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D-backs-Phils only on Facebook today

Both clubs are off to strong starts in 2018
MLB.com

This week, MLB offers fans another unique viewing experience with the continuation of its digital-only broadcasts. Today's D-backs-Phillies matchup will air live in the United States exclusively on Facebook. The finale to the four-game series at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia is one of 25 streaming broadcasts scheduled for 2018 as part of MLB's partnership with Facebook this season.

Fans can catch the 1:05 p.m. ET contest by logging onto Facebook's MLB live page from their phones, tablets, smart TVs or other streaming devices. MLB Network will produce the game, with play-by-play announcer Scott Braun, analysts Ben Davis and Eric Byrnes -- who played for the D-backs from 2006-09 -- and in-game reporter Alexa Datt.

This week, MLB offers fans another unique viewing experience with the continuation of its digital-only broadcasts. Today's D-backs-Phillies matchup will air live in the United States exclusively on Facebook. The finale to the four-game series at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia is one of 25 streaming broadcasts scheduled for 2018 as part of MLB's partnership with Facebook this season.

Fans can catch the 1:05 p.m. ET contest by logging onto Facebook's MLB live page from their phones, tablets, smart TVs or other streaming devices. MLB Network will produce the game, with play-by-play announcer Scott Braun, analysts Ben Davis and Eric Byrnes -- who played for the D-backs from 2006-09 -- and in-game reporter Alexa Datt.

How to watch on mobile and desktop

1. Search for "MLB Live" on Facebook

2. Follow the "MLB Live" show page

3. Download the Facebook video app on your TV or streaming device and search for "MLB Live"

4. Or stream the game from your phone to a TV on the same WiFi network by tapping the TV icon.

Upcoming Facebook games (all times ET)
• Thursday, April 26: ARI-PHI, 1:05 p.m.
• Thursday, May 3: LAD-ARI, 3:40 p.m.
• Thursday, May 10: SF-PHI, 1:05 p.m.
• Wednesday, May 16: TEX-SEA, 3:40 p.m.
• Thursday, May 24: LAA-TOR, 12:37 p.m.
• Wednesday, May 30: STL-MIL, 1:10 p.m.

Video: MLB Central breaks down the Phillies' great start

What to know about the D-backs-Phillies game

Both the Phillies and D-backs are off to strong starts in 2018. Arizona began the week having won each of its first seven series this season, while the Phillies entered the series against the D-backs with a 9-1 record at home.

Right-hander Ben Lively will start for the Phillies, coming off his best start of the young campaign. Lively held the Pirates to five hits and one run in six innings on Friday.

"I was a lot more controlled," Lively said. "I got texts all week. Even my grandpa [Jim] said, 'Hey, you're rushing.' So I was like, 'OK, I'm going to go slow.'"

Video: SD@ARI: Koch tosses six innings of one-run ball

For Arizona, righty Matt Koch will toe the rubber. He was called up from Triple-A Reno last week to start in place of Taijuan Walker (Tommy John surgery), and pitched well enough to keep the job for at least one more outing. Koch held the Padres to just two hits and one run over six innings Friday.

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Philadelphia Phillies

Arrieta defeats Greinke in Cy Young showdown

MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA -- Jake Arrieta promised in March that the Phillies would put up a fight.

He fought on Wednesday night in a 5-3 victory over the D-backs at Citizens Bank Park.

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PHILADELPHIA -- Jake Arrieta promised in March that the Phillies would put up a fight.

He fought on Wednesday night in a 5-3 victory over the D-backs at Citizens Bank Park.

View Full Game Coverage

He battled Arizona ace Zack Greinke in a matchup between former Cy Young Award winners. He navigated through three errors and his own command issues. But Arrieta competed and kept the score close, setting up Aaron Altherr's game-winning three-run home run in the sixth inning. Arrieta threw a season-high 107 pitches, more than any Phillies starter has thrown this season, putting Philadelphia in position to win a series on Thursday against the team with the best record in the National League, in a game that will stream exclusively on Facebook Live.

"Any time you beat him, it's a good night," Arrieta said.

It's not the first time Arrieta has topped Greinke, either. Arrieta edged Greinke for the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, too. He went 22-6 with a 1.77 ERA as a member the Cubs. Greinke went 19-3 with a 1.66 ERA with the Dodgers. Neither had their best stuff on Wednesday with their new clubs, but both competed.

"It was a grind," Arrieta said.

Paul Goldschmidt reached base on Maikel Franco's throwing error to start the fourth inning. Two batters later, Arrieta walked Daniel Descalso to load the bases with no outs. Arrieta then walked Chris Owings to score the tying run.

Arrieta heard a few boos.

"Yeah, I mean, who likes a bases-loaded walk?" he said. "I would have booed it, too."

Arrieta allowed his second unearned run in the sixth, when J.P. Crawford's throwing error again put Goldschmidt on base to start the inning. Andrew Knapp's throwing error on a stolen-base attempt got Goldschmidt to third. Goldschmidt scored on Descalso's sacrifice fly to hand Arizona a 3-2 lead.

"That's going to happen," Arrieta said. "Trying to instill in the guys on this team that regardless of whether or not they make an error in a big situation or a blowout game, it's part of the job description of a starting pitcher to pick those guys up and tell them after the fact, 'Hey, I've got you.'"

Carlos Santana doubled and Odubel Herrera walked to put runners on first and second with one out in the sixth when Altherr stepped to the plate. Greinke threw Altherr a 1-1 slider for a ball. He followed with another slider.

Altherr crushed the 2-1 pitch. The ball sailed over the fence in center field to hand the Phillies a 5-3 lead. After a terribly slow start, Altherr has six hits and one walk in his last 12 plate appearances.

"It was not perfectly away, and it was too high," Greinke said about the pitch. "It wasn't very good, and he took a really good swing on it."

Arrieta returned to pitch a perfect seventh.

"I thought he was good and bad in spurts," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "I know he lost command there, but in typical Jake Arrieta fashion, he made pitches when he had to. When his back is against the wall, he gets a little bit tougher, a little bit sharper. He goes out there in his final inning at 90-some-odd pitches and throws a really quick, easy inning when his team needed him the most. It just speaks volumes about him and the stuff he has."

