ALLENTOWN – Sometimes a second chance makes all the difference. At least it did for Scranton Wilkes-Barre starting pitcher David Phelps.
Twelve days before, the IronPigs lineup blasted Phelps in the season opener to the tune of five runs in four-plus innings of work.
Last night, the Yankees' 2010 minor league pitcher of the year controlled the IronPig lineup enough to post a 5-2 Yankee win at Coca-Cola Park to even the Yankees with Lehigh Valley a-top the International League North standings.
"It was one of those games," IronPig manager Ryne Sandberg said of a night where his team was shorthanded with pitching.
Phelps was perfect through the first 11 batters but Cory Sullivan was able to break through with a single to center in the fourth inning. Phelps would make it into the sixth inning without allowing another baserunner as he pitched to a full count to just one IronPig and did not issue a free pass.
"He was a little bit of a buzzsaw and he pitched a good game,"said Sandberg. "(Phelps) shut us down. Our guys were having problems picking up his pitches."
Lehigh Valley had trouble driving in runs all night. In the sixth inning, the IronPigs loaded the bases with no out. Kevin Frandsen's fielder's choice scored Barfield, who had led off the inning with a single. Phelps then quickly disposed of Cory Sullivan and Jeff Larish to end the threat.
The IronPigs followed the next two innings with runners past second but all they could muster was a Brandon Moss single that scored Belliard in the seventh to cut the Yankee lead to 3-2.
"They did a real good job to minimize their damage in the opportunities we had," Sandberg said.
With an opportunity to continue to gain momentum for yet another late-inning come-from-behind win, Lehigh Valley (7-5) let it slip away with two costly eighth inning errors that opened the door to two more Yankee runs.
"We made it close but we made some miscues that didn't help us," Sandberg said. "(The score) got out of hand."
IronPig starter Vance Worley took the loss. He was effective but far from efficient, giving up two hits, striking out six, and walking none.
Worley stumbled in the fourth inning. He surrendered a one out double to Chris Dickerson and a bomb to Justin Maxwell to give the Yanks a 2-0 lead.