ALLENTOWN – Coming into Tuesday night's game Ryan Feierabend was as hot as the IronPigs. The winning pitcher in four of his last five starts, the left-hander looked to continue the winning ways of Lehigh Valley.
Coming home from a road trip that garnered six wins in eight games, Lehigh Valley was dealt a rude homecoming by the Durham Bulls. An area hitter had a homecoming of his own as he led the pasting of Feierabend for eight runs as Durham upended the IronPigs 9-1.
The good news in the first inning for Feierabend was he collected three strikeouts. It is what happened in between that spoiled the otherwise beautiful night.
Desmond Jennings led off the game with a single and went to third on Ray Olmedo's double. After the first strikeout, Bull Slugger Dan Johnson walked to load the bases.
That set the stage for Hazleton native Russ Canzler, who drilled the first pitch over the centerfield wall for a bases-clearing grand slam and a 4-0 lead.
"We got off to a rocky first couple of innings and they stole the moment on us," IronPig manager Ryne Sandberg said.
Left fielder Scott Posednik gave his pitcher a reprieve with three straight put outs in the second, but the onslaught continued in the third inning.
Former IronPig J.J. Furmaniak ripped a double and Jennings slayed a base-clearing triple to highlight a second four run frame against the IronPig starter.
"Feierabend just didn't get ahead of the hitters and the hitters were in good hitting counts and they just squared balls up," Sandberg said.
Brian Baker paced Durham through six innings surrendering just three hits to gain the win.
Lehigh Valley's offense was non-existent all evening as the only run they scored was unearned. With two on, John Mayberry grounded to third for what would be the third out. Durham's Canzler threw wide of first allowing the only LV run to score.
"Down early like that makes it tough [to come back]. We'll rebound and come out tomorrow with [Vance] Worley and see what happens," the IronPig manager said.
PIG NOTES ... Brian Gordon is 5-0 with a 0.74 ERA and has a current 15 inning scoreless streak ... Jeff Larish, winner of IL's hitter of the week is hitting just .174 at Coca Cola park and .341 on the road ... Scott Podsednik has hit safely in all six games with Lehigh Valley.
The IronPig bullpen, solid all season, was called upon again to save the day. Chance Chapman and combined for five straight scoreless innings to save the use of the already shorthanded staff.
"We only had six pitchers available so those guys did their job and helped us out," Sandberg said.
Carpenter, the IronPigs all-time leader in wins, continues his transformation from starter to his role in the bullpen, lowering his ERA to 1.98.
"Carpenter once again had two quality innings in a game that was non-interesting, 19 pitches in two innings is outstanding," Sandberg added.
Durham will send Tampa Bay Ray starter Jeff Niemann to the mound for a rehab start.