The Lehigh Valley IronPigs scored seven runs in the bottom of the third and would add a six-run inning in the seventh on their way to a 16-1 domination of the Durham Bulls. Cedric Hunter went 4-for-5 on the night, driving in three runs and scoring two, while Brock Stassi went 3-for-4, driving in three and scoring four. The big blow came from Darin Ruf, who launched a seventh inning grand slam, one of his two hits on the night for Lehigh Valley.
Ben Lively (3-0) gave the IronPigs seven innings of one-hit ball, with the only hit being a groundball to short that J.P. Crawford tried to bare-hand, but let roll past him, for Durham's only hit and their only run of the game. Later, Crawford admitted that he should have made a glove-hand play to at least prevent the run from scoring. Lively did issue three walks, while striking out five in the win. Michael Mariot and Frank Herrmann each threw a scoreless inning, with the pair allowing only one baserunner on a walk by Mariot.
Nick Williams, starting in left field made a couple of spectacular defensive plays, diving for a ball early in the game and then making a long run and a great catch before crashing into the left-center field fence.
Crawford and Williams ignited the ire of the Bulls when first Crawford and then Williams attempted to bunt for hits in the fourth inning with the 'Pigs up 8-0. Durham first retaliated an inning later by drilling Brock Stassi in the leg with a 95-mile per hour fastball. Homeplate umpire Dan Merzel warned both benches in hopes of ending any further incidents before they could start. When Crawford came to bat in the sixth, pitcher Parker Markel threw the first two pitches at his legs, leading Merzel to eject him after the second pitch. To his credit, Crawford chose to just stay in the batter's box rather than look for trouble.
"I deserved it, made poor choices out there and their teammates were backing up their team. I deserved it, I made a poor decision and I knew that it was coming," admitted Crawford. "I don't know what I was thinking. I saw the third baseman go back and I didn't look up at the scoreboard and I forgot we were up 8-0, so it was just a poor decision on my part."
As Markel was exiting, he yelled to Crawford (allegedly, something about the next time being at his head) and both benches started to empty. Cooler heads prevailed and there were no punches thrown.
"We talked about it there at home plate after everything happened. Lesson learned, we moved on; young mistakes." said manager Dave Brundage about the decision from Crawford and Williams to attempt bunts with an eight run lead.
Stassi, Crawford and Brundage all believe that the two teams evened the score during the game and don't expect any carry over to Sunday's game.
"Hopefully, it's over with, but if it's not, we'll have to see what happens tomorrow," said Stassi, who homered in the seventh and tripled in the eighth after getting hit by the pitch. Earlier in the game, Stassi had doubled off starter Maime Schultz.
WP: Tanner Roark (5-4), LP: Aaron Nola (5-5), SV: none
Nola was charged with four earned runs in 3 2/3 innings of work.
WP: Jeremy Bleich (2-1), LP: Josh Smith (1-2), SV: none
HR: ALT - Austin Meadows (5), Edwin Espinal (3), Jose Osuna (6); RDG - Dylan Cozens 2 (18, 19), Rhys Hoskins (16), Angelo Mora (4)
Of Cozens 19 home runs, 15 have come at home this season.
WP: Yonny Chirinos (6-0), LP: John Richy (1-1), SV: Brian Miller (8)
HR: CLW - Mitch Walding (8); CHA - Jace Conrad (7)
Richy allowed four earned runs in 1 2/3 innings of work and Matt Imhof walked three in 1/3 inning of work.
WP: Reid Love (4-3), LP: Jose Taveras (2-5), SV: Ryan Meisinger (4)
HR: LKW - Jiandido Tromp (8); DEL - Yermin Mercedes (5), Ryan Mountcastle (3)
Edgar Garcia 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K
Saturday's Transactions - None