ALLENTOWN – The IronPigs are off to a great start to the second half of the season. After losing the first games at Louisville, the IronPigs finished up by winning five of the last six games including a four game sweep of Indianapolis.
"Everything went our way with the timely hitting. Every time we fell behind or they tied it up we came right back and scored a run, or two, or three," manager Dave Huppert said.
The timely hitting came not from Andy Tracy or Domonic Brown but shortstop Brian Bocock. Yes, the same sub-.200 hitter lit up opposing pitching in record breaking fashion.
Thursday night, Bocock's career long nine-game hitting streak came to an end. During that streak he put together his first multi-homerun game as a pro and tied an all-time high record for runs batted in during a game and a clutch triple to win the game.
In the first win of the road trip against Indianapolis Bocock led the team with three hits, two solo homeruns, in supporting Brandon Duckworth's first of two wins during the eight game trip.
In Monday's 10-8 win over Indianapolis, Bocock's second hit of the game was a bases clearing triple in the top of the ninth inning to drive in three for the winning runs of the game.
"He was due," Huppert said. "He works hard and it was good see him hit well."
On Wednesday, Bocock drilled his second career grand slam in the ninth inning for his third homer of the road trip. His six RBI in that game not only powered the IronPigs to a 12-8 win but tied Andy Tracy's IronPig record for most RBI in a game.
Although Andy Tracy is batting .353 in the previous 31 games, he missed much of the series due to a shoulder injury. The rest of the team stepped up to fill the void.
All-world prospect Dom Brown was still batting .330 before last night's game with most of it facing left-handed pitching.
"Ninety percent of his at-bats at Louisville were against left-handed pitcher," Huppert estimated.
With Tracy out, winning five games on the road trip was made amidst roster turmoil that saw the Phillies snatching and grabbing players leaving Huppert to roll the dice each day with the lineup. Nate Bump was demoted to Reading to bring up a pitcher for a day to replace Drew Carpenter who was called up to Philly. Carpenter was sent back down while J.A. Happ and Reading's Vance Worley were called up.
That move squeezed Kyle Kendrick out of Philly and off to catch up with the IronPigs. He never arrived as the Injury to Jamie Moyer forced the Phils to keep Kendrick.
"It was confusing making a lineup card every day," Huppert said."With Kendrick, one day we had then the next day we don't."
Still, the IronPigs ended the road trip with their fourth straight win, their first four game sweep of the season and their longest streak of the year.
"We just hit the ball well and played fundamentally sound baseball and our pitching was outstanding," Huppert said.
They'll need to keep that good play flowing in the eight-game home stand as the Norfolk Tide (47-53) and the Durham Bulls (58-40) sport some of the best pitching in the league.