ALLENTOWN – There were a lot of 'ifs' and 'whiffs' and 'could have beens' for the IronPigs on Wednesday night as they dropped the fourth game of a four game series to the Pawtucket PawSox 4-2.
IF they won they would have had their first series sweep and their first four-game win streak of the season. It just may have happened IF they would have gotten the third out in the sixth inning. That would have allowed them to enter the seventh with no worse than a 2-0 lead.
Brian Mazone got through the first five innings without giving up a run that extended the scoreless innings streak by IronPig starters to 18 innings.
With two outs and a runner on second, Pawtucket's Josh Reddick chopped one to Melvin Dorta who is filling in for the injured Andy Tracy at first base. Dorta's throw to Mazone was late and the inning was extended with runners on the corner.
"If Mazone gets over there in time we get out of the inning without giving up any runs," manager Dave Huppert said.
That was the first of four straight two-out hits that opened the door for the PawSox, who have been handcuffed by IronPig pitching over the past two games. Jorge Jimenez followed with an RBI single and Gil Velazquez's two-run double down the third base line gave the PawSox a 3-2 lead.
Mazone was again poised to get out of the inning but another grounder towards Dorta let in the final run. Normally a second baseman, Dorta ranged over in front of second baseman Keoni De Renne. He was never able to make the throw allowing the final Pawtucket run to score.
"If Dorta stays home on the second one it's a routine ground ball to the second baseman," Huppert said of Dorta playing in just his fourth professional game at first base. "It's tough to get mad at Dorta, he sees the ball and he thinks 'go get it' and he does."
Chris Aguila, the other new IronPig outfielder, provided all of the offense. Recently acquired from Toronto, Aguila drove in John Mayberry in the second and then the fourth inning to give the IronPigs a 2-0 lead.
"He can drive the ball when he gets his pitches," Huppert said of Aguila
That was all the IronPigs could manage
"If [Andy] Tracy or Domonic [Brown] aren't driving in runs then we ain't driving in a lot of runs," manager Dave Huppert said. "That is just the way it is.We don't have a potent offense without Tracy in the lineup."
Rich Hill pitched two innings in relief of starter Randor Bierd to get the win. Closer Fernando Cabrera closed out the game for the PawSox. He gave up a hit to 'Pig second baseman Keoni De Renne but Lehigh Valley posed no threat to score.
Mazone, who normally suffers from his team's lack of run support, suffered from the heat as well. With a 3.87 ERA, Mazone (5-9) succumbed to the heat.
"He was sick earlier in the week and he was still putting up zeros and not giving up hits. He just ran out of gas," Huppert said.
The IronPigs go on the road for four games, two at Syracuse and two at Scranton Wilkes-Barre, before the All-Star Break. Their next home game will be July 23.