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Minor-league week in review: Francisco Morales, Reading bullpen toss combined no-hitter

Reading’s Francisco Morales threw six innings in a combined no-hitter on Saturday. (Cheryl Pursell)

Four Double-A Reading Fightin Phils pitchers made history in the latest week of the minor-league season, throwing the second nine-inning no-hitter in team history.

Starter Francisco Morales and relievers Zach Warren, Kyle Dohy and Brian Marconi combined to no-hit the Erie SeaWolves on Saturday in a 3-0 victory at UPMC Park.

The Fightins won four of six games in Erie, bringing their record to 22-32; the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs lost four of six against the Buffalo Bisons to drop to 23-31; the High-A Jersey Shore BlueClaws lost four of six against Hudson Valley and are now 22-31; the Low-A Clearwater Threshers took four of six against St. Lucie to improve to 29-25; the Florida Complex League Phillies entered Monday with a record of 3-1.

Reading no-hits Erie

Reading surrendered no hits by the SeaWolves offense, allowing six baserunners on walks.

The 21-year-old Morales started the game for the Fightins. He struck out eight hitters while walking two in his longest outing in Class AA.

Warren replaced him in the seventh, getting the first two outs but walking three batters. Dohy entered with the bases loaded and secured the last out of the inning.

The left-hander stayed in for the eighth. He walked a batter with two outs, but got 2020 No. 1 overall pick Spencer Torkelson to fly out to end the inning.

Marconi threw a perfect ninth inning to earn the save and complete the no-hitter.

Howard returns to Lehigh Valley

Spencer Howard was sent down to Triple-A on Tuesday after struggling to go deep into games in the major-league rotation. He responded with his longest start of the season at any level in his return to Lehigh Valley.

Howard threw five innings for the first time all year on Saturday in a 4-0 IronPigs win. He gave up just one hit and two walks, and struck out five.

The 24-year-old showing he can pitch into the fifth inning or beyond would be a key in his development. He’s been able to do so at the minor-league level in the past, but the last two seasons have been a struggle for Howard as he’s dealt with injuries since cracking the majors.

Ortiz shows power for BlueClaws

Jhailyn Ortiz had another strong offensive display for Jersey Shore this past week, hitting five extra-base hits in six games.

He went 7-for-20 in the series, with eight runs scored and six RBIs. He doubled once and hit four home runs, homering twice on Friday. Ortiz also walked three times.

Ortiz has nine home runs and 28 RBIs in 52 games this season.

Threshers walk off on Independence Day

Clearwater won in walk-off fashion in its final game of the series on Sunday to beat the Mets 3-2. Catcher Juan Aparicio hit a sacrifice fly to take the victory.

Edgar Made and Baron Radcliff each hit solo home runs to give the Threshers their first two runs before Aparicio put the team ahead.

Farm Notes

  • 2019 fourth rounder Erik Miller made a rehab appearance in the FCL on Tuesday. The left-hander threw 2/3 of an inning, allowing a hit and walking two.
  • Fightins infielder Daniel Brito won Double-A Northeast player of the week after a 12-hit series with three doubles, three triples and a homer.
  • Chase Anderson (COVID IL) made two rehab starts for Lehigh Valley. On Wednesday, he threw two scoreless innings, and he threw three scoreless on Sunday.


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