ALLENTOWN – Joe Savery made his return to Lehigh Valley and made an impact. His two shoutout innings were enough to get the win as the IronPigs split a double header with Syracuse last night to open the second half of the season.
After losing the first game, 3-2, to the Chiefs, Lehigh Valley responded with a 5-2 win in the nightcap..
Savery, who was a starter last year at Lehigh Valley, came on in relief of starter Scott Mathieson, who was sent down from Philadelphia. In his first game back at Lehigh Valley he pitched two scoreless innings.
"He did a nice job for us," said LV manager Ryne Sandberg. "I let him pitch in that situation and he was able to get an at bat, but I also wanted to see what he had."
Mathieson pitched three innings of the seven inning second game and gave up just two runs, but Sandberg pulled him when he reached his pitch count.
"He had a 50-pitch limit and he pitched 52," Sandberg said. "He didn't want to come out, he wanted to stay out there."
"I felt a little bit rusty but I felt pretty good out there for the most part," Mathieson said. "I'll go out there in a few days and work on building on this."
Down 2-0 in the second, the Lehigh Valley bats heated up. Erik Kratz, Tagg Bozied, Cody Overbeck, and Brian Bocock strung together singles to tie the game 2-2. Mathieson, given permission to swing away, hit the ball to the right side of tfor the eventual winning run.
Rich Thompson added to the Lehigh Valley lead by driving in Brian Bocock with a triple and then scored on Josh Barfield's single.
Jason Grilli and Michael Schimmer pitched the final two innings to close out the game.
In the first game, Brian Bass kept the Pigs close, but for the fifth time this season, the righty left the game with zero runs of support.
"He battles out there and gives us a chance to win and that is all you can ask," Sandberg said.
Bass, who came into the game with a 2.65 ERA at Coca Cola Park, pitched five innings and gave up just two runs, striking out seven and walking none.
Chiefs starter J.D. Martin was just as effective. He was cruising with a 3-0 lead when Barfield singled and scored on Brandon Moss's 15th homer of the season.
That was as close as the IronPigs would get as the Chief bullpen closed the door on the 3-2 win.
The Pigs lost their third baseman during a fifth inning scoring opportunity. Jeff Larish led off with a single. He later tried to score on Brian Bocock's single but was thrown out by left-fielder Jeff Frazier at the plate.
Trying to avoid the tag, Larish bent his right foot awkwardly and immediately winced in pain. Iron Pig trainer Jason Kirkman immediately called for the leg immobilizer and Larish was carried off the field with an aircast on his right leg.
"He broke his leg," Sandberg said after the game. "He had brand new spikes on and he tried to dance around a tag instead of sliding. He caught it, it twisted."