Tyler Cloyd was slated to start on Thursday - just not for the IronPigs. However, due to a suspension to starting pitcher Dave Bush, Cloyd made his Triple-A debut on Opening Night for Lehigh Valley and was nothing short of perfect - literally perfect.
The 24-year-old, who was scheduled to start for the Reading Phillies before receiving his first Triple-A promotion, struck out eight in six perfect innings as the IronPigs blanked the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, 3-0, on Opening Day in front of 9,722 fans at Coca-Cola Park.
Cloyd, an 8th round selection by the Phillies in 2008, needed only 73 pitches (46 strikes) as he briskly worked through six innings. The Yankees lifted just three balls out of the infield against the Nebraska native as Cloyd induced several bad swings from the Scranton bats.
Cloyd got the help he needed in the second as the IronPigs took advantage of sloppy Yankee defense to push across three runs. Rich Thompson worked a bases-loaded walk before Joe Thurston's grounder was thrown away by shortstop Ramiro Pena allowing two more runs to cross as the 'Pigs went ahead 3-0.
Phillippe Aumont relieved Cloyd and allowed a one-out double off the lunging glove of Thompson in centerfield to break up the perfect game after 6 1/3 innings. Jake Diekman worked a perfect eighth and Michael Schwimer worked around a leadoff walk in the ninth inning to earn the save and preserve the win.
It was the first time in IronPigs history that the team combined to allow just one hit. The IronPigs have yielded just two hits on four occasions - the last coming on September 3rd of last season against Buffalo.
For the IronPigs it was their second consecutive Opening Day win, after knocking off the Yankees, 7-2, last year at Coca-Cola Park to start the season.
Bush, who was slated to get the Opening Day nod for the IronPigs, was levied a 5-game suspension from Major League Baseball for his role in a bench-clearing incident on 3/28 against the Triple-A Pirates in spring training.
RHP Austin Hyatt is scheduled to get the start on Friday for the IronPigs as they look for the sweep of the two-game set. Hyatt was an Eastern League All-Star a season ago with Reading going 12-6, 3.85 ERA in 28 starts for the R-Phils.
Scranton will counter with RHP Dellin Betances, one of the top pitching prospects in the Yankees organization. Betances had a combined 3.70 ERA between Trenton (AA) and Scranton/WB in 2011 before earning his first Major League promotion in September.
Bacon Bits: OF Scott Podsednik was put on the Temporarily Inactive List before the game due to personal reasons... Former IronPig Dewayne Wise is on Scranton's Temporarily Inactive List. Wise hit .270-4-13 in 37 games with the 'Pigs in 2010... Another former IronPig, Jack Cust, went 0-for-3 in the cleanup hole for the Yankees...
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.