Minor League Report - April 19, 2004

Two wins and two losses Sunday as Scranton and Lakewood picked up wins while Reading and Clearwater came up short. Perhaps the biggest news of the day came from Scranton where a tired pitching staff got a little rest thanks to Clay Condrey and Seung Lee.

AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre Red Barons: After playing a 15 inning marathon on Saturday, Barons' manager Marc Bombard was looking for a nice, long outing from his starter on Sunday. Clay Condrey (1-0, 2.70) did what he could to help his manager and reliever Seung Lee picked up where Condrey left off.

Condrey, who came over from the Padres just before the start of the season, went six innings, allowing five hits and walking just one. The Red Wings, who came into the series with a five-game winning streak, were able to touch Condrey for just one earned run. For his part, Lee threw three shutout innings in the Red Barons 6-1 win. Lee allowed just two hits and didn't walk a batter, lowering his ERA to 1.93 on the season and recording his first save of the season.

Chase Utley hit his third homerun of the season and also tripled and drove in three runs for Scranton. Utley, who was admittedly a little upset at being sent back to Scranton, started slowly but has been hot of late and has raised his average to .289.

AA Reading Phillies: Ryan Howard is only hitting .205 in the early going, but his power has come out to show itself. Howard ripped homerun number three Sunday in the R-Phils 3-1 loss to Akron. Howard appears to be settling in a little more after making the move from High A to AA for the 2004 season.

Reading got more impressive work from their bullpen. Brian Sanches and Spike Lundberg combined to throw four innings and allowed just one earned run on two hits and one walk. Both have earned run averages under 2.00 with Sanches at 1.13 and Lundberg at 1.69 on the year. Mike Spiegel put together a decent outing in his second start of the year. Spiegel lasted five innings, allowing two earned runs. It was a marked improvement from Spiegel's first outing when he was tagged for three earned runs in two innings of work. Spiegel lowered his season ERA to 6.43 for Reading.

A Clearwater Threshers: Young Ryan Hutchison is officially struggling. Through his first five relief appearances, Hutchison had a 5.14 ERA in 7 innings of work. Sunday, it got a little worse. Hutchison was dumped on for two earned runs in 1.2 innings of work. Now, his ERA stands at 6.23. The Phillies believe that Hutchison has a lot of potential, but he has been a little too inconsistent for their tastes. The Phillies though have become a patient organization and figure that Hutchison may just take a little more time to develop. Hutchison (1-1) took the loss in Sunday's game against Ft.Myers.

Elizardo Ramirez struggled Sunday, too. Ramirez threw 6.1 innings and allowed four earned runs.

A Lakewood BlueClaws: This is what the Phillies figure to see a lot more of from Erick Arteaga. The young right-hander came into Sunday with a 9.00 ERA, but you wouldn't know it by how he pitched against Hickory. Arteaga threw six shutout innings and allowed just four hits and one walk. He didn't strike out any hitters, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. One of the concerns about Arteaga has been that he was trying to strike out every hitter. Sunday, he let his fielders help him and Lakewood wound up with a 6-1 win. Dan Hodges threw two more shutout innings to bring his season total to five innings without allowing an earned run. Justin Libey didn't fare nearly as well, but actually, still lowered his ERA. Libey allowed a run in his one inning of work, but since he came into the game with a 13.50 ERA, his average dropped by nearly one run to 12.60.

If Hickory did anything right, it was that they kept Javon Moran and Michael Bourn off the bases for most of the afternoon. Moran went 0-5 and struck out four times. Bourn was 1-3 with a walk and he also scored a run. Marc Tugwell provided the offense, going 3-4.

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