Minor League Report - May 1, 2004

The Red Barons come from behind for a dramatic win that gives Geoff Geary a pretty easy night. At Reading, Mike Spiegel's struggles continue, while a top prospect starts to come around. The Clearwater Threshers have seen their pitching staff show major development, while at Lakewood, a couple new faces show up in BlueClaws uniforms.

AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre

Talk about an easy night. Geoff Geary (1-1, 4.05) came on to face one batter in the ninth, retired him and then sat back as the offense put up four runs to beat Ottawa 6-5 Friday night.

Jim Rushford delivered a bases clearing double to tie the game in the ninth and then scored on a game winning single from J.P. Roberge. Rushford's hit gave him a mini three-game hitting streak during which he has gone 5-11 (.455) for Scranton.

Seung Lee, out with a minor injury, pitched for the first time since April 18th when he notched his first save of the season. Lee didn't pitch well however, being charged with three earned runs in just 2/3 of an inning.

AA Reading Phillies

Mike Spiegel (0-3, 12.21) continues to struggle. After allowing nine earned runs in just 1 1/3 innings in his last outing, Spiegel was at least able to go 5 2/3 innings although he allowed five earned runs Friday night. In four starts, Spiegel has lasted just 14 innings and has allowed 24 hits while walking nine and striking out nine.

Ryan Howard continues to warm up, adding two hits Friday night, meaning that he is hitting .455 (5-11) over his last three games. One of Howard's hits drove in a run, although Reading came up on the short end of a 7-5 game against New Britain Friday night. Howard also hasn't struck out in his last two games, a small streak, but something that the Phillies are stressing to Howard that he needs to do.

A Clearwater Threshers

Clearwater's pitching staff has made great strides from the start of the season when they allowed 34 runs in their first three games. Friday night, the Threshers picked up a 2-1 win over Palm Beach. Nick Bourgeois (0-2, 2.22), Cary Hiles (1-1, 2.63) and Francisco Butto (2-1, 2.03) combined to allow eight hits and just one earned run. They also showed great control, issuing just one walk while striking out eight hitters. The team ERA now stands at 4.01 for the season.

Anderson Machado continued his rehab assignment, going 0-3. Machado also booted a play in the field for his first error.

A Lakewood BlueClaws

Lakewood got two new additions to their roster with the arrival of pitcher Nate Cabrera and infielder Randy Ruiz. Cabrera was the Phillies 16th round pick in last June's draft and pitched in the Gulf Coast League last season, going 0-1, 5.56 in five games, three of whick were starts. Cabrera made his Lakewood debut Friday night and threw two innings, giving up two hits, but no runs.

Ruiz was originally drafted by the Mets in the 36th round of the 1996 Draft, although he didn't sign with the Mets and wound up playing in the Reds organization after they took him in the '99 Draft. Ruiz played in the Orioles organization last season, spending time with their South Atlantic League team, the DelMarVa Shorebirds and moving to the High A Frederick Keys. In five minor league seasons, Ruiz has 56 homeruns, 283 RBI and is a .300 hitter. He has never played higher than High A ball and did not get into Friday night's 6-5 loss to Kannapolis.

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