Photo by Cheryl Pursell

The Lehigh Valley IronPigs took both ends of a double-header Friday in Syracuse, helping their playoff chances.

Let's take two! Lehigh Valley took a pair of one-run games from Syracuse Friday night, which gave them a slight 1/2 game boost in both the division standings and on their wild card lead over Rochester.

After a marathon game Thursday night, the bullpens weren't well rested for Friday's double-header between Syracuse and the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Luckily for Lehigh Valley, their starters bailed them out. In the opener, Phil Klein (3-1), the reigning International League Pitcher of the Week, gave them a huge lift when he threw 6 1/3 innings, falling just short of his first career complete game. James Russell came out of the bullpen to start the nightcap and only went 3 2/3 innings, but pitched well enough to keep the IronPigs in the game. Lehigh Valley won the opener 4-3 and captured game two 3-2. Luis Garcia picked up the save in both games, giving him 10 saves on the season.

Cam Perkins was a combined 4-for-8 with a double, an RBI and a run scored in the two games, upping his average to .290 on the season. Lehigh Valley banged out 14 hits in the opener, with six different players getting two hits a piece.

Syracuse used the long ball in the first game, with a home run from Matt Skole and another by Jason Martinson, accounting for all three of their runs. 

Perkins' RBI single in the second inning gave Lehigh Valley a 1-0 lead in game one. An inning later, Brock Stassi and Cedric Hunter both picked up RBI singles to push the IronPigs lead to 3-0. They added an insurance run in the top of the 7th when Andrew Knapp singled with two outs and Stassi and Hunter followed with singles of their own, with Hunter's hit driving in Knapp from second. The extra run proved to be needed when the Chiefs put up a three-spot in the bottom of the inning when Skole and Martinson hit their home runs off Klein.

In game two, Lehigh Valley was down 1-0, but grabbed the lead in the top of the fifth, thanks in part to a costly error. Darnell Sweeney led off with a single and an errant pick-off throw allowed him to move to second. Jesmuel Valentin then walked and Darin Ruf delivered an RBI double and David Lough followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 2-1 IronPigs. Syracuse came right back with a run in the bottom of the inning and the game remained tied through seven innings.

Rafael Martin came on to pitch for Syracuse and Perkins went right to work with a leadoff single. One out later, a wild pitch and a walk to Cody Asche put runners on first and second for pinch-hitter Hunter. Hunter drew a walk to load the bases and Darnell Sweeney came through with a sacrifice fly to give the IronPigs a 3-2 lead.

In the bottom of the inning, Garcia walked the leadoff man and then hit Skole with a pitch to put runners on first and second. A bunt from Caleb Ramsey moved the runners up a base, but Garcia bounced back to strike out Martinson and Jhonatan Solano to end the game.

Division leader Scranton/Wilkes-Barre also won, but Lehigh Valley's sweep moved them to three games back in the North Division. The Rochester Red Wings beat Buffalo, but the IronPigs added a 1/2 game to their wild card lead, leaving the six games ahead of the Red Wings.


St. Louis 4
Philadelphia 3 (12)
WP: Seung Hwan Oh (3-2), LP: Frank Herrmann (0-1), SV: Alex Reyes (1)
HR: STL - Randal Grichuk (15), Jedd Gyrko (19); PHIL - Odubel Herrera (13), Freddy Galvis (12)
Adam Morgan: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K

Game One
Reading 9
Erie 1
WP: Ricardo Pinto (5-4), LP: Cory Riordan (4-7), SV: none
HR: RDG - Dylan Cozens 2 (37); ERIE - Kody Eaves (6)
Ricardo Pinto: 8 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K

Game Two
Reading 10
Erie 6
WP: Alexis Rivero (1-0), LP: Thad Weber (0-1), SV: none
HR: RDG - Jorge Alfaro (13); ERIE - Grayson Greiner (5)
Dylan Cozens had three hits, including a double. He also drove in three runs and scored one.

Daytona 8
Clearwater 3
WP: Tejay Antone (14-6), LP: Elniery Garcia (10-4), SV: none
HR: DAY - Juan Duran (2); CLW - none
Five players had two hits each for Clearwater.

Lakewood 8
Delmarva 2
WP: Alberto Tirado (5-1), LP: Cristian Alvaardo (9-8), SV: none
HR: LKW - Emmanuel Marrero (3); DEL - Alex Murphy (15)
Alberto Tirado: 5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K

State College 2
Williamsport 3
WP: Cole Irvin (4-1), LP: Jordan DeLorenzo (1-1), SV: Blake Quinn (2)
HR: none
Blake Quinn: 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K

GCL Phillies 6
GCL Braves 3
WP: Nick Fanti (7-0), LP: Parker Danciu (3-2), SV: Jose Nin (5)
HR: PHIL - Cole Stobbe (2); BRAV - none
Nick Fanti: 5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K

Friday's Transactions

Philadelphia Phillies
RHP Zach Eflin (patellar tendinitis) transferred to the 60-day DL.
INF Taylor Featherston optioned to Lehigh Valley.

Lehigh Valley IronPigs
INF Emmanuel Burriss had his contract purchased by Philadelphia.
LHP Elvis Araujo added to the roster (optioned on Thursday by Philadelphia).
OF Osmel Aguila placed on the DL (right shin contusion).

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