CHARLOTTE, NC - For the second consecutive night the IronPigs out hit their opponents, but lose a one-run game to the Charlotte Knights; this one by the score of 2-1.
Despite both being one-run Knights victories, the first two games of this series had little else in common, with Tuesday's game being a pitchers' duel that was won by RHP Tommy Hanson. The veteran - who has over four years of major league service time - threw six scoreless innings, allowing six hits while striking out five IronPigs.
The tough-luck loser of this duel was RHP Sean O'Sullivan, who turned in the best start of his IronPigs career. The native of San Diego spun seven splendid innings, allowing five hits and two runs, but only one earned run on a fourth-inning C Josh Phegley solo homerun. The unearned run came in the sixth inning when 2B Carlos Sanchez scored on a 3B Conor Gillaspie single that got past OF Leandro Castro who was playing center field in place of an injured Tyson Gillies and Clete Thomas who was out due to illness. The 9th-year veteran is now 1-3 on the season despite having a solid 3.86 ERA in six starts.
The Lehigh Valley offense was led by 1B Jim Murphy and OF Matt Tolbert, who each tallied three of the teams nine hits. The fourth homerun of the season for the first baseman was the only IronPigs score of the game, coming with two outs in the eighth inning off of Charlotte reliever RHP Taylor Thompson. The three-hit game was the second of the season for Murphy and his first since opening day.
Tolbert continues to produce for the Pigs, with his three-hit effort increasing his hit total to seven in his last four games. The 32-year-old now owns a .360 batting average in eight games since being called up from Double-A Reading.
LHP Cesar Jimenez came in to relieve O'Sullivan after the seventh inning and threw a scoreless eighth, allowing one hit and striking out one. The outing by the native of Venezuela extended his current scoreless streak to four and one-third innings; longest active streak on the team.
The IronPigs (15-16) are now 4-2 on this South Division road trip after two consecutive losses, but will send RHP Jonathan Pettibone to the mound to attempt to get back in the win column in a Wednesday morning game in Charlotte. The Knights (12-19) will send a young Californian of their own to the mound as RHP Erik Johnson will toe the rubber, making his second IL start of the season. Early first pitch is scheduled for 11:05 a.m. Wednesday for game three at BB&T BallPark.