IronPigs suffer two one-run losses to Mud Hens
ALLENTOWN - Two short inning games weren't too kind to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs on Monday night.
They finished up a suspended game from Sunday against the Toledo Mud Hens, falling by a 3-2 score and then dropped the second seven inning contest 6-5 as International League play winds down towards the post-season.
The Pigs are now 69-55 and have fallen two games back of North Division leader Pawtucket. The good news is, the Pawsox beat Gwinett 7-3 and Louisville downed Indianapolis 4-1 so the IronPigs still have a game and a half lead for the wild card spot.
"Two short-inning games and we weren't able to strike early," said IronPigs manager Ryne Sandberg. "In the second game we were able to strike late, just as we did in the first game, but came up short and ran out of time."
In their first at bat of the suspended game, the Pigs wasted a golden opportunity to take the lead when Dominic Brown singled, stoled second and moved right around to third when the throw went in to center field.
Pete Orr hit a ground ball that Toledo shortstop Argenis Diaz gloved and he threw out Brown who was running for home as soon as the ball was hit.
"the job is to hit a sacrifice fly, but if a ball is not right at the infielder you have a chance to score, it's a contact play," Sandberg said. "It's an opportunity to score, it puts pressure on the defense and the hitters know what their job is."
The big blow turned out to be a two-run homer to center field by Toledo's Clete Thomas with Brandon Inge, who was hit by a pitch aboard, in the fourth inning.
The Pigs threatened in the sixth with Delwyn Young scoring on a single by Dane Sardinha, but wound up stranding a couple of runners.
Sandberg was pretty happy with Freddy Galvis, who went two-for-three batting ninth in the order, that he moved him up to bat second in the nightcap.
"He's having some nice at bats with some good aggressive swings when the ball is in the strike zone," Sandberg noted. "He puts the ball in play very well and thats what happened his last at bat in the second game and it was in the zone and he hit it down the line for a base hit."
Cody Overbeck, who Sandberg had bat ninth in the second game, went three-for-three including a solo home run to lead off the seventh, could also see some movement up in the batting order.
"I'll just make up the lineup tomorrow that I think will win tomorrow's ball game," Sandberg said, however. "I give Cody a lot of credit. He's hitting the ball good and he's hitting it the other way.
"We needed some innings out of Nate (Bump) and they chipped away and got some hits with some guys on base. The last couple of innings when we hit the ball, they minimized the damage and came out on top."
Despite winning the first two games of the last couple of series, Sandberg said that isn't the team's game plan to settle for splits this late in the season.
"We're not setting for that, that's what's happening, he said. "In a lot of ways we just ran out of time. Today things didn't work out for us."