The big league Phillies weren't the only ball players kicking off their 2012 campaign on Thursday. Here's a glance how the Phillies' minor league clubs and their players did on opening day...
In a rain-shortened 8 inning affair, the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws dropped their South Atlantic League season opener by a score of 4-2 against the Red Sox affiliate Greenville Drive. Lefty hurler Lino Martinez got the start on the mound and allowed 1 earned run in 5 2/3 innings while striking out 4 and walking none. Righty reliever Gabriel Arias took the loss, allowing 3 earned runs in 1 2/3 innings. On the offensive side, Kelly Dugan, the Phillies' top draft pick from 2009, notched 2 hits in his full season Class A debut. Third baseman Maikel Franco (pictured, right) went hitless in 4 at bats, lowering his batting average in the SAL to .116 in 19 games, including time spent with Lakewood last year.
The Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers fell to Dunedin (Toronto affiliate), 6-3. Phils hurler Jose Contreras, on the disabled list with arm trouble, appeared in a rehab start in this contest, but got taken deep for a 2-run HR by Blue Jays' clean up hitter Marcus Knecht and threw 2 wild pitches en route to allowing 3 earned runs in 1/3 of an inning. The poor outing to kick off the game was enough to earn Contreras the loss. Offensively, Jim Murphy knocked in 2 runs with a double and Peter Lavin drove in 1 with a double of his own. Shortstop Edgar Duran is back at full health and notched a hit after suffering a badly broken finger late in the 2011 regular season.
Double-A Reading kicked off the season with a double header against the Portland Sea Dogs (Boston affiliate). In game 1, catcher Sebastian Valle notched two hits, including a homerun. Outfielder Leandro Castro launched a homer of his own as well, a 2-run walk-off shot in the bottom of the 9th inning to lock down a 4-2 victory. Starting pitcher Jonathan Pettibone allowed 10 hits and 1 earned run in 6 innings of work. Reading turned five double plays in the contest.
In game 2, Reading completed the sweep, winning 7-4. Second baseman Cesar Hernandez slapped 2 doubles in 4 at bats and drove in 2 runs, while Castro knocked in 2 more. Chris Kissock earned the win in relief of Tyson Brummett.
Triple-A Lehigh Valley got a dominant performance from Tyler Cloyd (pictured, right), who was perfect with 8 strike outs through 6 innings against the Yankees' affiliate, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Cloyd earned the win in his Triple-A debut. Phillippe Aumont, Jake Diekman and Michael Schwimer each worked a scoreless inning of relief to lock down the 3-0 win for the Pigs. Rich Thompson recorded the game's only RBI with a bases loaded walk in the 2nd inning. The other Lehigh Valley runs scored on an error that same inning. Domonic Brown went 0-for-4 in the contest and played left field.
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