ALLENTOWN – The temperature read 98-degrees at the start of the game, none of the 9,355 fans at Coca Cola Park could have figured that the heat would continue throughout the night.
Andrew Carpenter struck out a season-high eight in taking a no-hitter into the sixth inning and with blasts from Andy Tracy and young phenom Domonic Brown, the IronPigs won their second straight with an 8-1 win over Pawtucket.
"He mixed speeds, located the ball very well, and pitched ahead in the count," Manager Dave Huppert said of Carpenter's six and two-thirds shutout innings.
Pawtucket's first hit came with one out in the sixth inning off the bat of Gil Velasquez. With two outs, Ryan Shealy doubled but Carpenter got Lars Anderson to fly out to end the threat.
The IronPig offense gave Carpenter the cushion they needed in the third inning as five straight batters reached with two outs. After a single in the first, Domonic Brown was walked by Pawsox starter and former Phil Fabio Castro to load the bases.
"I'll take Tracy at the plate at any time in any situation," Huppert said of Brown's walk. "He's a proven RBI guy so I'll take him at the plate anytime they want to walk Brown."
All Tracy did was plaster Castro's full-count pitch just over the wall in right field for his 12th homer and his second grand slam of the season to give Lehigh Valley a 4-0 lead.
"[Castro] has a great curveball and he threw me a couple of curve balls in my first at-bat," Tracy said looking for another curveball. "He left the curveball up a little 1bit and I got a hold of it."
They blew the game open in the seventh inning as Brown (2-for-4) sent a one out offering into the fans on the centerfield berm for a 5-0 lead.
The slumping John Mayberry (2-for-4) added an RBI single and Chris Aguilla added a two run double for another four run frame to push the score to 8-0.
Oddly enough, the Pawsox first run came off Phillie reliever Ryan Madson, who is trying to complete his rehab assignment with the IronPigs. In just 22 pitches, Madson threw just 10 strikes in walking two and giving up a single. The run was scored off Josh Reddick's sacrifice fly.
"It didn't go as planned but I did feel good, feel healthy," Madson said.
The setup man for Brad Lidge is trying to work his way back to Philadelphia after breaking his toe while kicking a chair after a blown save.
"I was trying to throw as hard as I could to get the velocity up [and] keep the ball down in the zone," said Madson, who walked his first batter in his fourth rehab. "I have to work more with [pitching coach] Rod Nichols."
Madson will pitch again for Lehigh Valley tonight so he can pitch in back-to-back games. The Phillies expect the right-hander to be activated this weekend.
The win improves Carpenter's record to 7-6 and lowers his ERA to 3.21 on the season.
Tonight, Brandon Duckworth (2-3, 4.26) starts for the IronPigs against Pawtucket's Kris Johnson (3-6, 4.94) with a start time 7:05.