Two important players in the Phillies minor league system both returned to the field on Sunday. Domonic Brown, who left Wednesday's game after injuring his left hamstring, wasn't in the IronPigs' starting lineup, but came off the bench to deliver a key pinch-hit triple in Lehigh Valley's 11-2 win over Syracuse. Meanwhile, Jesse Biddle, who left his last start after just 1/3 of an inning after being struck in his pitching hand by a line drive, threw six strong innings in Clearwater's 10-7 win over Charlotte.
Brown tripled home Derek Mitchell and Tuffy Gosewisch in the bottom of the seventh to put Lehigh Valley up 10-2. The hit was into the right-center field gap. Brown showed no signs of any injury as he rounded the bases and actually gained speed rounding second to be sure there would be no play at third. Brown was pinch-hitting for pitcher Tyson Brummett in what was his first at-bat since Wednesday when he was attempting to beat a relay throw to first to complete a double-play and hadn't been in the lineup or appeared as a pinch-hitter since. As late as Saturday night, Brown was seen with ice strapped to his left leg, but has been participating in batting practice and ran the bases prior to the IronPigs' series opener against Syracuse on Saturday.
Injuries have hampered Brown somewhat over the past couple of seasons. The problems have ranged from a broken bone in his hand to a stiff neck that hurt his chances of making the big league club this past spring.
Biddle got his first win of the season Sunday to up his record to 1-2 and lowered his ERA to 4.94 by allowing just two earned runs over his six innings of work. In his last start, a line drive off the bat of Rubi Silva hit Biddle on his left hand and ricocheted to Jim Murphy, who recorded the out at first. Biddle was immediately lifted in a move that was termed precautionary and showed that he didn't have any lingering effects from the injury in his start Sunday at Charlotte. In Sunday's start, Biddle allowed two earned runs on three hits and two walks while striking out five to up his season total to 25 in 23 2/3 innings of work.
In his first season at the High-A level, Biddle struggled through his first three starts, but has threw six innings in his start prior to the injury and has posted a 2.19 ERA in his last three starts.