 ERA) will begin the four-game set on the mound for the IronPigs.

Reading Fightin Phils – Double A

The Fightin Phils enjoyed a day off Thursday, but will be back on the field at 7:05 p.m. Friday when they host the Harrisburg Senators at FirstEnergy Bank Stadium in Reading.

Lefty Jesse Biddle (0-2, 5.02 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Fightin Phils.

Clearwater Threshers – Class A-Advanced

The Threshers saw their brief win streak come to an end at the hands of the Lakeland Flying Tigers, 2-1, after some bullpen woes late in the game.

Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels put on a strong performance Thursday, allowing only one run on three hits in seven innings of work.

Hamels left the game with score tied at 1. Lino Martinez followed Hamels, struck out Lakeland first baseman James Robbins, but walked the next two batters he saw. He managed to escape the inning by forcing Lakeland second baseman Tyler Hanover into a double play.

In the top of the ninth, Martinez walked the first two batters of the frame and was yanked in favor of Chris Burgess. Martinez was dealt the loss.

Burgess let up a force out at second, but still had runners on the corners. Burgess then walked Lakeland designated hitter Jeff Holm to load the bases. During the next at-bat, Burgess threw a wild pitch that allowed Lakeland left fielder Chad Wright to score the eventual game-winning run. The Threshers went down in order in the bottom of the ninth.

The Threshers lost the game despite allowing only three hits to the Flying Tigers. The Threshers recorded only six with coming from shortstop Angelo Mora (2-for-3).

Clearwater will continue its three-game set against Lakeland at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Bright House Field. Colin Klevin (0-3, 8.80 ERA) will take the mound for the Threshers.

Lakewood BlueClaws – Class A

A number of defensive mishaps led to the BlueClaws being dismantled by the Hagerstown Suns, 13-3, at Municipal Stadium in Hagerstown, Md.

The BlueClaws committed an alarming six errors Thursday, which helped the Suns score 12 of their 13 runs during the first five innings. Of the 13 runs the Suns plated, only seven of them were earned.

Seven of the 13 runs also came at the expense of Lakewood starter Alejandro Arteaga, whom only lasted two innings. Not much changed after Arteaga left the game as the Suns tallied runs against every Lakewood pitcher Thursday.

Jesen Therrien relieved Arteaga and proceeded to allow three runs during the third inning. After he was pulled, Keivi Rojas threw the next three where he let up two more runs. Yacksel Rios then pitched the final two innings and was responsible for only one.

Despite the porous defense, the BlueClaws posted a productive night from the plate with 10 hits. Center fielder Carlos Tocci led the way, as he went 3-for-5. Willians Astudillo wasn't far behind, as he went 2-for-4. G

The BlueClaws' main problem was driving runners home. The BlueClaws went 3-for-9 with runners in scoring position, but left 11 runners stranded.

Catcher Gabriel Lino and third baseman Zach Green recorded the both of the BlueClaws' RBIs on the day. The RBIs were Lino's fourth and Green's third.

Lakewood will look to recover from Thursday's beating it plays the second of three contest against Hagerstown at 6:35 p.m. Friday. Ranfi Casimiro (0-1, 8.59 ERA) will take the mound for Lakewood.

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