LV Pigs capture opener
ALLENTOWN - Probably the last thing the IronPigs expected in their inaugural playoff game at Coca-Cola Park was hitting a home run.
That's because their long ball expertise had been missing over the previous 10 games a span of 88 innings.
On a night where the ballpark was just half filled mainly due to the weather, the Pigs surprised their fans with three homers in a 4-1 victory over the Pawtucket Red Sox in the opening game of International League Interdivisional series.
It was a night where the crowd of 5,880 sounded more like an onslaught of 10,000 the entire night. They capped the evening with a chant of "Let's Go Pigs" for the game's final two outs.
With the victory, the Pigs will entertain the PawSox tonight in game two at a 7:05 start before the series shifts to Pawtucket for the possible final three games Saturday.
After he wiggled out of some first inning trouble, Pigs' starter Dave Bush (1-0) allowed three hits over the next four innings before he allowed a leadoff homer to Lars Anderson to begin the sixth.
Joe Savery relieved Bush with two outs in the seventh after the righthander threw 98 pitches and allowed five hits and recorded six strikeouts.
"Dave (Bush) did exactly what we needed him to do," said Pigs' manager Ryne Sandberg. "He kept them off balance the whole night with his off-speed stuff. It was great for us to get the first game of this series."
Lehigh Valley took a 1-0 lead in the first due to their aggressive base running. Leadoff hitter Rich Thompson smacked a single to right and then stole second. Scott Podsednink sacrificed Thompson to third on a solid bunt up the first baseline. Kevin Frandsen scored Thompson on a grounder to second.
"This is huge for everyone and the franchise, too," said Thompson, who has been with the team since its inception. "We wanted to get off to a fast start, and the crowd was really behind us. We have to take this win and keep going."
The IronPigs bumped their lead to 2-0 when Kratz hit a line drive just inside the left field foul pole.
Meanwhile, Bush was handcuffing the PawSox mainly with an active breaking ball.
"I felt a little shaky once the game started, but I felt better after I got out of the first inning," said Bush, who has 50 major league victories most of them with the Milwaukee Brewers. "I then got my curve ball going and got into a good groove. It was important to get some support as well."
Lehigh Valley's Brandon Moss led off the fourth and hit a towering homer to right field off a 1-0 pitch.
Lehigh Valley extended its lead to 4-0 when shortstop Freddy Galvis launched a shot over the right-field wall in the home seventh off reliever and ex-IronPig Brandon Duckworth. It was Galvis's first homer at the Triple-A level since his recall from Double-A Reading in August.
Ryan Edell gets the call tonight for the Iron Pigs against Tony Pena Jr. in the second game that begins at 7:05. The series then shifts to Pawtucket for three games.