It was a beautiful night under the lights for baseball at Brighthouse with temperatures starting out in the 70’s as the Threshers concluded their exhibition play with a 7-1 win over the Phillies extended spring training team who were helped by Phillies Carlos Ruiz and Delmon Young. They were getting their work in anticipation of returning to the Phillies major league roster in a few weeks.
Ruiz and Young batted second and third for the first four innings but still the Threshers had little trouble downing the Extenders made up of young players who were not assigned to the four Phillies minor league teams. Ruiz did manage a base hit as he caught the first half of the game and Young drove in the only Extenders run with a fielders choice ground out. He did catch a fly ball in right as he appeared to be making good progress in his rehab assignment.
Gabe Arias was impressive on the mound early for the Threshers. After that it was a parade of pitchers for both teams getting work in for the start of the Florida State league on Thursday and the extended spring training season starting this coming Monday. It really did not matter which team they were pitching for in the game as pitchers were being run in and out each inning. Two Threshers starters Percy Garner and lefty Hoby Milner were charting pitches up in the stands behind home plate.
Several of the Thresher players had good nights at the bat with third baseman Maikel Franco lining a double to the gap in left and adding a single the next time up and Chris Serritella lining a home run to right center. They will provide the power in the heart of the Thresher lineup to start the season. For the Extenders catcher Deivy Grullon who came on to catch after Ruiz left the game doubled to left center and was impressive behind the plate.
Finally, the minor league season will start for good on Thursday. And it is so good to watch baseball in the nice spring time evening weather of the Tampa Bay area.