Pigs Begin Three-Game Set With G-Braves

Eshelman Gets Start In Series Opener

By Lehigh Valley IronPigs | July 17, 2017 2:53 PM ET

The IronPigs (57-37) and Gwinnett Braves (47-45) begin a three-game series tonight at Coolray Field, first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Fresh off a split with Northern Division rival Rochester, the Pigs begin a seven-game Southern Division road trip beginning with a three-game series with the Gwinnett Braves - Atlanta's top affiliate. The Pigs took the season series 5-2 last season, sweeping the three-game series at Coca-Cola Park and splitting a four-game set at Coolray Field.

The G-Braves enter the series having just taken three of four games from the Charlotte Knights, having dropped last night's finale 5-4.

The Pigs will send RHP Tom Eshelman (7-2, 1.94) against Braves RHP Lucas Sims (6-4, 3.98).Today's starting pitching matchup is presented by Allentown Family Foot Care, which provides the latest in medical and surgical treatments of the entire foot and ankle. Learn more at affc.com.

RHP Tom Eshelman makes his 12th start for the Pigs this season. Eshelman last pitched two innings in the Triple-A All-Star Game in Tacoma, where he gave up just one hit on a home run. The right-hander last pitched for the Pigs on July 4 against the Syracuse Chiefs, picking up his seventh win of the season as he tossed seven scoreless innings.

RHP Lucas Sims makes his 18th start of the season for the G-Braves, having last pitched in the midsummer classic as well. Prior to the All-Star break, the right-hander last pitched for Gwinnett on July 6 against Norfolk. He took the loss as he surrendered three runs on seven hits in seven 1/3 innings.

Dylan Cozens  launched his 22nd home run of the season, and Pedro Beato  picked up his 26th save tying him with Scott Mathieson  for most in a single-season. The Pigs (57-37) held on for a 4-3 victory over the Rochester Red Wings (51-41) by the score of 4-3 Sunday afternoon at Coca-Cola Park before 9,262 fans. 

With the Pigs clinging to a 4-3 lead in the top of the ninth inning, Manager Dusty Wathan summoned International League saves leader Pedro Beato from the Pig 'Pen. The first batter he saw in John Ryan Murphy  sent a line drive to Scott Kingery  for the first out of the inning. Beato then issued a walk on a full count to J.B. Shuck , before Mitch Garver flew out to center and Engelb Vielma  grounded to Kingery to end the game.

The save for Beato was his 26th on the season, which ties him with Scott Mathieson for the most in a single-season in franchise history.

The Pigs jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning, as Kingery came around to score on a RBI triple by J.P. Crawford  to right field to give the Pigs a 1-0 lead at the time. Rhys Hoskins  then tallied his league-leading 68th RBI on a base hit to left, scoring Crawford to up the Pigs lead to 2-0 after three.

Pigs starter Brandon Leibrandt  was dealing early, as the southpaw retired the first eight batters of the game before issuing a base hit to Vielma.

After the first two batters of the fourth inning reached on a walk and a fielder choice, Leibrandt struck out the side to eliminate the Red Wings threat and preserve the 2-0 lead.

Leibrandt issued his only run on the evening in the top of the fifth inning as he walked Murphy to lead off the frame. Murphy would then come around to score later in the inning on a Niko Goodrum  RBI single to left field to bring the Red Wings within a run, as they trailed 2-1.

The Pigs answered back in the bottom half with authority, as Cozens launched his 22nd home run of the season, a two-run shot to right-center field plating himself and Hoskins who walked with one out in the inning. The 22nd home run for Cozens ties him for third place on the Pigs all-time single-season home run list with Andy Tracy, who hit 22 in 2008.

Yacksel Rios  came on to pitch for the Pigs in the sixth and seventh innings, pitching a scoreless sixth. However, Murphy tagged a lead-off home run in the seventh as the Pigs held a 4-2 lead. Rios would then strikeout the side to prevent any further damage.

Edubray Ramos  then came on to pitch the eighth inning for the Pigs, surrendering an unearned run as Matt Hague came around to score after a throwing error by J.P Crawford allowed him to reach. Hague would score on the very next play as Edgar Corcino  sent a two-bagger to right field to trim the Pigs lead to 4-3. ByungHo Park  would then walk, before a Tommy Field  ground ball to third induced an inning ending twin killing.

 The 2017 Season is the IronPigs 10th Anniversary season at Coca-Cola Park and 10th as the top affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. The IronPigs are debuting the brand-new Bacon, USA, Membership Program this season -- a year-round IronPigs experience pass featuring numerous new amenities such as savings on parking at games and at the Majestic Clubhouse Store at Coca-Cola Park, on-field VIP access to watch batting practice, access to an annual holiday party, an invitation to an exclusive player and coaches photo session and more. For more information, visit ironpigsbaseball.com or call (610) 841-PIGS (7447). Memberships and group outings are on sale now.

The 2017 IronPigs baseball season is presented by Capital BlueCross.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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