ALLENTOWN, Pa. - A baseball game was being played and a merry go 'round broke out as the Louisville Bat ultimately defeated the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs 10-9 on Thursday night at Coca-Cola Park.
With the win, Louisville (31-30) has now won five consecutive games and move above .500 for the first time since April 21.
Neither starting pitcher was able to get through the third inning. Louisville right-hander Tim Crabbe was removed from the game with two outs in the third and surrendered four runs (two earned) on three hits with three walks and two strikeouts. Opposite Crabbe, Lehigh Valley righty Barry Enright was removed after allowing eight runs (seven earned) on nine hits with no walks and three strikeouts.
A six-run second inning gave the Bats an 8-2 advantage, but they saw the Iron Pigs chip away at the lead with two runs in the third, three runs in the fourth and two runs in the seventh. Control was an issue for the Bats pitching staff all night as they ultimately walked seven batters and hit another four.
Left-handed pitcher Greg Smith, who pitched in last night's game, hit a two-run, pinch-hit home run in the seventh to cut Louisville's lead to one run. The home run came against right-hander Carlos Marmol, who made his Cincinnati organization debut by entering the game in the sixth inning. In the next frame, the Iron Pigs put the go-ahead run on base but failed to come through with a clutch base hit.
Right hander Jose "Jumbo" Diaz entered the game in the ninth inning and retired all three batters he faced to earn his 15th save of the season.
Offensively, Louisville was led by third baseman Chris Nelson, who went 3-for-5 with five runs batted in on the night. Nelson's five-RBI night matched a season high previously recorded by Ruben Gotay on May 5 versus Norfolk. Additionally, left fielder Thomas Neal recorded a multi-hit game with two runs scored and two runs batted in. Neal is now 5-for-8 in the two games he has played at Lehigh Valley.
The Bats will go for their first sweep of the season as the two teams play in the series finale tomorrow at 7:05 p.m. Louisville right-hander Josh Smith (6-1, 3.31) will get the start and face Lehigh Valley righty Sean O'Sullivan (2-5, 4.36).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.