Chuck Hixson

Reading pounds Portland to move closer to a division title

The Reading Fightin Phils are in search of a second straight division title and moved closer with a 7-1 win over Portland Monday night at home. Meanwhile, for Lehigh Valley, the wild card race tightened up.

AAA - Buffalo [Blue Jays] 3, Lehigh Valley 2

WP: Casey Lawrence (5-5), LP: Nick Pivetta (0-2), SV: Ryan Tepera (18)

HR: Lehigh Valley - none; Buffalo - Andy Burns (8)

Hitting Recap: Cam Perkins led the IronPigs with two hits and scored their first two runs of the game. Perkins has his average up to .288 on the season, as he waits for a September call-up.

Pitching Recap: It was just one of those nights for Nick Pivetta, who lasted just 4 2/3 innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits and four walks. Pivetta did strike out five batters, but needed 91 pitches to make it through hit outing... The Lehigh Valley bullpen didn't allow a run over the final 3 1/3 innings, with Patrick SchusterDalier Hinojosa and Elvis Araujo all doing their jobs.

IronPigs Notes: Darin Ruf had a hit in four at-bats to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 15 games. The streak also ties Lehigh Valley's season-high hit streak, put together by Perkins earlier this season... Cody Asche was 0-for-4, but had a big night defensively in left field. Asche made a running catch that saved extra bases and at least one run and he also threw out a runner at the plate to cut down another run... Lehigh Valley's magic number to clinch the wild card remains at five, with Rochester beating Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Rochester and Lehigh Valley meet in the final five games of the season.

AA - Reading 7, Portland [Red Sox] 1

WP: Ricardo Pinto (6-6), LP: Kevin McAvoy (8-8), SV: none

HR: Portland - Jake Romanski (4); Reading -  none

Hitting Recap: Christian Marrero picked up two doubles and a single to drive in two runs and score a run to pace the Reading offense. Marrero has upped his average to .280 with Reading this season and could see more playing time with Andrew Pullin on the DL... Roman Quinn is also on the DL and his replacement, Aaron Brown went 0-for-3, but reached on an error and scored a run for the Fightins... Jorge Alfaro and K.C. Serna each had two hits for Reading.

Pitching Recap: Ricardo Pinto was dominating over seven innings of work, allowing three hits and walking just one batter, while striking out two. Pinto didn't allow any runs, and allowed just two runners to reach second base. Pinto got two double-play groundballs in his seven innings of work... Gregory Infante allowed one run in his one inning of work, but Joey DeNato was perfect in the ninth, striking out one batter.

Fightins Notes: All seven of Reading's runs came in the bottom of the second, when they grouped together three singles, two doubles, two hit batters and a walk. It's the fifth time this season that Reading has had a seven-run inning, and the second time that they've done it against Portland... Reading is now 85-49 on the season, giving them their highest win total since 2000... The Fightins magic number to clinch the division is down to six.

High-A - Clearwater 1, Brevard County [Brewers] 0 (suspended in 2nd inning)

Clearwater took a 1-0 lead over Brevard County with a run in the top of the second inning, but rain caused the game to be suspended and will be picked up on Tuesday. The Threshers are three games back of Dunedin for a playoff spot in the FSL.

Threshers Notes: Tommy Bergjans, who was acquired in the Carlos Ruiz trade, was officially added to the Clearwater  roster. Cord Sandberg and Shane Watson were both placed on the DL.

Low-A - Lakewood BlueClaws

Lakewood had Monday night off. They open a series at home against Kannapolis Tuesday night. The pitching match-up hasn't been announced. Lakewood's magic number to clinch a playoff spot is at five.

BlueClaws Notes: Left-hander Scott Harris was reassigned to Clearwater.

Short Season-A - Mahoning Valley [Cleveland] 6, Williamsport 5 (10)

WP: Michael Letkewicz (6-0), LP: Will Hibbs (3-4), SV: Ryan Perez (3)

HR: Mahoning Valley - Silento Sayles (2); Williamsport - David Martinelli (4)

Hitting Recap: Darick Hall had a big night at the plate, with three hits and a run scored, but it was David Martinelli who delivered the big blast with a three-run home run in the bottom of the fourth to make it a 4-3 game... Juan Luis had two hits, scored a run and drove in a run for Williamsport.

Pitching Recap: Bailey Falter struggled through three innings, walking three batters and allowing four hits that resulted in three runs, two earned. Falter struck out five in the game... Julian Garcia gave Williamsport 3 1/3 innings of relief work, allowing just one run and striking out six.

Crosscutters Notes: The game was a back-and-forth affair, with Williamsport falling behind 4-0, taking a 5-4 lead and then having Mahoning Valley tie the game in the eighth before winning it in the ninth... MV's Ryan Perez struck out the side in the tenth to get the save... Williamsport pitchers combined to strike out 15 batters in the game.

Rookie - GCL Phillies 6, GCL Yankees West 3

WP: Justin Miller (1-0), LP: Daniel Ramos (0-3), SV: Tyler Frohwirth (10)

HR: none

Hitting Recap: Jose Antequera had a big night, collecting three hits, two of which were doubles, to push his average over the .300-mark to .301 on the season. Antequera also drew a walk and scored two runs... Three other players - Daniel BritoMickey Moniak and Cole Stobbe - each had two hits as the GCL Phillies pounded out an 11 hit attack to move to 42-15 on the season.

Pitching Recap: The Phillies used five pitchers in the game. Starter Nick Fanti lasted four innings, giving up three hits and a walk that amounted to one run for the Yankees. Fanti struck out six in the game and has his ERA down to 1.57... Ironically, Justin Miller was the only other Phils pitcher to allow an earned run, but he got the win, his first of the season... Jhon Nunez allowed just an unearned run in 1 2/3 innings of work, while both Randy Alcantara and Tyler Frohwirth threw shutout innings.

Phils Notes: It was a throwing error on Nunez that led to the unearned run... Moniak swiped his 10th base of the season and Antequera stole his eighth, but left fielder Josh Stephen was picked off at second base and he also grounded into a double-play... The win puts the Phillies magic number at one to clinch a division title.

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