ALLENTOWN, Pa. - The Louisville Bats won their third straight game Tuesday night behind a solid pitching performance from right-handed pitcher Chien-Ming Wang. They defeated the Lehigh Valley IronPigs 6-3 at Coca-Cola Park.
Wang (6-4, 3.96) earned the victory after he pitched six innings, gave up three earned runs on 10 hits. He had a walk and five strikeouts as well. Wang has not lost a game since May 3 when the Bats visited Rochester.
Louisville jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead after a sacrifice fly ball from second baseman Hernan Iribarren allowed center fielder Jason Bourgeois to score. Bourgeois closed in on Indianapolis' Gregory Polanco and fellow teammate Ruben Gotay for most runs in the International League. Bourgeois has 36 runs this season sitting six behind Polanco and four behind Gotay.
Neftali Soto hit his first home run of the season with Louisville with two outs in the top of the sixth inning.
Righty Jose Diaz (2-2, 1.73) came to the mound in the bottom of the eighth and earned his 14th save of the year. He has now tied Durham's Kirby Yates for first place in the IL in saves.
The Bats are now in second place in the IL West division, and are 5.5 games back from the Indianapolis Indians for the division lead. They now sit in fifth place, tied with Buffalo, for the Wild Card spot and are four games back from the Rochester Red Wings for the Wild Card lead.
With the win, Louisville has won eight of their last 11 road games, dating back to May 14.
IronPig's right-handed pitcher Chris Bootcheck (2-1, 2.37) took his first loss of the year for Lehigh Valley. He pitched seven innings, gave up four earned runs on seven hits, two walks and he had five strikeouts.
Louisville (29-30) will face Lehigh Valley (30-29) again on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. Righty Mat Latos (0-0, 2.08) will make his third rehab start with Louisville and left-handed pitcher Greg Smith (4-3, 3.96) will take the mound for the IronPigs.