ALLENTOWN – It's amazing what one spark can do.
Two nights ago, Brandon Moss hit a three-run homer to propel the IronPigs to break a five-game losing streak.
Last night, the Pigs continued their turnaround to win back-to-back games. Ryan Edell won his first Triple-A game, 6-1 over the Charlotte Knights, behind a consistent and efficient offense.
Edell, who had success at Reading that earned his promotion, finally got on track after horrific numbers in his first two outings.
"It's great, after a couple of months trying it's good to get this one out of the way," Edell said.
Alejandro De Aza led off the game with a single to many groans from the seventh capacity crowd (10,000) of the season for LV. Rather than let it continue to snowball, Edell was able to get Andrew Garcia to bounce one to second baseman Josh Barfield, who started a 4-6-3 double play.
"I settled in and I've gotten to know the players and the coaches a lot better," Edell said. "I've learned to trust them and I know they are going to make some great plays. It's been a lot easier."
The only player to have Edell's number is the same guy that beat up IronPig pitching all season in Dayan Viciedo. His two-out double in the first set up the first run where Viciedo would score on Dallas McPherson's single for a 1-0 Knight lead.
After three hits in the first inning, Edell surrendered only two base hits and was pulled after a sixth inning walk to Viciedo.
"I just needed to settle down a little bit," Edell said. "I was leaving some balls up in the zone that inning, I got a timely double play and that really helped out. I could have been a lot worse in the first."
Meanwhile, the IronPig offense responded in kind. Rich Thompson, who reached base in all four plate appearances, singled and later scored on John Mayberry's sacrifice fly to tie the game after one inning.
In the fourth inning Josh Barfield drove in Moss who had doubled to give the IronPigs the lead and he also tripled to drive in Delwyn Young to add cushion.
In addition to Thompson's three hits, he stole two bases (26 on the year). The IronPigs manufactured runs through sacrifice flies, bunts, and a hit-and-run to capitalize on their opportunities. It was very similar to the IronPig baseball that was played before their roster was turned upside down.
"I think we are back to playing the way we did before all the changes," manager Ryne Sandberg said.
Les Walrond came in for a hitless outing that took Lehigh Valley (45-32) into the eighth inning. He gave way to Mike Zagurski, who hit De Aza to start the inning. Viciedo, who went 8-for-18 in the series and 14-for-32 (.438) against the IronPigs on the season, singled to make the game interesting.
Jason Grilli came on to put out the fire and finished the game out for his first ever minor league save.
in the first minor league game he ever finished.
"I relish coming in and putting out the fire," said Grilli, who was a starter for most of his career.