Howard, Phils hitters again lead Scottsdale in AFL win

While many fans would love to see Spencer Howard pitching for the Phillies, the team is taking a more traditional approach with their top pitching prospect. The right-hander started Friday night for Scottsdale and threw three shutout innings, giving up one hit and one walk, while striking out two in a 3-2 Scorpions win. Howard threw 45 pitches, 30 of which were for strikes.

After giving up a leadoff single to Omar Estevez, Howard settled in and retired the next eight hitters before walking Estevez with two outs in the third. Howard’s fielding error then put runners on first and second, gut Estevez was caught stealing third for the final out of the inning.

Second baseman Nick Maton, another Phillies prospect, homered to leadoff the bottom of the ninth, giving the Scorpions a walk-off win over the Glendale Desert Dogs and upping the Scottsdale record to 2-0. Maton, 22, played at Clearwater and Reading this season and finished the game with three hits and two RBI.

Alec Bohm continued his hot pace with a 2-for-3 performance, giving him six hits in eight at-bats with a run scored and three RBI in two games.

Phillies outfielder Josh Stephen went 2-for-4 in the game for Scottsdale.

Combined, Phillies prospects are hitting .565 (13-for-23) with a home run, four runs scored and seven RBI through the first two AFL games. Phillies starting pitchers have thrown six shutout innings, striking out seven while allowing two hits and one walk. If you add in JoJo Romero‘s relief outing Thursday, the Phillies pitchers have allowed three runs – one earned – in 7 1/3 innings (1.23 ERA), with eight strikeouts, five hits and three walks.

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