Video: ARI@PHI: Arrieta gives up one earned in seven innings

Said Phillies manager Gabe Kapler: "That's one thing we lean on. When we look out there, it's like, 'Oh, that guy won a Cy Young Award.' And there's a reason for it. It's not just because he's exceptionally talented physically. He's gifted mentally. He's strong-minded. When the game gets a little bit tough, he just gets a little bit tougher."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Stylings of Santana: Santana went 2-for-4 with an RBI. He is hitting .286 (6-for-21) with one double, five walks, five strikeouts and an .825 OPS in his last six games. His fielder's choice in the first inning scored Cesar Hernandez from third base to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead. He singled to advance Hernandez to third base in the third. Hernandez later scored on a sacrifice fly to give the Phillies a 2-1 lead. Santana's double to open the sixth started the rally that lead to Altherr's homer.

SOUND SMART
Herrera singled in the first inning to reach base safely in 25 consecutive games. It is the longest active streak in the big leagues.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Arrieta walked consecutive batters to load the bases and score a run in the fourth inning to tie the game. Jarrod Dyson then dropped a bunt down in front of the mound. Arrieta fielded the ball and flipped it home to beat A.J. Pollock to the plate to keep the game tied, 2-2.

Video: ARI@PHI: Arrieta makes tough play to nab Pollock

Jeff Mathis then hit a ground ball to Franco, who stepped on the bag and fired a throw to first base to complete the inning-ending double play.

Video: ARI@PHI: Franco turns bases-loaded DP to end the 4th

HE SAID IT
"I think he smelled it. He understands the big moment. They were flashing his stats with runners in scoring position up on the scoreboard. I felt like the crowd really got into it when he came up in that moment. He was really sitting back and waiting for the ball to get deep. That's a really important thing for a hitter to do there. See the ball a long time. We knew when it left the bat that it was screaming. We just weren't sure if it was going to over the wall. Obviously, it cleared it by a significant margin. We were all pretty fired up in the dugout." -- Kapler, on Altherr

UP NEXT
Phillies right-hander Ben Lively (0-1, 4.64 ERA) pitches Thursday afternoon's series finale at 1:05 ET against the D-backs at Citizens Bank Park, exclusively on Facebook Live. Lively slowed his pace on the mound in last week's start against the Pirates, allowing just one run in six innings. Matt Koch starts for Arizona.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Philadelphia Phillies

GM Klentak pleased with Phils' April success

MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said that he likes what he sees through the first four weeks of the season.

The Phillies entered Wednesday night's game against the D-backs at Citizens Bank Park with a 14-8 record. They have pitched remarkably well. They have hit just enough to post one of the best records in the National League. But how much does anybody truly know about a team just 22 games into a 162-game season?

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PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said that he likes what he sees through the first four weeks of the season.

The Phillies entered Wednesday night's game against the D-backs at Citizens Bank Park with a 14-8 record. They have pitched remarkably well. They have hit just enough to post one of the best records in the National League. But how much does anybody truly know about a team just 22 games into a 162-game season?

View Full Game Coverage

"We can look at the schedule," Klentak said. "We know that the schedule will get tougher as we go, but we can only play who's on the schedule, and our guys have done a great job of winning games and battling. We've had some lopsided wins and we've had some games where we really had to battle and grind and fight and claw to come up with a 'W,' and they've done that."

Klentak discussed numerous topics on Wednesday. Here are a few highlights:

Kapler's adjustments

Phillies manager Gabe Kapler stumbled out of the gate. Phillies fans booed him during the home opener. But the Phillies have played better since. Kapler seems to have made some adjustments. The boos are gone.

"I do think Kap has adjusted since the first series," Klentak said. "He's probably adjusted from yesterday to today. He asks a lot of questions. He's incredibly passionate about what he does and he has a unique ability to look in the mirror and to be accountable. I think that's what allows him to successfully navigate a season and manage the roster. I think he's absolutely made adjustments and will continue to. I think that makes him no different than all of us."

Klentak said he felt disappointed for Kapler that he got booed at the home opener.

"I guess given the way the first few days played out, I wasn't surprised that that was the reaction," he said. "You know, I was disappointed for him -- and I know Gabe probably wouldn't show any emotion -- but I was disappointed. It's his first chance to come in and manage a game in the home stadium and he waited a long time for that opportunity, but the way he handled it, the way our players handled it, the way the whole organization handled it, was really healthy. I'm really proud of the way Kap and our staff and our players have pulled together coming out of that first tough road trip, put it behind them, doubled down on the preparation and the effort and the games themselves, and now it's the end of April and we're moving on."

Strikeouts

The Phillies struck out a franchise-record 1,417 times last season. It's early, but they are on pace to strike out 1,671 times this season.

They said they are OK with their strikeout rate (26.5 percent of plate appearances) because their walk rate (11.9 percent) is the best in baseball.

"Strikeouts by themselves are not a terrible thing," Klentak said. "If they're balanced with a strong walk rate, I think it's a perfectly good way to build an offense. Our walk rate is tops in the league. As long as those two numbers are moving together, I think it's OK. If we find ourselves in a position where we're striking out a lot and not walking, then that could be problematic. We've seen that in baseball history, too. But right now, strikeouts are part of the game."

Thankfully, the Phillies have Rhys Hoskins, Carlos Santana and Cesar Hernandez in the lineup. They have walked a combined 55 times and struck out 61 times. The rest of the team has walked 47 times and struck out 166 times.

Video: MIA@PHI: Santana belts a three-run homer, 1000th hit

"If the strikeouts are the results of us working long at-bats, being comfortable hitting with two strikes, taking our walks, grinding the at-bat and getting the opposing starter out of the game, we'll take that," Klentak said.

Playing time for everybody

A subject of interest is how Kapler will continue to find enough playing time for four outfielders -- five, when including Scott Kingery -- and five infielders. It has been an issue at times with players like Odubel Herrera, Nick Williams and Maikel Franco expressing their frustrations publicly or privately with the manager.

Video: PHI@ATL: Herrera hammers a two-out homer to center

"Early on in the season, it was very heavily scrutinized and I understand why, because at that stage of the season, that's all we have to look at," Klentak said. "Now with roughly a month of performance under our belt, we're starting to understand the rhythms of how this works and as importantly, our players are understanding that and buying into that. It takes a little time. We knew that. Our players have adjusted incredibly well. They're very supportive of each other. Kap works incredibly hard to strike that right balance and incorporate all those different factors. I think right now, it's working out pretty well."

