ALLENTOWN – After losing a season-high fifth close game in a row Saturday, the IronPigs came out Sunday needing something different and gave the 9,515 fans at Coca-Cola Park just that.
A strong start by Brian Bass, Justin DeFratus holding the 'Pigs close and Brandon Moss's three-run homer off Shane Lindsay in the eighth inning provided the difference, as the IronPigs broke into the win column with a 5-2 victory over the Charlotte Knights.
"You are going to have your winning streaks and you will have your losing streaks but you are going to have to come in every day and expect to win, Moss said. "Then you get a game like this and things turn around."
In the eighth inning Friday, LV was down a run and Moss faced Lindsay with two on. The hard throwing righty threw his splitfinger fastball forcing Moss to ground out to end the inning.
"[Lindsay] throws really hard and he's really quick to the plate so you don't have a lot of time to load," Moss said."You are just looking for a pitch you can lift."
In the same situation yesterday, Moss battled to an even 2-2 count and blasted Lindsay's splitfinger fastball into the right field concourse to give the IronPigs a 4-2 lead.
Three batters later, Cody Overbeck would add insurance with a two-out double to drive in Tagg Bozied for the final run.
"He took a good swing with two strikes. That ball really jumped," Sandberg said of Moss. "When Moss's ball went out there was a little sigh of relief. It boosted everybody up and it was a big difference being up right there."
Bass put together another outstanding outing going six innings and giving up just two first-inning runs.
White Sox prospect Dayan Viciedo scorched IronPig pitching again with an RBI single in the first inning. He would later score on a double by Lastings Milledge giving Charlotte a 2-0 lead.
Bass buckled down and put up zeros in each of his next five innings.
"He always gets better as the innings went on," Sandberg said. "He wasn't totally pleased with his stuff but it was good enough."
DeFratus also changed his Friday outcome. Entering with the 'Pigs down a run, DeFratus gave up two runs in the ninth.
That experience helped Sunday as he took over for Bass in the seventh and the IronPigs down 2-1.
Defratus hit the first batter and walked the second, before getting the job done. He struck out Viciedo and got Milledge to ground into a double play to end the inning.
"That's what we are looking for, a little confidence inning with him," said Sanberg. "He kept the score in reach for the offense."