ALLENTOWN, PA - The IronPigs got an early homerun from DH Russ Canzler and were able to hang on behind an impressive pitching performance by RHP David Buchanan to win their second straight game against the Rochester Red Wings, 5-2.
LHP Sean Gilmartin got the start for the Red Wings and struggled with his command early in the game, walking two of the first three batters he faced. With one out and two men on base, Russ Canzler got ahead in the count: three balls and no strikes. The Lehigh Valley DH was given the "green light" by Manager Dave Brundage, and took advantage of it; sending the 3-0 offering from Gilmartin into the bullpen behind the leftfield fence for a go-ahead three-run homerun. The longball was Canzler's seventh of the season -fifth with Lehigh Valley - and turned out to be enough run support for IronPigs starter David Buchanan.
Buchanan was making his third start with the Pigs since returning from his first career stint in the major leagues, but was looking for his first win in his last four Triple-A starts. The Georgia native came out strong, allowing only one hit - a single by C Josmil Pinto in the first inning - through his first four innings pitched.
The Red Wings would get to the Lehigh Valley starter for one run in the fifth inning, when SS Pedro Florimon reached on a bunt single and after moving to third on an OF Eric Farris double, scored on a single by OF Chris Rahl. Rochester could have added more runs in the inning if not for a great play by Leftfielder Cam Perkins, throwing out Farris at the plate on a would-be sacrifice fly to end the inning.
The IronPigs would add to their lead in the bottom of the sixth inning, scoring two more off of Gilmartin. After a 3B Maikel Franco single and Canzler walk, 1B Jim Murphy delivered a two-out, two-RBI double to give Lehigh Valley a 5-1 advantage.
After Buchanan retired all six batters he faced in the sixth and seventh innings, the Red Wings would attempt to put together a rally in the eighth with the help of two infield-singles. Three singles loaded the bases for Rochester with one out in the eighth inning, leading to Brundage removing his ace for reliever RHP Jeff Manship. Manship would induce a groundball double-play from the first batter he faced, ending the inning and the Red Wings scoring threat.
The Red Wings did score one run in the ninth off of Manship when OF Daniel Ortiz - who doubled in the inning - scored on a two-out single by Florimon. One out away from the first save in his professional career, Manship was relieved by RHP Luis Garcia, who struck out the only batter he faced to end the game and sealing an IronPigs victory.
The IronPigs and Red Wings will conclude their 2014 season series on Friday night. Lehigh Valley needs a win in order to salvage a season-series split, while also sweeping the current two-game set, which would be their third series sweep of any kind this season. The series finale will see a battle of lefties as LHP Jo-Jo Reyes takes the mound for the IronPigs, taking on LHP Kris Johnson. Fans are encouraged to stick around after the game for Friday Night Fireworks, with this edition presented by Lehigh Valley Sporting Clays.