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First-round pick Nola impresses in latest start

First-round pick Nola impresses in latest start

Rain cut Cliff Lee's rehab start Sunday short and eventually forced Class A Advanced Clearwater's game at Brevard County to be suspended. When the teams resumed play Monday, right-hander Aaron Nola, the Phillies' first round pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, took the mound for the Threshers and picked up right where Lee left off.

Nola held the Manatees to one hit in five scoreless innings and helped the Threshers to a 3-0 victory. Facing just one batter above the minimum, he struck out five and earned his first professional victory. Lee had struck out two batters and allowed one hit in two scoreless innings before the rain came Sunday.

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Shortstop J.P. Crawford, ranked No. 83 on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list, hit a two-run home run to lead the Threshers' offense. The Phillies' No. 3 prospect is hitting .238/.324/.397 with three home runs in 16 games since getting promoted to Clearwater last month.

Nola was making his third start since the Phillies selected him seventh overall out of LSU last month. Since he allowed five runs (four earned) on four hits and three walks in 2 1/3 innings in his debut, he has been much better. In his last two outings, he held opponents to two hits and struck out eight batters in nine scoreless innings.

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.

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