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Philadelphia Phillies

Pedro Florimon showed off some amazing glove skills with a dive and behind-the-back flip for a double play

Behind-the-back passes are more often something you'd see on the basketball court. So, while the crosstown 76ers were wrapping up their first-round victory over the Miami Heat in the NBA playoffs, the Phillies' Pedro Florimon decided to pay homage. 

In the top of the seventh of Philadelphia's 8-4 loss to the D-backs on Tuesday, David Peralta lashed a ground ball to the left side of the infield.

Wednesday's top prospect performers

Blue Jays products impress in upper Minors
MLB.com

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Wednesday.

A plethora of Blue Jays prospects showcased their skills across multiple levels as a trio of the organization's top prospects led Triple-A Buffalo to a win and the top prospects in the system fared well for Double-A New Hampshire.

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Wednesday.

A plethora of Blue Jays prospects showcased their skills across multiple levels as a trio of the organization's top prospects led Triple-A Buffalo to a win and the top prospects in the system fared well for Double-A New Hampshire.

The Fisher Cats were unable to win the game, but No. 3 overall prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Blue Jays' No. 1) and Bo Bichette (No. 13 overall, Blue Jays' No. 2) once again showed why they are ranked so high. Bichette, 20, went 2-for-5 with a double and is batting .303 after going 4-for-10 over his past two games.

Guerrero registers second RBI

Guerrero, also experiencing the Double-A level for the first time, put together his second three-hit game of the season and drove in a trio of runs, including a game-tying sacrifice fly in the ninth.

Up at the Triple-A level, it was No. 47 overall prospect Anthony Alford (Blue Jay's No. 3), Ryan Borucki (No. 8) and Reese McGuire (No. 14) leading the Bisons to a win over Durham.

Alford and McGuire combined to go 4-for-6 with three RBIs and McGuire hit his first homer of the season, a two-run blast in the fourth, in the process.

On the mound, Borucki spun his best start of the season, giving up one run on five hits over six innings. The lefty also threw 61 of his 90 pitches for strikes, walked one and struck out seven, a season high.

Other top prospect performances from Wednesday's action:

• No. 10 overall prospect Michael Kopech (White Sox No. 2) put together another strong start for Triple-A Charlotte. Kopech, who has given up one earned run or fewer in three of his four starts, gave up one run on one hit in six innings. The right-hander walked two and also struck out eight, bringing his total to 29 through 21 innings this season.

Kopech fans eight

• No. 22 overall prospect Willy Adames (Rays' No. 2) continued his hot stretch with Triple-A Durham. Adames, who hit for the cycle on Monday, extended his hitting streak to eight games with a 2-for-4 effort. The 22-year-old has increased his average from .212 to .355 during that span and has two or more hits in three of his past four games. Rays No. 4 prospect Jesus Sanchez (No. 57 overall) also had a good game for Class A Advanced Charlotte, going 2-for-4 with a double and his fifth homer of the season.

• No. 48 overall prospect Justus Sheffield (Yankees' No. 3) continues to pile up the strikeouts with Double-A Trenton. The lefty gave up three runs (one earned) on four hits over six innings while striking out eight. Sheffield has spun 22 innings this season and collected 30 strikeouts.

• No. 50 overall prospect Adrian Morejon (Padres' No. 6) was lights-out for Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore. After giving up four runs in his last start, Morejon limited the damage this time around to one run on two hits. The lefty also struck out five in as many innings.

• No. 95 overall prospect Adam Haseley (Phillies' No. 6) is heating up for Class A Advanced Clearwater. After going 2-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs, Haseley has two hits in four of his past five games and at least one hit in 12 of his last 13. He's also increased his batting average from .200 to .280 in that span.

Post game Interview: Haseley

Angels No. 11 prospect Jesus Castillo was nearly flawless for seven innings with Double-A Mobile. The 22-year-old right-hander didn't surrender a hit and threw 51 of his 70 pitches for strikes in his first scoreless start of the season. Castillo struck out four and only allowed one baserunner via a hit batter.

Castillo notches the K

Braves No. 16 prospect Dustin Peterson put together his second straight three-hit day for Triple-A Gwinnett. Peterson, who went 3-for-5 with a double and a homer, is 6-for-10 with two homers and six RBIs over his past two games.

Indians No. 7 prospect Will Benson showed off some power with his third career two-homer game. Benson went 2-for-3 with a pair of solo home runs for Class A Lake County in Game 1 of a doubleheader, a game that also featured a no-hitter.

Orioles prospects Cedric Mullins (No. 7) and Keegan Akin (No. 9) led Double-A Bowie to a win over Richmond. Mullins extended his hitting streak to six games with a 2-for-4 performance that included a double and a solo homer. On the mound, Akin yielded just three hits and struck out five across six scoreless innings. The 23-year-old gave up seven runs over nine innings to start the season but has since allowed just one run in his past 12 frames.

Twins No. 14 prospect Travis Blankenhorn hit a pair of solo homers for Class A Advanced Fort Myers. Blankenhorn, who has four home runs this season, has gone deep three times over the past three games. The two-homer game also marked his first of the season and the second of his career.

White Sox No. 10 prospect Micker Adolfo went deep in both games of Class A Advanced Winston Salem's doubleheader. The 21-year-old, who now has five homers this season, went 1-for-2 with a solo homer in the first game, then exploded for five RBIs - via an RBI double, sacrifice fly and three-run homer - in the second game.

William Boor is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.

Phillies cooled off by D-backs in first big test

Velasquez allows 4 runs in 4 2/3 IP; Altherr notches 2-run double
MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies fans have been cautious, maybe even a little skeptical. They watched the Phillies jump to fast starts each of the previous two seasons. It is easy to understand why the fans have been looking for more proof that their team is as good as they have looked.

The proof did not come Tuesday night in an 8-4 loss to the D-backs at Citizens Bank Park.

View Full Game Coverage

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies fans have been cautious, maybe even a little skeptical. They watched the Phillies jump to fast starts each of the previous two seasons. It is easy to understand why the fans have been looking for more proof that their team is as good as they have looked.

