Ellis Impressive Debut

Five Phillies pitchers kept the New York Mets in the park which paved the way for a 5-1 win Sunday, salvaging one weekend game in Citi Field. In cruising to wins in the first two games by a 21-5 margin, the Mets hit eight home runs.

00 Ellis

A.J. Ellis had a big game in his Phillies debut driving in two go-ahead runs with a bases-loaded double during a four-run seventh inning. After scoring the fourth run of that inning he was greeted with a parade of high fives by his new dugout teammates. Behind the plate he masterfully handled five different pitchers, none of whom he’d ever caught before. Over the last nine seasons (2008-16), Ellis has the lowest catchers ERA (3.31) among all Major League catchers.

Starter Vince Velasquez lasted only five innings because of a 103-pitch count. He had a 27-pitch first inning allowing his lone run. After that, two singles, one walk and all seven of his strikeouts. It was a huge step forward. The 24-year-old right-hander had allowed 19 runs and 25 hits over his previous 16 1/3 innings.

Nationals Next
A three-game series against the Nationals at Citizens Bank Park starts tonight. Jake Thompson will be on the mound, the 100th start by a Phillies pitcher 27 years old or younger this season.

5 Things
Five things to know about the Nationals:
**Fresh from losing last 2 games in 3-game weekend vs. Rockies.
**Riding a 6-game winning streak vs. Phillies.
**Only the Cubs have a better NL record.
**3.48 ERA is second-lowest to the Cubs (3.14).
**Dominating the NL East (35-16).

Minor League Report
Reading: CF Roman Quinn, placed on DL (concussion); LF Andrew Pullin, placed on DL (right elbow strain); OF Andrew Brown, added from Clearwater.

Lehigh Valley IronPigs (80-55), International League North Division. Season ends Monday, September 5. 2nd place, 4 games behind Scranton for Division title. 4.5 game lead over Rochester for the wildcard berth. Last 5 games of the season are against Rochester.

Won 2 of 3 in Buffalo . . . 4-3 L on Friday, David Buchanan (8-9) . . . 12-2 W on Saturday. WP: Anthony Vasquez (4-0) . . . 5-2 W on Sunday. WP: Ben Lively (10-5); 17-5 combined AA-AAA this season . . . LF-3B Cody Asche, 4 H, HR (5), 5 RBI. 1B-LF-DH Darin Ruf, 5 H, 2 2B, 2 RBI; 14-game hitting streak. C Andrew Knapp, 5 H, 2 2B, 4 RBI. 1B-DH Brock Stassi, 4 H, 2B, 2 RBI . . . Nick Pivetta (0-1), 7:05 tonight at Buffalo.

Postseason: South winner meets West winner; wildcard (non-division winner with best winning percentage) meets North, best-of-5. Winners advance to the Governor Cup Championship, best-of-5.

Reading Fightin’ Phils (84-49), Eastern League Eastern Division. Clinched postseason berth on Saturday. Reading has a 1.5 game lead on 2nd-place Trenton which also clinched a post-season berth. Two teams end season with 4 games in Trenton, Friday through Sunday.

Ended series vs. New Hampshire with 7-6 win Sunday after 5-2 L Friday and 5-3 L Saturday. LPs: Tom Eshelman (4-5), Miguel Nunez (4-3) . . . ND Sunday: Mark Leiter Jr., 6.1-3-3-3-2-4; lost a no-hitter on a HR with 1 out in T7; retired 19 of 1st 21 batters, issuing both walks in T1. WP: Jesen Thierren (1-0); SV; Nunez (17).

DH Jake Fox, HR Sunday (21-22). 1B Rhys Hoskins, HR Friday-Saturday (36-37). 2B Scott Kingery, 5 H weekend . . . Ricardo Pinto (4-5), 6:35 tonight vs. Portland.

Postseason: The top two teams in each division, best-of-5. Winners advance to championship round, best-of-5.

Clearwater Threshers (39-24), Florida State League North Division. 2nd place, 2.5 games behind Dunedin, 2nd half. Two teams meet in the final four games of the season which ends Sunday. Clearwater needs to win the 2nd half to reach the postseason.

Won 2 of 3 in Daytona Beach . . . 11-4 L Friday, Luke Leftwich (3-4) . . . 6-2 W Saturday, William Morris (9-3) . . . 6-5 W Sunday, Ulises Joaquin (3-2). RF Jiandido Tromp, GW HR T9 (#9) . . . OF Zach Coppola, 5 H, 4 RBI, 3 SB weekend . . . 1B Kyle Martin, HR (19), Sunday . . . Brandon Leibrandt (3-1), 6:35 tonight in Brevard County.

Postseason: 1st and 2nd half division winners, best-of-3. Winners advance to championship, best-of-5.

Lakewood BlueClaws (39-24), South Atlantic League North Division. 1st place, 3-game lead, 2nd half. Lakewood, which finished in 6th place in 1st half, needs to win the 2nd half to qualify for the postseason. Season ends Monday, September 5.

Won 2 of 3 in West Virginia, final road games . . . 4-2 W Friday, Seranthony Dominquez (4-2); SV: Grant Dyer (1) . . . 5-4, 10-inning L Saturday ended an 8-game winning streak . . . 4-3, 13-inning W Sunday, WP: Ismael Cabrera (2-1). SV: Scott Harris (1).

3B-1B Damek Tomscha, 5 H, 4 RBI; drove in 2 runs T1 on Sunday and won game with RBI 1B in T13 . . . CF Mark Laird, 4 H . . . Day off today. Final homestand begins tomorrow night.

Postseason: 1st and 2nd half division winners, best-of-3. Winners advance to championship, best-of-5.

Williamsport Crosscutters (34-33), New York-Penn League Pinckney Division. Eliminated from division tile and in 3rd place, 5 games behind in the wildcard race. Season ends Monday, September 5.

Lost 2 of 3 to Brooklyn . . . 1-0 L Friday, JoJo Romero (2-2) . . . 8-2 W Saturday, Felix Paulino (2-4); SV: Tyler Hallead (1) . . . 2-1 L Sunday, Ranger Suarez (5-4). 4 ejections in 8th inning, 2 for each team . . . 1B Darick Hall, 4 H, 2 2B, HR (6), 4 RBI . . . Bailey Falter (1-6), 7:05 tonight vs. Mahoning Valley.

Postseason: Three Division winners and one wildcard team, best-of-3. Winners advance to championship, best-of-3.

Gulf Coast League Phillies, (41-15), Northwest Division. 1st place, 2 games ahead of the Blue Jays. Season ends Thursday. Last two games are against the Blue Jays.

Split two games vs. Tigers West . . . 3-2 W Friday, Luis Gonzalez (4-0). SV: Jose Nin (7) . . . 3-0 L Saturday in Lakeland, getting just 3 hits . . . LF Josh Stephen, HR (2), 2 RBI Friday . . . 12 noon vs. Yankees West in Tampa.

Postseason: Four division winners qualify. Division winner with best record meets division winner with the lowest record and the other two division winners meet in a 1-game playoff. Winners advance to championship, best-of-3.


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