Bad News 'Pigs Continue To Struggle

The Lehigh Valley IronPigs came into their home opener 0-8 and didn't find any offense in the friendly confines of Coca-Cola park suffering a 6-0 loss to the Richmond Braves in the inaugural home opener for Lehigh Valley.

J.D. Durbin gave up a first inning run to the Richmond Braves and with the anemic IronPigs offense, it looked like Lehigh Valley was in trouble. But from there, Durbin gave up a couple hits in the second, but for the most part was settling in. Through five innings, that early run is all the Richmond Braves have to show for their efforts against Durbin, who has given up four hits and three walks while striking out four. Trouble hit in the sixth when Durbin gave up three singles and an earned run to start the inning and called it a night in favor of reliever Kevin Beirne. Beirne came in and ran into more trouble as the Braves scored five runs to take a 6-0 lead.

Unfortunately, the offensive drought continues for Lehigh Valley, who came into the game hitting just .182 and have scored just 11 runs in 8 games this season. Three Richmond pitchers kept Lehigh Valley off the board through eight innings, with just a two-out threat in the bottom of the fifth being the only blemish.

Durbin threw in the low-90s and mixed in a good slider and change-up that drops to the low to mid-80s. Durbin also picked up a two-out single in the fifth to put runners on first and third in the fifth inning, but Brandon Watson struck out to end the threat.

Chris Woodward led what there was of the IronPigs offense, going 2-for-3 with a walk. The night put Woodward in elite company, pushing his average up to .217 (2-for-23) and making him just the third IronPig starter to be hitting over the Mendoza Line this season. That number shrank to two again when Brennan King went 0-for-4, dropping his average to .192 (5-for-26) on the season. Brandon Watson is the only other hitter over .200, hitting .263 (10-for-38) on the year after his 0-for-4 performance.

Richmond put down the IronPigs in the ninth, picking up a 6-0 win and dropping Lehigh Valley to 0-9 on the year. That start equals the start that manager Dave Huppert had with the Lakewood BlueClaws in 2006 when he guided them to a turnaround and a South Atlantic League title that season.



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