The proof did not come Tuesday night in an 8-4 loss to the D-backs at Citizens Bank Park.

View Full Game Coverage

The Phillies were 24-17 in 2016 and 11-9 in '17 only to lose 91 and 96 games, respectively. And even as the Phillies built a 14-7 start this season, the talent differential between this team and those teams is significant and indisputable.

The D-backs entered the series with the best record in the National League. They are the only team the Phillies have played this season that made the postseason last year. They are the Phillies' greatest test to date.

Video: ARI@PHI: Kapler discusses loss to D-backs, Velasquez

"I think we're right up there," said Phillies right-hander Vince Velasquez, who allowed four runs in 4 2/3 innings. "I think we're up there with them. You saw their record. You saw ours today. We're kind of right up on their tail there. I don't know what it's going to come down to. I'm not going to make that prediction. I don't know what it's going to be. But I know that we're a solid team."

The Phillies have two more nights to show it. They showed some holes Tuesday, particularly offensively. They struck out 16 times for the second time in five games. They have struck out 227 times this season, putting them on pace to strike out 1,671 times.

They struck out a franchise-record 1,417 times last year.

Video: ARI@PHI: Ray strikes out 11 of the 14 batters he sees

The Phillies have said they do not mind strikeouts because they are seeing a lot pitches and walking a lot.

"Part of working deep counts and seeing a lot of pitches is that you're going to go through stretches where you strike out some," Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. "That doesn't mean that we don't need to put the ball in play more, we do. It's absolutely a necessity, but sometimes you give credit to the opposing pitcher. [Robbie Ray] has swing-and-miss stuff, he's got a history of striking guys out, and we weren't able to put the ball on the bat as much as we could have tonight."

Velasquez matched Ray early, striking out four batters in the first two innings. But he surrendered back-to-back home runs to Alex Avila and Jarrod Dyson in the third to hand Arizona a 2-0 lead. Avila and Dyson entered the game hitting .114 and .160, respectively.

Video: ARI@PHI: Avila, Dyson swat back-to-back jacks

The Phillies scored three runs in the third to take a 3-2 lead, but Velasquez allowed two more runs in the fifth. He allowed four hits, four runs, two walks and two home runs in 4 2/3 innings. He struck out six.

"This is a good team we're playing," Phillies rookie Scott Kingery said. "I think we're a good team as well. This is definitely a test for us. Unfortunately we didn't come out on top tonight. I think it's going to be a really good series. We're going to find a way to scratch out a few wins."

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Phillies center fielder Aaron Altherr doubled to score two runs in the third inning to tie the game, 2-2. Altherr started the season in a terrible slump, but he is 5-for-7 with one walk in his past eight plate appearances. It is an encouraging sign for a hitter who posted an .856 OPS in 412 plate appearances last season.

Video: ARI@PHI: Altherr doubles home a pair in the 3rd

"Altherr continues to have really good at-bats and put the bat on the ball, come up clutch in big situations and working counts and that was a huge positive for us tonight," Kapler said.

SOUND SMART
Kingery is struggling. He struck out four times in four plate appearances. He has two hits in his past 25 at-bats. He has struck out 12 times and walked three times in that span.

"I started swinging at balls in the dirt," Kingery said. "That's always been one of my weaknesses. They're not really throwing me too much. They're starting to work ahead with off-speed and try to get me to chase. So now it's something I'm going to have to adjust back to. I knew this was going to happen. Coming into the season, they probably didn't have much information on me. I didn't have much information on them. You start to see some tendencies and stuff like that. They start attacking areas that you're not strongest in. I'll watch video. More information, seeing a guy more than once, and preparing for him."

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
The D-backs had a runner on first with no outs in the seventh inning when David Peralta ripped a ground ball to the right of Phillies shortstop Pedro Florimon. Florimon made a fantastic diving catch then flipped the ball to second baseman Cesar Hernandez, who threw to first to complete the double play.

Video: ARI@PHI: Florimon dives to start incredible 6-4-3 DP

HE SAID IT
"The one thing we know is that the league is going to adjust to our hitters, and we trust that Kingery has the ability to adjust back. We're seeing some adjustments made, again, he was really really good early on and he's going to go through a stretch where he scuffles a little bit. It doesn't change our confidence levels in him, in fact they're as high as they ever have been. We know he's going to come back strong, he's going to need to make some adjustments but no doubt in his capability to do so." -- Kapler

UP NEXT
This might be the biggest pitching matchup of the Phillies' season. Phillies right-hander Jake Arrieta (2-0, 2.04 ERA) faces D-backs ace Zack Greinke (2-1, 4.13 ERA) on Wednesday night at 7:05 ET in the second game of a three-game series at Citizens Bank Park. Arrieta struck out 10 and allowed just one hit in seven scoreless innings last week against the Pirates.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Philadelphia Phillies, Aaron Altherr, Vince Velasquez

Off-day? Kapler travels to Reading instead

MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA -- Gabe Kapler could have spent his Monday night at home in Philadelphia, kicking back and enjoying one of the Phillies' very few off-days over the course of a six-month season.

Instead, he made the 90-minute drive to watching Double-A Reading play.

View Full Game Coverage

PHILADELPHIA -- Gabe Kapler could have spent his Monday night at home in Philadelphia, kicking back and enjoying one of the Phillies' very few off-days over the course of a six-month season.

Instead, he made the 90-minute drive to watching Double-A Reading play.

View Full Game Coverage

"I thought it was the right thing to do, to support [Reading manager] Greg Legg," Kapler said before Tuesday night's series opener against the D-backs at Citizens Bank Park. "Our player development staff is so incredibly invested in what we're doing here and deserve a lot of credit for the start that we've had. Their fingerprints are all over this Major League club, and we're in this together. Player development is an unsung department in an organization, and those guys deserve a lot of love and credit for what's happening here."

Kapler got another opportunity to watch right-hander Seranthony Dominguez, who impressed Kapler in Spring Training. Dominguez, who is the organization's No. 12 prospect, struck out one in one scoreless inning.

Video: TOR@PHI: Dominguez induces a popout to end game

He is 1-2 with a 2.25 ERA in seven appearances.

