ALLENTOWN – The IronPig staff celebrated Halloween theme in July, but it was Buffalo that provided the horrors as the Bison downed Lehigh Valley 7-1 before a crowd of 9,702 at Coca Cola Park.
Bison's starter Pat Misch crossed up Lehigh Valley hitters for seven scoreless innings surrendering just three singles. While Misch did not allow a runner past second base, Buffalo ripped up 12 hits on IronPig pitching.
"We gave up a lot of hits and were held to few hits (and that's) not a good combination," IronPig manager Ryne Sandberg said.
Lehigh Valley's first hit came from the bat of Domonic Brown with one out in the fourth inning, but Misch ended the inning by getting Tagg Bozied to ground into a double play.
"Our hitters were saying the ball was cutting in, cutting away, he had his changeup, his curve ball and they just couldn't square anything up. We hit balls hard right at them but they didn't amount to anything," Sandberg said.
IronPIg starter Ryan Feierabend was victimized by the Bison lineup for nine hits over five innings. Although he was able to get out of jams in the first four innings, the fifth inning proved to be his doom giving up five runs.
"Feierabend had good stuff. He had the stuff that got him his wins," Sandberg said of his pitcher's ability to get out of jams. "A couple of balls down the left field line on the chalk, a couple of bloopers. It's a law of average game for him. He had good stuff all the way through but things added up."
Two singles and a hit-batsman loaded the bases for Misch who launched a Feierabend offering over the head of 'Pig left-fielder Brown to drive in two runs.
"[Misch] did that earlier in the year against us. He hit a bases loaded double to score three runs," Sandberg said.
A bloop single and two sacrifice flies drove in the final three runs.
"[Feierabend] had better stuff than what the line score says," Sandberg said.
Luis Figueroa's two-out single would tack on the final two runs off 'Pig reliever Aaron Heilman to round out the Bison scoring.
In the eighth, Misch was pulled in favor of reliever Keven Sweeney. The first hitter he faced, Pete Orr, jumped all over a fastball to drive in the lone Lehigh Valley run, a solo homer.
After starting the season-long 10-game home stand 5-1, the IronPigs have now lost four straight. Lehigh Valley (62-47) embarks on an 11-game road trip that includes three games against Scranton Wilkes-Barre and four-game series with Durham and Norfolk.
"We go up against a team we battled all year (Scranton) and a team that is right there, so it becomes a bigger series in Scranton right now, but we've turned things around on the road before."