April 27, 2013 - International League (IL) - Louisville Bats
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The Bats' scored three times in the second inning, but no more on the night. Three runs were not quite enough as the IronPigs rallied late against Jose Arredondo (L, 0-1) to win 5-3.
The Bats scored three runs in the second, started by a Neftali Soto solo home run to lead off the inning, Soto's first homer this season. Henry Rodriguez followed Soto with a double, and later scored on a Kristopher Negron groundout. Pitcher Greg Reynolds extended the inning with a two-out base hit up the middle. Billy Hamilton lined a double into right field to push the Bats' lead to 3-0.
Soto's homer is the Bats' first in nearly a week, when Denis Phipps homered on April 21.
In the top of the fourth, the bases were loaded with no outs for the IronPigs, but they were held to only one run on a Steven Lerud ground out. In the IronPigs' fifth, a one-out triple by speedy second baseman Cesar Hernandez turned into a run via a sacrifice fly deep to the warning track in center field. Hernandez has been hot for the Pigs, now hitting .361 on the season. He's hit in nine straight, and has multiple hits in 10 of his last 21; he was 3-for-4 tonight.
The Bats' solid starting pitching continues, with Greg Reynolds carrying the team deep into the game. Reynolds went seven innings giving up just two runs on six hits, striking out eight and walking one. Reynolds' eight strikeouts more than doubles his season total; he came into the game with seven strikeouts in 22.1 innings.
Jose Arredondo entered in the eighth and worked into the ninth. After a solid eighth, usual closer Kevin Whelan began to warm in the Bats' bullpen. However, Arredondo remained in the game. The decision looked solid as he struck out the leadoff batter in the ninth. After walking the next batter, skipper Jim Riggleman visited the mound, and decided to stick with Arredondo. The next two batters singled and doubled respectively, marking the end of the night for Arredondo after blowing the save and taking the loss. When asked about the decision, the Bats' manager said he looked good in the eighth and "got the first out of the ninth, and then the roof fell in."
Whelan entered the game with the Bats trailing 4-3 with one out and was able to limit the damage, but the deficit was too much for the offensively-challenged Bats. Whelan gave up a hit and a run which was charged to Arredondo, and the Bats couldn't come back in the ninth.
Getting the win for Lehigh Valley was reliever Justin DeFratus (W, 3-0) who pitched a scoreless eighth, and was the beneficiary of the IronPigs' timely hitting. Closer Joe Savery (S, 2) gave up a walk in the ninth, but that was all.
The Bats have not been doing much damage at the plate early in the season, coming into the game at the very bottom in some major offensive categories in the International League including: runs, hits, total bases, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. They managed nine hits in this one, but the three runs were not enough.
The same two teams are back at 2:05 p.m. Sunday. RHP Pedro Villarreal (0-1, 2.52) is scheduled to go for the Bats, while LHP Cesar Jimenez (0-1, 1.50) will go for the IronPigs. On Sunday afternoon, all kids who are a member of the Louisville Bats Kids Club will receive free admission with a paid adult. Also, all kids age 12 & younger who have purchased a game ticket can run the bases after the game, and may participate in the Cinemark Theatres Inflatable FunZone.