Asked if Dominguez could help the Phillies this season, Kapler said, "He's definitely got the talent. He's definitely got the demeanor. One of the things that I mentioned yesterday as I was watching him is that when we went out for mound visits [in Spring Training], he was completely poised and composed. In some ways, it's similar to the way Scott Kingery's heartbeat is. Very cool, calm and collected. Then to come up and dial up 97 to 98 mph with a nasty slider -- those two things in combination lead me to believe he can make an impact."

But perhaps the greatest highlight of Kapler's jaunt to Reading? A steak dinner at a nearby restaurant.

"An incredible rib-eye, 20 ounces, medium rare," he said, smiling.

Get those righties in there
Kapler loaded up Tuesday's lineup with right-handed bats and switch-hitters, hoping to offset any advantages D-backs left-hander Robbie Ray had against lefties. That meant Odubel Herrera, J.P. Crawford and Nick Williams started on the bench.

Herrera was hit by a pitch as a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning. He has reached base safely in 24 consecutive games, dating to last season. It is the longest active on-base streak in the Majors.

"We know Odubel has played 15 straight games," Kapler said. "There's this tough left-handed pitcher on the mound. We like the idea of getting a guy a scheduled off-day [Monday] and then giving him one as well -- back-to-back full recovery and tissue repair. Odubel gets right back in there and plays a long stretch of games."

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Philadelphia Phillies

These are the Top 30 international prospects

MLB.com

Long before Louis Eljaua rose to special assistant to the president and general manager of the Cubs, he was the young and energetic top international scout for the Marlins. Back then, his boss was Al Avila, now the general manager for the Tigers.

Eljaua vividly recalls a conversation with Avila in 1998 like it happened yesterday. Each time he tells the story of that famous call, he puts his right thumb to his ear and talks into his right pinkie like it's the old hotel phone he used.

Long before Louis Eljaua rose to special assistant to the president and general manager of the Cubs, he was the young and energetic top international scout for the Marlins. Back then, his boss was Al Avila, now the general manager for the Tigers.

Eljaua vividly recalls a conversation with Avila in 1998 like it happened yesterday. Each time he tells the story of that famous call, he puts his right thumb to his ear and talks into his right pinkie like it's the old hotel phone he used.

Top 30 International Prospects list

"I found the guy, Al! I found the guy our owner was looking for. He's 15. Come to Venezuela," Eljaua shrieked through the phone.

Avila, who was in Miami at the time, was not pleased to hear the news. The Marlins had never spent more than $30,000 on an international teen.

Top International Prospects

"Are you crazy, Louis? [Owner] John Henry gives us money and you are going to spend it all on your first trip and the first kid you see? Are you trying to get us all fired? What is wrong with you?"

"I know, I know," Eljaua answered. "Just come see the kid. He's good. You won't be sorry."

That kid was Miguel Cabrera. And less than a year later, the teenager signed with the Marlins for $1.8 million to launch his future Hall of Fame career and forever set the standard for international teenage prospects.

The hunt for the next Cabrera continues, and each year an increasing number of prospects sign when the international signing period begins on July 2; hundreds more will join Major League organizations later this summer.

Led by catcher Diego Cartaya -- who like Cabrera is from Maracay, Venezuela -- the players on MLB Pipeline's 2018 Top 30 International Prospects list represent the greatest young talent from across the globe eligible to sign on July 2.

The ultimate goal is nabbing a baseball unicorn like Cabrera. But signing a horse like Cartaya, a hard-hitting catcher with advanced skills, or other emerging international prospects also offer teams options.

Video: Top International Prospects: Diego Cartaya, C

Remember, the Cubs traded top teen Gleyber Torres of Venezuela to the Yankees as part of a deal for Aroldis Chapman in 2016, and the rest is World Series history. Last year, they traded the Dominican Republic's Eloy Jimenez to the White Sox in a deal for Jose Quintana. Both are the top prospects in their organizations. Back in '16, the Red Sox traded Yoan Moncada in a package to the White Sox for pitcher Chris Sale. The A's acquired Franklin Barreto from the Blue Jays in a deal for third baseman Josh Donaldson in '14.

"If you are not investing time and money and effort to sign international players, you are missing out on making your organization one of the best in the game," Eljaua said. "Why would you ignore a market and just focus on one or two ways to acquire talent when these guys are going to play in your system, hopefully in the big leagues, or be a part of a package that helps you fill a missing piece? And it's not all about the money and paying the most money. It's about scouting and working and finding out about makeup and helping your entire system."

Who is signing whom
More than 950 prospects have signed during the international signing period that started July 2, 2017, and that number could increase during the 2018-19 period, because there are thousands who have registered to become eligible.

In addition to prospects from traditional baseball hot spots like the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil and the Bahamas, there are also prospects from places like Europe, the Caribbean islands and Asia who have also registered.

Video: Top International Prospects: Marco Luciano, OF

As far as the list is concerned, the Dodgers are the favorites to sign Cartaya. Marco Luciano, a power-hitting outfielder from the Dominican Republic, a close second behind Cartaya in the rankings, is linked to the Giants. Outfielder Misael Urbina of Venezuela, who is ranked No. 3, is an advanced hitter expected to have an above-average hit tool and plus speed. He is linked to the Twins. Rounding out the top five is Venezuelan right-handed pitcher Richard Gallardo, linked to the Cubs, and Orelvis Martinez, a power-hitting shortstop from the D.R. sometimes compared to a young Adrian Beltre. The Blue Jays are the favorite to sign Martinez.

Video: Richard Gallardo named top int'l pitching prospect

Breakdown
This year's Top 30 International Prospects list includes 10 players from Venezuela, 16 from the Dominican Republic, three from Cuba and one from Colombia. The positions break down like this: 11 outfielders, eight infielders, seven pitchers and four catchers.

The best athletes at premium positions are the most appealing to international scouts. Three of the top 13 are catchers and three of the top 10 are pitchers. Shortstops and center fielders are also highly coveted in this year's class.

International signing rules, spending
There are specific guidelines for signing prospects like Cartaya: An international player is eligible to sign with a Major League team between July 2 through June 15 of the next year if he is 17 or will turn 17 by the end of the first season of his contract.

