LAWRENCEVILLE, GA - The IronPigs used four homeruns to complete the four-game sweep of the Gwinnett Braves, winning 11-7 with the help of OF Tyler Henson's career day.
With the IronPigs trailing by two in the third inning, Henson - who had doubled in his first at bat - stepped to the plate and continued his career day with a game-tying, two-run blast off the batters eye in straight-away center field. The Oklahoma native would go on to tally five more RBI including a grand slam in the seventh inning - the first IronPigs grand slam since Cody Asche's on May 11th of last season -and finishing with four hits in five at bats on the day.
The seven RBI and eleven total bases were career highs for Henson, while the four hits and two homeruns tied career bests for the 26-year-old. The ninth-year-veteran also tied the IronPigs franchise record with the seven RBI day.
Lehigh Valley had another season-first in the fourth inning when C Koyie Hill and 1B Jim Murphy launched back-to-back solo shots, giving the Pigs a 4-2 lead that they would never look back from. It had been almost two years since two IronPigs hit consecutive homeruns, with Erik Kratz and Andres Blanco the last to accomplished the feat on May, 12 of 2012 at Louisville.
All of this offense benefitted Lehigh Valley starter LHP Greg Smith, who turned in another quality outing by going seven innings and allowing three runs on ten hits and four walks while striking out three. The veteran lefty did a fine job of getting himself out of tough situations and never surrendering a big inning to the G-Braves, with the only multi-run inning coming when opposing starting pitcher RHP Gus Schlosser knocked a bases-loaded two-run single in the second inning, giving Gwinnett a 2-0 lead. Smith would then pick off Schlosser and strike out OF Todd Cunningham to limit the damage to only two runs.
The G-Braves did fight until the very end, scoring four runs on four singles and a double off of RHP Brad Lincoln in the ninth. Lincoln - who replaced Smith following the seventh inning - was asked to pitch the ninth after a 1-2-3 eighth inning, but found the final out elusive. RHP Seth Rosin would enter the game with the bases loaded in a four-run game and recorded the final out; getting credit for his second save as an IronPig.
The sweep of Gwinnett was the first sweep of any kind for the Pigs in 2014, and first four-game sweep since late May of last season. Lehigh Valley has only come out victorious in all four games of a road series three times in the franchises history, with the last time being July 19-22 of 2010 at Indianapolis.
The IronPigs (15-14) have tied a season-high with four consecutive wins, and now move on to another South Division foe, taking on the Charlotte Knights (10-19) for four games starting on Monday. The Cinco de Mayo showdown will have a first pitch of 7:05, and will see RHP Barry Enright take on RHP Dylan Axlerod. Manager Dave Brundage's ballclub is now a game over .500 for the first time since opening day and will look to continue their ascent through the rankings at brand new BB&T Park.