Iron Pigs Spoil Larkins' Bison Debut in 8-5 Comeback Victory
A go-ahead two-run home run from hometown hero Matt McBride in the sixth inning led the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs to an 8-5 comeback victory against the Buffalo Bisons Saturday night at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, Pa. Deivy Grullon, the team's catcher, finished the night with three extra-base hits and a team-high four RBI while the bullpen allowed just two Bison hits following the fourth inning.
After watching Buffalo's offensive surge Friday night, the IronPigs jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning off opposing pitcher Turner Larkins, making his Bison debut after being promoted from Single-A Dunedin last night. The IronPigs got to Larkins early, drawing consecutive walks to begin the game. This set up Grullon connecting on a fastball for a two-run double, bringing home Shane Robinson and Andrew Romine. Two batters later, Ali Castillo sent the ball to right center for a RBI single to end the scoring. During this inning, Larkins recorded his first strikeout as a Bison against Mitch Walding.
Larkins later bounced back in the second inning, throwing just nine pitches against four batters, threw a 12-pitch outing in the fourth inning. He finished the game throwing six innings of work, allowing seven runs on eight hits and three strikeouts on 93 pitches (60 strikes).
Using this as momentum, the Bisons reached the scoreboard for the first time in the top of the third. Following Anthony Alford getting hit by pitch against IronPigs starter Ranger Suarez, Sócrates Brito hit his first home run as a Bison, working a full-count at-bat over the right center field wall to cut the deficit to 3-2. This was part of another three-hit outing for the left fielder and his second in as many days.
But in the bottom of the third, Grullon provided damage again with his 8th home run of the season, also to right center field, as the Iron Pigs extended their lead to 4-2. The ended with a mighty impressive defensive play as Bisons catcher Reese McGuire fired the ball to Alen Hanson at second base to catch Walding stealing while Castillo swung for strike three.
Again, the Bisons had momentum going into the fourth inning as McGuire and Roemon Fields worked extensive at-bats to reach first and second base. Fields, who was put in the lineup shortly before the game, earned a 9-pitch at-bat, including three straight foul balls before being walked. In the next- at-bat, Alford smacked a RBI single down the right field for his 19th season, cutting the deficit to 4-3. After a RBI single from Teoscar Hernandez brought Fields home to tie the game at 4, a wild pitch from Iron Pigs reliever Kyle Dohy in Jordan Patterson's at-bat allowed Alford to score for the team's brief 5-4 lead.
Despite these successes, the Bisons left 10 runners on base and were 2 of 11 with runners in scoring position - most notably, leaving the bases loaded in the fifth inning, and a pair of base runners in the ninth inning in a rally attempt.
After giving up Grullon's insurance run double in the seventh inning, Dusty Issacs settled down in relief for the Herd, finishing with three strikeouts in two innings of work on two hits in 38 pitches (22 strikes).
Reliever Austin Davis recorded the victory for the Iron Pigs with his two innings of one-hit baseball in the sixth and seventh innings while Yacksel Rios recorded his fifth save of the year, recording a pair of strikeouts. Tom Windle also threw a 6-pitch outing in the eighth inning. Suarez only lasted 3.2 innings in his first start in nearly a month, with all five Buffalo runs going against him on 6 hits along with 3 strikeouts on 76 pitches.
The teams continue their holiday weekend series Sunday night with another 6:35 PM first pitch at Coca-Cola Park. Shane Morimando takes the mound for the Herd while the Iron Pigs send Nick Pivetta.
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