Video: Cartaya tops MLB's international prospects list

The rules for signing international prospects are these: Clubs that receive a Competitive Balance Pick in Round B of the Rule 4 Draft receive a pool of $6,025,400, while clubs that receive a Competitive Balance Pick in Round A of the Rule 4 Draft receive $5,504,500. All other clubs receive $4,983,500.

International amateur free agency & bonus pool money explained

Teams are allowed to trade as much of their international pool money as they would like, but can only acquire 75 percent of a team's initial pool amount. Additionally, signing bonuses of $10,000 or less do not count toward a club's bonus pool, and foreign professional players who are at least 25 years of age and have played in a foreign league for at least six seasons are also exempt.

In terms of spending, the Blue Jays, Brewers, D-backs, Mariners, Phillies, Rangers, Red Sox, Rockies, Tigers, Twins and Yankees are expected to be aggressive in the upcoming signing period. The Cubs, Dodgers, Giants and Royals -- teams that will no longer be in the penalty for exceeding their past international bonus pool spending -- are also expected to be very active.

The A's, Astros, Braves, Cardinals, Nationals, Padres, Reds and White Sox are in the maximum penalty, so they cannot sign players for more than $300,000 during the upcoming period.

"We are all looking for the next Miguel Cabrera, but I think it's unfair to compare anybody to him because he was just on another level," Eljaua said. "But the reality is, my old team already paid me for that sign. I'm getting paid to find another one. That's what the job is."

Jesse Sanchez, who has been writing for MLB.com since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook.

Inbox: What's the evidence Santana will hit?

Beat reporter Todd Zolecki answers questions from Phillies fans
MLB.com

Is there any reason to believe Carlos Santana will get it going? He's hitting below the Mendoza Line while occupying Rhys Hoskins' natural position. Meanwhile, we have the Hoskins Experiment in left field, perpetuating an already tenuous outfield logjam. I certainly don't envy manager Gabe Kapler's juggling act.
-- Brett L., Broomall, Pa.

There are a lot of reasons to believe Santana will hit.

Is there any reason to believe Carlos Santana will get it going? He's hitting below the Mendoza Line while occupying Rhys Hoskins' natural position. Meanwhile, we have the Hoskins Experiment in left field, perpetuating an already tenuous outfield logjam. I certainly don't envy manager Gabe Kapler's juggling act.
-- Brett L., Broomall, Pa.

There are a lot of reasons to believe Santana will hit.

First, there is his track record. He has a career .364 on-base percentage and an .806 OPS. His 26.5 offensive WAR ranks 24th in the Major Leagues from 2010-18, according to Baseball Reference. Santana has been one of the most productive hitters for a long time. Sure, you can dismiss eight seasons' worth of above-average offense for less than four weeks of performance in 2018, but I would advise against it.

:: Submit a question to the Phillies Inbox ::

Second, Santana has been very unlucky. The analytics tell you that. The eye test tells you that, too.

Santana has a 126-point gap between his expected batting average and his batting average, according to Statcast™. It is the largest gap in the Majors (minimum of 50 at-bats), 28 points wider than the next closest player. Expected batting average (xBA) uses Statcast™'s Hit Probability metric, which assigns a percentage on how frequently comparable balls in terms of exit velocity and launch angle are hits. In short, it measures a hitter's quality of contact.

Santana has made a lot of quality contact. His hard-hit rate (51.61 percent) is ninth out of 138 batters (minimum 50 balls in play). Twenty-four of those balls were caught, two more than any other hitter in the Major Leagues. Sixteen of those balls were outs in the air, three more than any other hitter. A look at this spray chart shows that Santana has hit at least seven balls to the warning track or wall in center field.

You cannot hit a ball much better than that.

Let's break it down further. The MLB average on hard-hit balls is .512. Santana is hitting .233, which is the lowest mark out of 118 players (minimum of 20 hard-hit balls). He hit .480 on hard-hit balls in 2015, .527 in '16 and .500 in '17.

If Santana had just eight of those 24 hard-hit outs fall for hits, bringing him in line with last season's .500 average, Santana's batting average jumps to .260. His on-base percentage jumps to .387. And let's say those eight extra hits fall for singles (it's highly unlikely a few would not be doubles or better, but for the sake of argument, let's say singles). Santana's slugging percentage still jumps to .397, giving him a .784 OPS. That would rank fourth on the Phillies.

Does this mean Santana is going to hit better than .300 the rest of the season? No. Does it mean fans complaining about Santana's presence in the lineup or roster should pump the brakes and let the season play out a bit? Yes.

What's been the biggest surprise to you so far?
-- Al C., Philadelphia

The Phillies' rotation has exceeded expectations. It has a 3.01 ERA, which is the best mark in the National League. Teams are slugging just .329 against it, which is the second-best mark in the Major Leagues. Only the Astros have been better (.326). Teams simply have not been barreling many balls against Phils starters. Philadelphia's hard-hit rate (18.84 percent) is the fourth-best mark in the Majors. The Phillies have been striking out batters and not walking nearly as many, either. Their strikeout-to-walk ratio of 3.03 is ninth in MLB, after they had a 2.54 mark last season.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Philadelphia Phillies, Carlos Santana

Schmidt promotes skin-cancer awareness

Special to MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA -- Mike Schmidt has thrown out the first pitch on many occasions for the Phillies since his career ended in 1989.

Odds are, none of them came with an important message like the one being promoted on Sunday afternoon. The Hall of Fame third baseman, who is one of five men to have their numbers retired by the organization, was advocating for a cause close to him -- the fight against skin cancer.

View Full Game Coverage

PHILADELPHIA -- Mike Schmidt has thrown out the first pitch on many occasions for the Phillies since his career ended in 1989.

Odds are, none of them came with an important message like the one being promoted on Sunday afternoon. The Hall of Fame third baseman, who is one of five men to have their numbers retired by the organization, was advocating for a cause close to him -- the fight against skin cancer.

View Full Game Coverage

Video: PIT@PHI: Schmidt tosses out the first pitch

Schmidt was joined by Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney to celebrate Mike Schmidt RDK Melanoma Awareness Day at Citizens Bank Park. The message that Schmidt and the officials at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center have been stressing is the importance of wearing sunscreen and staying safe in the sun.

A new public service announcement was aired on Phanavision before the game, with Schmidt encouraging fans to use the free sunscreen kiosks around the ballpark, which dispense SPF 30 sunscreen.

