For the second straight start, left-hander Jesse Biddle dominated opposing hitters. The Phillies' No. 2 prospect struck out 10 batters in seven innings on Wednesday, leading Double-A Reading to a 1-0 victory over Richmond.
In his last two starts, Biddle has struck out 21 batters and allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits in 14 innings. His ERA, which stood at 5.02 after three starts, has fallen to 2.86. Perhaps most encouraging is that Biddle has walked just two hitters in that stretch after averaging 5.33 walks per nine innings last season.
On Wednesday, the Squirrels managed two hits and a walk against Biddle, who is ranked No. 51 on MLB.com's Top 100 prospects list. He has now struck out at least 10 batters in back-to-back games for just the second time in his career and the first time since last April.
Reading scored the game's lone run in the fourth inning. Cam Perkins, the Phillies' No. 14 prospect, led off with a single, and Tommy Joseph, No. 16, drove him in with a two-out single.
With Biddle on the mound, it was all the offense needed. He combined with relievers Kyle Simon and Ken Giles for Reading's first shutout of the season.
Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.