Photo by Cheryl Pursell

Sunday turned out to be a pretty good day for Phillies minor league affiliates, as the season enters its final week

Labor Day, which marks the end of the minor league regular season, is just a week away. Reading has already clinched a playoff spot and Lehigh Valley and Lakewood moved closer to spots with wins on Sunday.

AAA - Lehigh Valley 5, Buffalo [Blue Jays] 2

WP: Ben Lively (10-5), LP: Mike Bolsinger (1-4), SV: Luis Garcia (11)

HR: none

The IronPigs reduced their magic number to clinch the wild card to five on Sunday with a win over Buffalo. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre has clinched a playoff spot with a win over Rochester, the team trailing Lehigh Valley for the wild card. Scranton's magic number to clinch the division stands at five.

Hitting Recap: Darin Ruf extended his hitting streak to 14 games with an RBI single. During the stretch, Ruf is batting .400 (22-for-55) with five home runs and 14 RBI... Taylor Featherston had three hits, including two doubles to drive in a run out of the leadoff spot. Featherston is now batting .262 on the season with Lehigh Valley... Brock Stassi also singled and doubled, driving in a run and scoring a run for Lehigh Valley.

Pitching Recap: Ben Lively continued to dominate hitters, but was limited to five innings as the Phillies implement innings restrictions on young pitchers late in the season. Lively is 10-5 with Lehigh Valley and went 7-0 with Reading to open the year, giving him a minor league leading 17 wins on the season. His combined ERA sits at 2.79... Luis Garcia came on to record a five-out save after the bullpen threatened to blow a 5-1 lead. Garcia got the five outs without allowing a baserunner and only needed 16 pitches to do so, 13 of which were strikes.

IronPigs Notes: Nick Williams sat out Sunday's game after being hit by a pitch in Saturday's 12-2 win over Buffalo. Williams was reportedly held out for precautionary reasons and might return to the lineup Monday... The four-game set concludes on Monday with Nick Pivetta (0-1, 2.40), still looking for his first Triple-A win, going against right-hander Casey Lawrence (4-5, 3.95).

AA - Reading 7, New Hampshire [Blue Jays] 6

WP: Jesen Therrien (1-0), LP: John Stilson (4-1), SV: Miguel Nunez (17)

HR: New Hampshire - Rowdy Tellez (19), Emilio Guerrero (4); Reading - Jake Fox 2 (22)

Hitting Recap: Jake Fox hit home runs number 21 and 22 for Reading in Sunday's win. Fox also had a single, drove in three runs and scored three runs. It was the third time this season that Fox has hit two home runs in a game... Scott Kingery also had three hits and scored a run, upping his average to .270 since joining Reading on July 25.

Pitching Recap: Mark Leiter retired 19 of the first 21 batters that he faced, with two walks being the only blemish on his record. Things fell apart in the seventh though when Leiter gave up a solo home run to Rowdy Tellez and then back-to-back singles, hastening his exit from the game... Jesen Therrien didn't have the strongest of outings - 1 2/3 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR - but was able to record his first win of the season... Miguel Nunez also struggled in the ninth, giving up two earned runs on two hits and a hit-batter, but notched his 17th save of the season for the Fightins. Nunez stranded the tying run on third when he struck out Roemon Fields to end the game.

Fightins Notes: Roman Quinn (concussion) and Andrew Pullin (elbow strain) were placed on the DL Sunday. It's the second trip to the DL this season for both players... Aaron Brown was reassigned from Clearwater to fill one spot and catcher Jorge Alfaro was officially re-added to the roster after being optioned out from the Phillies following a short and uneventful first trip to the majors... Reading and Trenton have both qualified for the playoffs and will face each other in the first round of the playoffs. Reading is 7-4 against the Thunder this season, and their magic number to clinch first place stands at eight.

