On Monday night it was a walk-off walk that sent the IronPigs to victory; Tuesday it was a wild-pitch.
After erasing a 4-0 deficit and with the game knotted in the 10th inning, Yankees reliever Jason Bulger uncorked a 1-2 wild pitch to Steve Susdorf allowing Tuffy Goswisch to easily scamper home from third to give Lehigh Valley their third consecutive win.
Gosewisch was pinch-running for John Suomi who reached on a one-out infield single and moved to third on Cody Overbeck's double to left to setup the game-winning wild pitch.
The IronPigs (49-35) were held down through the first seven innings by Scranton starter Ramon Ortiz, a 39-year-old veteran of over eight Major League seasons. Through seven scoreless innings, Ortiz had yielded only five base hits - all singles - and needed only 72 pitches.
Things really seemed to be going the Yankees and Ortiz's way when centerfielder Colin Curtis made a tremendous diving grab on a Susdorf sinking liner to lead off the eighth inning. However, Ortiz suddenly lost his control after that plunking Michael Martinez and walking Tug Hulett to put two aboard for lead-off hitter Kyle Hudson.
Hudson delivered a double down the left field line scoring both runners as the IronPigs trimmed the lead in half, 4-2.
Two batters later, Howard stepped in against reliever Ryota Igarashi and came through with his first hit as an IronPig - a two-out double to the opposite field plating Hudson to bring the IronPigs within a run. Howard was promptly lifted for a pinch-runner as he finished 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI on his second night of rehab at Coca-Cola Park.
In the ninth inning, it was more wildness from Yankees relievers and keen eyes at the plate by the IronPigs that allowed them to tie the game and send it to extras. Igarashi and Juan Cedeno combined to walk three consecutive hitters including Hudson - with the bases loaded on a 3-2, two-out pitch - that scored Overbeck who singled to start the ninth inning rally.
Justin Friend secured his first-ever Triple-A win by tossing a scoreless top of the 10th inning for Lehigh Valley.
The Yankees got to IronPigs starter Tom Cochran in the fourth frame as they connected on four RBI extra-base hits in the inning to take the 4-0 lead. Brandon Laird started the hit barrage with triple off the wall in right-center that plated Francisco Cervelli, who reached on a bunt single to start the inning. After a terrific sliding grab by Susdorf in right for the first out of the inning, Curtis and Doug Bernier each ripped RBI doubles to push the Yankees lead to 3-0. Corban Joseph knocked home Bernier with a double giving Scranton the 4-0 lead they would carry into the eighth inning.
The IronPigs and Yankees will continue their five-game series on Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. from Coca-Cola Park. Lehigh Valley All-Star RHP Tyler Cloyd (8-1, 2.11) is scheduled to get the starting nod against former New York Mets RHP John Maine (2-2, 6.55).