Louisville Falls Short to Lehigh Valley, 7-4
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The Louisville Bats (52-70) fell to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (57-63) by a score of 7-4. Despite the loss, Louisville still won the three-game series. Bats starter Vladimir Gutierrez (4-10, 6.36) was impressive not only on the pitcher's mound where he struck out ten, but also in the batter's box, smacking a solo home run and totaling two RBI.
It was a memorable night for Gutierrez as he picked up his team-leading ninth quality start while striking out ten Lehigh Valley batters. Gutierrez was dialed in from the start where at one point he struck out five straight. Gutierrez helped himself out offensively leading off the third by hitting a solo home run putting the Bats up 1-0. The home run marks the second night in a row a Louisville pitcher has hit a home run, and the first time since 1997 two Louisville pitchers have hit homers in the same season.
The Louisville offense would rattle IronPigs starting pitcher Enyel De Los Santos (5-6, 4.15) in the fourth extending the lead to 4-0. Alex Blandino led the inning off with a walk, eventually making his way to third base thanks to a Nick Longhi double, who would finish the night going 3-for-4. The bases would then be loaded after De Los Santos intentionally walked center fielder Jose Siri. With Gutierrez batting, Blandino would score on a De Los Santos balk to make it 2-0. Gutierrez then picked up his second RBI of the night on a single scoring Longhi.
Gutierrez pitched into the sixth in the midst of a no-hitter, but Lehigh Valley would plate a run to cut the Louisville lead to 4-1. Gutierrez finished the night tossing 5.1 innings, scattering just two hits, walking two and allowing one run while striking out ten. The IronPigs would make a rally of their own in the eighth scoring two runs, and nearly a third, but would-be tying run Deivy Grullon was thrown out at home plate to maintain the Bats 4-3 lead.
Despite not taking the lead in the eighth, the IronPigs would once again rally in the ninth eventually scoring three runs to take a 7-4 lead. Austin Davis picked up the win for Rochester, and Bats reliever R.J. Alaniz came away with the loss.
The Bats continue their homestand Friday night starting a three-game series against Rochester (60-61). Louisville has not named a starter, but right-hander Kohl Stewart (6-5, 5.68) is set to make the start for the Red Wings.
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