IronPigs take new approach and get much-needed win
ALLENTOWN - The frustration is over!
In the previous eight games, the IronPigs won only two, averaging less than three runs per game.
In their series opener on Monday, the IronPig offense was non-existent with 2-runs on two hits.
The IronPig's collective bats came alive as Lehigh Valley downed Pawtucket 8-2 before 7,535 at Coca Cola Park.
It did not have anything to do with preaching to the baseball gods, starting new superstitions, or selling their souls to change their fortunes, all they did was continue to do what they always do.
"Sometimes you wait [for a good pitch], sometimes you get one sometimes you don't," Outfielder Brandon Moss said. "It was just one of those times where our approach worked really well for us and got hits in key spots."
From the start, the Lehigh Valley bats were popping. Rich Thompson and Kevin Frandsen started the game with singles and then pulled off the double steal. Thompson would score the lone Lehigh Valley run of the inning on a sacrifice fly by Moss, but it was clear, last night result was going to be different.
"That's what we do. It was a 2-2 count and I like to stay out of a double play in that situation," Manager Ryne Sandberg said. "I flash signs that I flash and the guys respond."
With two outs on the in the fourth, Josh Barfield started a two out rally for Lehigh Valley. Three walks and a hit batsman later, the IronPigs improved the lead to 5-1
With the bases loaded, Moss provided the big hit of the game. Pawtucket pulled starter Brandon Duckworth for reliever Matt Fox. Moss slipped the third offering from Fox down the right field line for a base clearing double to give the IronPigs a commanding 8-1 lead.
"I've been struggling at the plate a good bit lately. I feel I've been trying to do a little too much." Moss said. "It's just a matter of good work coming out at the right time."
Lehigh Valley starter Brian Bass pitched five solid innings of one run ball. The only mistake was Josh Reddick's solo homerun to lead off the fourth inning and cut the lead to 3-1. Three relievers pitched the final four innings to close the game out.
Duckworth, a former Philadelphia Phillie and IronPig, has had a great start to the 2011 season, but he imploded. He started game with a 0.48 ERA walking just two on the season. Last night, he surrendered
eight runs, walked five, tossed two wild pitches, hit a batter, and allowed a run on a wild pitch.
"We had some good at bats. We had seven walks some of which led up to the bases loaded hit by Moss." Sandberg said. "I thought our hitters did a nice job of making them throw strikes, taking advantage of the long counts and …(getting) walks."
Tonight, the IronPigs again face Pawtucket in the third game of the four game series. Lehigh Valley's Ryan Feierbend (0-1, 6.23) faces PawSox southpaw Felix Doubront with a 7:05 start time.