Schmidt, 70, battled stage three skin cancer in 2013, undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

"Take it from me -- someone who spent his entire life in the sun without sunscreen," Schmidt said in the public service announcement. "I paid a heavy price."

Kevin Cooney is a contributor to MLB.com based in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Phillies

MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week

MLB.com

MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances in the Minor Leagues from the previous week. Any player on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible.

It's just our second edition of Pipeline Prospect Team of the Week and we already have a pair of repeat performers.

MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances in the Minor Leagues from the previous week. Any player on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible.

It's just our second edition of Pipeline Prospect Team of the Week and we already have a pair of repeat performers.

2018 Prospect Teams of the Week

Nationals outfielder Juan Soto and Orioles lefty Zac Lowther have earned back-to-back honors, with both showing that the South Atlantic League is not so challenging for them thus far. Soto is joined by two other members of our Top 100 and Lowther is accompanied by a fellow member of the 2017 Draft class.  

Here is the latest addition of Prospect Team of the Week, for the week of April 16-22.

C: Austin Allen, San Antonio Missions (Double-A)
(Padres' No. 28 prospect)
6 G, .500/.577/.909, 7 R, 3 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 2 K

Allen was a two-time PTOW honoree last year in a season that saw him hit 22 homers and slug .497. Those wanting to see if that was a California League mirage should be pleased with his start, as his 11-for-22 week (with five extra-base hits) now has him hitting .373 with a .780 slugging percentage and six homers in the Texas League. He tops the circuit in slugging and OPS (1.202).

Watch: Allen crushes a double

1B: Sam Travis, Pawtucket Red Sox (Triple-A)
(Red Sox's No. 5 prospect)
6 G, .417/.500/.625, 2 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 3 BB, 5 K

Travis had four straight multi-hit games Monday through Thursday, starting with a two-hit performance that included his first home run of the International League season. Even with an 0-for-5 to end the week, he was still able to raise his season slash line to .346/.414/.462.

Watch: Travis ties score with two-run single

2B: David Fletcher, Salt Lake Bees (Triple-A)
(Angels' No. 24 prospect)
6 G, .467/.484/.767, 9 R, 4 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SB

Fletcher nearly made the big league team out of Spring Training and is now hitting like he wants to force his way there. He has a seven-game hitting streak going and has raised his average from .172 on April 11 to .366. Four three-hit games this past week certainly helped and he picked up his first homer of the year while not striking out all week.

Watch: Fletcher doubles as part of four-hit game

3B: Austin Riley, Mississippi Braves (Double-A)
(Braves' No. 8 prospect/MLB No. 97)
6 G, .522/.560/1.043, 5 R, 5 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K

Riley has historically been a slow starter, but he's trying to reverse that trend in the Southern League in the early going. He led all prospects who can qualify for PTOW with 24 total bases last week and is now tied for second in the league with 14 RBIs and is fourth in OPS (1.190). His .386 average puts him eighth in the circuit.

Watch: Riley crushes third homer of 2018

SS: Brendan Rodgers, Hartford Yard Goats (Double-A)
(Rockies' No. 1 prospect/MLB No. 14)
6 G, .520/.538/.800, 3 R, 4 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SB, 4 K

When the week began, Rodgers was hitting just .143. Now he's up to .300 after a week that saw him hit in all six games he played in. He kicked things off with a three-hit performance and finished by going 5-for-5 on Sunday, including crushing his third home run of the season. Thanks to the week, Rodgers is now eighth in the Eastern League with his .533 slugging percentage.

Watch: Rodgers homers as part of five-hit day

OF: Calvin Mitchell, West Virginia Power (Class A)
(Pirates' No. 16 prospect)
7 G, .467/.500/.733, 5 R, 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SB, 6 K

Heading to full-season ball as a high school draftee can be tough, but Mitchell, the Pirates' second-round pick last June, seems to be adjusting just fine. He now has an eight-game hitting streak going and had four multi-hit games this past week. He homered and drove in three runs on Wednesday before going 4-for-4 with four RBIs on Saturday. He's currently fourth in the South Atlantic League in batting average (.364) and OPS (1.070) and fifth in slugging (.652).

OF: Myles Straw, Corpus Christi Hooks (Double-A)
(Astros' No. 21 prospect)
6 G, .520/.581/.680, 5 R, 2 3B, 4 RBI, 4 BB, 3 SB, 4 K

Straw has a six-game hitting streak going, starting last week with a four-hit game and adding a 5-for-5 showing on Saturday. That's pushed his average up over .400 (he's second in the Texas League at .407). He also swiped three bases, giving him a league-leading 11 steals on the season (tied for third in the Minors).

Watch: Straw's four-hit night

OF: Juan Soto, Hagerstown Suns (Class A)
(Nationals' No. 2 prospect/MLB No. 29)
6 G, .391/.481/.739, 5 R, 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 4 BB, 6 K

Soto showed an innate knack for hitting last year, but also missed most of the season with injuries. He's showing it was no fluke with how he's begun his 2018 campaign back in the South Atlantic League, with four two-hit games this last week. His advanced approach is clearly working, as he leads the SAL with his .486 on-base percentage. Soto's raw power is showing up in games: He tops the circuit in OPS (1.300) and slugging (.814) while his five homers put him in a tie for third. His strong start to the year earned him a promotion to Class A Advanced Potomac of the Carolina League.

Watch: Soto crushes three-run homer

LHP: Zac Lowther, Delmarva Shorebirds (Class A)
(Orioles' No. 17 prospect)
1-1, 0.90 ERA, 2 GS, 10 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 18 K, 0.60 WHIP

Lowther is back again, even if he did give up some hits and a run. After beginning his year with six no-hit innings, the southpaw followed it up with two five-inning starts. Combined, he now has a ridiculous 31/2 K/BB ratio over his first 16 innings of work in the South Atlantic League to go along with a .094 batting average against and 0.44 WHIP.

RHP: Tony Santillan, Daytona Tortugas (Class A Advanced)
(Reds' No. 5 prospect)
2-0, 0.71 ERA, 2 GS, 12 2/3 IP, 9 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 11 K, 0.79 WHIP

Santillan has always had dynamic stuff and he's coming off of a strong full season in the Midwest League. The one thing that has been a bit of a question mark has been his command, but if the start to his Florida State League season is any indication, he's headed in the right direction. After a week that saw him win both decisions, he's now gone at least six innings in three of his four starts this year with a 2.0 BB/9 rate.

