ALLENTOWN – With the IronPigs sitting atop the International League North Division standings for the first time in franchise history, the IronPigs squared off in a double-header against the second place Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees.
In their first test as the 'Big-Pig', Lehigh Valley dropped game one, 5-4, but Brandon Moss's dramatic three-run homer late in game two salvaged a split, keeping the IronPigs in first place.
In the second game, Lehigh Valley (7-4) seemed to have very little life. Even with Matt Miller's two-run single, they still appeared to be far from able to overcome Scranton's 3-2 lead.
All of that changed with one-out in the sixth inning. Ronnie Belliard, who is batting .368 and leading the IronPigs offense, walked and Delwyn Young singled. Brandon Moss blasted Buddy Carlyle's full count pitch over the right field billboards and out of the stadium.
"You just look for a pitch to drive it," Moss said. "[Carlyle] was hitting his spots and he threw a pitch that got too much of the plate and I got the bat head on it."
Juan Perez pitched a perfect seventh to put a stamp on the new style of IronPig baseball.
Last night's win was Lehigh Valley's sixth come-from-behind win of the season.
"It's good that we pieced that game together, using all of that pitching," IronPig manager Ryne Sandberg said. "The manager's best friend is a 3-run homer and it came at the right time. I feel we salvaged a win tonight."
Dramatic comebacks are something the IronPig fans have seldom seen, but this year's version seems to have a knack for the dramatic. Sunday, the IronPigs were losing 5-2 to Syracuse before they strung together a few timely hits including a homerun by Jeff Larish that led Lehigh Valley to a 10-6 win.
Four relief pitchers combined in the second game to salvage the split. Drew Carpenter, the IronPig leader in wins, started the game. He allowed a two-run triple by Chris Dickerson in the first and a solo homer by Yankee third-base prospect Brandon Laird in his two innings of work.
Scott Mathieson pitched three strong shutout innings with Jason Grilli (1-0) taking the win after one inning of work.
Lehigh Valley game one starter Ryan Feierabend took a 4-2 lead into the fourth inning as Vazquez ripped a double to lead off the inning and scored on Jordan Parraz's triple. Former National prospect Justin Maxwell's 2-run shot provided the game winning run.
Feierabend gave up a two-out two-run homerun in the first inning to Vazquez and took the loss.
Lehigh Valley brought out the lumber early after Yankee starter Andrew Brackman plunked the first two batters. After Cory Sullivan drove in the first IronPig run, Ronnie Belliard lined a two-run homerun just inside the left-field foul pole. Delwyn Young followed with a solo-shot into the Bud-Light trough beyond the right-field wall for a 4-2 IronPig lead.
That would end the scoring for Lehigh Valley. Brackman settled in and shut out the IronPigs for the remainder of his five inning outing. SWB closer Kevin Whelan finished out the game for a 5-4 IronPig win.
Former Cub ace, Mark Prior made his Triple-A debut in the sixth inning of game two by retiring the side in order during his only inning of work.
Since June 17, 2010, Lehigh Valley is 11-6 versus Scranton Wilkes-Barre.