High-A - Clearwater 6, Daytona [Reds] 5

WP: Ulises Joaquin (3-2), LP: Jimmy Herget (4-4), SV: none

HR: Clearwater - Kyle Martin (19), Jiandido Tromp (9); Daytona - none

Hitting Recap: Drew Stankiewicz was the only Threshers player with multiple hits, picking up two singles and scoring a run... Kyle Martin has 19 home runs on the season, good enough for fourth in the FSL

Pitching Recap: Jeff Singer and Ulises Joaquin were the only two pitchers out of six who took the mound for Clearwater on Sunday, to come away unscathed. Singer threw 4 2/3 innings of shutout relief and Joaquin gave his team 1 1/3 innings of shutout ball. Drew AndersonYacksel RiosTom Windle and Matt Hockenberry combined for three innings of relief, allowing four hits and five walks that resulted in five runs, four of which were earned.

Threshers Notes: In addition to being fourth in the league in home runs, Martin is also fourth in runs scored (68), fourth in total bases (185) and fifth in extra-base hits (41)... Clearwater is tied for second with Daytona in the North Division, two games behind Dunedin. The D-Jays magic number to clinch the division stands at six. Clearwater and Dunedin meet in Dunedin on Thursday before playing two games at Clearwater and then finishing up the regular season next Sunday back in Dunedin... Cord Sandberg was activated from the DL to take Brown's spot on the roster.

Low-A - Lakewood 4, West Virginia [Pirates] 3 (13)

WP: Ismael Cabrera (2-1), LP: Seth McGarry (4-3), SV: Scott Harris (1)

HR: Lakewood - none; West Virginia - Logan Hill (9)

Hitting Recap: Damek Tomscha came through with an RBI single in the top of the 13th inning to lead the BlueClaws to a 4-3 win and reduce their magic number to five games. Tomscha finished with three hits and three RBI, two of his RBI came in the first inning and he waited until the 13th to notch the third. One of Tomscha's hits was a double, his 31st of the season... Cornelius Randolph continued his late-season surge with two hits, giving him hits in eight of his last nine games and putting his average over that stretch up to .358 (14-for-39), upping his average to .284.. He has also picked up nine of his 26 RBI over the last nine games.

Pitching Recap: Jose Taveras gave Lakewood seven strong innings, allowing six hits and two walks that resulted in two earned runs. Taveras struck out seven hitters in the game and has his season ERA down to 3.43... Blake QuinnIsmael Cabrera and Scott Harris combined to give the 'Claws six innings of relief, allowing just one earned run on three hits and three walks. Harris recorded his first save of the season.

BlueClaws Notes: Lakewood has won 10 of their last 11 games, including putting together a franchise record nine game win streak... Monday is an off-day for the 'Claws, who return home for a Tuesday night match-up against Kannapolis. Harold Arauz (4-6) gets the start for Lakewood... The magic number to clinch the division and face Hagerstown in the first round of the playoffs is down to five.

Short Season-A - Brooklyn [Mets] 2, Williamsport 1

WP: Merandy Gonzalez (5-3), LP: Ranger Suarez (5-4), SV: Joseph Zanghi (8) 

HR: none

Hitting Recap: Lucas Williams had two hits and scored a run for Williamsport, pushing his average above the Mendoza-line to .201 on the season... Luis Encarnacion made things interesting in the bottom of the ninth with a two-out double, but Zanghi was able to strike out Chandler Hall to end the game.

Pitching Recap: Ranger Suarez pitched well, but just didn't have any offense to back up his effort. Suarez gave up five hits and one walk over 6 1/3 innings, while he struck out six, allowing two earned runs... Carlos Indriago gave up two walks and a hit to the first three batters that he faced in the seventh, allowing two inherited runners to score... Jake Kelzer gave the Crosscutters a chance, with two perfect innings to close out the game. Kelzer struck out four of the six batters that he faced.

Crosscutters Notes: Williamsport remains five games back in the wild card race, with eight games to play. Staten Island [Yankees] leads the wild card standings, with Connecticut [Detroit] 1 1/2 games out and Mahoning Valley [Indians] and Williamsport both five out. Brooklyn [Mets] is now 5 1/2 games off the pace. The Crosscutters host Mahoning Valley each of the next three nights.

Rookie - GCL Phillies

The GCL Phillies were off on Sunday. They play the Yankees West on Monday and Tuesday and then finish with two games against the Blue Jays on Wednesday and Thursday. At 41-15, the Phillies have the best record in the GCL and have a magic number of two to clinch the Northwest Division, beating out the Blue Jays for the top spot.

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