RP: Seranthony Dominguez, Reading Fightin Phils (Double-A)
(Phillies' No. 12 prospect)
0-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 0.00 WHIP

Dominguez moved to the bullpen for the first time this season and the new role seems to suit him. His past as a starter still lets him go multiple innings, as he had a three-inning, no-hit, six-strikeout game on Wednesday and now has 17 K's (vs. just two walks) in 11 total innings.

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

Phillies Minor League review for April 16-22

Philadelphia Phillies

Players of the Week

Player - SS Arquimedes Gamboa, Clearwater… Gamboa, 20, batted .368 (7-19) with three extra-base hits, two RBI, five walks to one strikeout and posted a 1.132 OPS in five games. Defensively this season, he has committed just one error in 63 total chances at shortstop (16 starts). The Venezuela native was signed by the Phillies as an amateur free agent on July 17, 2014.

Players of the Week

Player - SS Arquimedes Gamboa, Clearwater… Gamboa, 20, batted .368 (7-19) with three extra-base hits, two RBI, five walks to one strikeout and posted a 1.132 OPS in five games. Defensively this season, he has committed just one error in 63 total chances at shortstop (16 starts). The Venezuela native was signed by the Phillies as an amateur free agent on July 17, 2014.

Pitcher - LHP Ranger Suarez, Reading … The 22-year-old, who was also named Eastern League Pitcher of the Week, posted a 1.20 ERA (2 ER, 15.0 IP) with 12 strikeouts and one win over two starts. He held opponents to a .218 average and did not surrender a walk in either of his outings. Suarez was signed by the Phillies as an amateur free agent on April 1, 2012.

Lehigh Valley IronPigs - International League North Division… 7-9, 5th place… Offensively, the IronPigs lead the IL with 67 walks.

Top hitting performers - INF Jesmuel Valentin hit .353 (6-17) with a double, home run, three RBI, four runs scored, five walks and led the club with a 1.110 OPS in six games… OF Roman Quinn batted .273 (6-22) and stole three bases over five games. He is now 7-for-8 (87.5%) in stolen base attempts this season, leading the International League in steals… SS Dean Anna went 8-for-23 (.348) with a triple, two RBI, two runs scored and three walks in six games.

Top pitching performers - RHP Enyel De Los Santos earned a win after surrendering two runs (one earned) on five hits over 5.2 innings, while walking two with eight strikeouts in his lone start. He has recorded 22 strikeouts over his first three starts (13.2 IP) of the season… RHP Zach Eflin allowed two runs (one earned) over 5.0 innings, striking out three in his only start… LHP Zac Curtis struck out five and allowed one hit across two scoreless relief appearances (2.2 IP).

Reading Fightin Phils - Eastern League Eastern Division… 7-11, 5th place… Reading's pitchers have recorded 169 strikeouts, which ranks second in the EL.

Top hitting performers - OF Zach Coppola led the team with 10 hits, batting .400 (10-25) with four runs scored, four walks and two stolen bases in seven games. His 11 walks rank tied for fourth in the Eastern League this season… 3B Damek Tomscha hit .333 (7-21) with a double, three RBI, three runs scored and four walks (.440 OBP) over seven contests… OF Jiandido Tromp posted a .435 on-base percentage and batted .316 (6-19) with four walks in six games.

Top pitching performers - LHP Ranger Suarez, who was named Phillies Minor League Pitcher of the Week as well as Eastern League Pitcher of the Week, went 1-0 with a 1.20 ERA (2 ER, 15.0 IP), 0.80 WHIP (0 BB, 12 H) and struck out 12 over two starts… RHP Seranthony Dominguez retired all 12 batters he faced, recording seven strikeouts in 4.0 innings (two relief outings)… RHP Franklyn Kilome won his lone start, allowing two runs over 5.1 innings with six strikeouts.

Clearwater Threshers - Florida State League North Division… 5-13, 6th place… Offensively, the Threshers lead the FSL with 19 home runs.

Top hitting performers - SS Arquimedes Gamboa, the Phillies Minor League Player of the Week, slashed .368/.500/.632 (7-19) with a double, two triples, two RBI, four runs scored and five walks over five games… OF Jose Pujols hit .300 (6-20) and slugged two home runs with four RBI in five games… OF Adam Haseley went 8-for-27 (.296) with two doubles, three RBI and four runs scored over six contests… INF Jose Gomez batted .300 (6-20) in five games.

Top pitching performers - LHP McKenzie Mills logged a quality start in his only outing, tossing 7.0 innings, while allowing one run on three hits with no walks and six strikeouts. He has posted a 0.88 WHIP in three starts this season… RHP Sixto Sanchez surrendered two runs over 6.0 innings and allowed one walk with five strikeouts in his second start of the season… LHP Jakob Hernandez made two scoreless relief appearances (3.2 IP), allowing one hit, one walk and striking out six.

Lakewood BlueClaws - South Atlantic League Northern Division… 9-9, 5th place… The BlueClaws have posted a 2.66 team ERA, the third-best mark in the SAL.

Top hitting performers - INF Jake Scheiner collected a team-high seven hits, including three doubles and one triple in seven games… 1B Quincy Nieporte batted .273 (6-22) with two doubles and six RBI over six contests.

Top pitching performers - RHP Connor Brogdon went 1-0 and did not allow a run in two starts (11.0 IP). He pitched to a 0.64 WHIP (3 BB, 4 H) and totaled 10 strikeouts… RHP Spencer Howard fanned nine over 5.0 innings in one start, allowed two runs and earned his first win of the season. He now has 22 strikeouts and just one walk this season… LHP Kyle Dohy tossed 4.2 scoreless innings (three relief appearances), striking out eight.

Philadelphia Phillies

Phillies now 9-1 at home after walk-off sweep

Altherr delivers game-winner; Pivetta extends staff streak to 12 games with 3 ER or fewer
Special to MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA -- Aaron Altherr went about two steps out of the batter's box, raised his arms and then waited for the mob to greet him at first base.

This is the way things are going for the Phillies right now. They expect good things to happen at any moment.