Game #137 SWB 6 – LHV 2
DATE: August 26, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thomas’ Strong Start and Laird’s Two RBI Single Lead SWB to Victory
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre picks up come from behind 6-2 win at Lehigh Valley
Allentown, PA – Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees (80-57) starter Justin Thomas (WP, 2-1) turned in his longest outing since the 2008 season and Brandon Laird’s two RBI single in the top of the seventh inning proved to be the game winner as the Yankees came from behind to beat Lehigh Valley (73-64) by a 6-2 score to pick up their 80th win in a season for the fifth time in six seasons under Manager Dave Miley.
Laird’s two RBI single with two outs in the top of the seventh inning capped a two run rally as the Yankees overcame a 2-1 deficit and made a winner of Thomas for the first time since he became a full time starter on August 6th. It was the left hander’s second win of the season for SWB and his first since June 15th. Laird’s single to center on a 0-2 pitch from Lehigh Valley reliever J.C. Ramirez (LP, 3-2) scored Corban Joseph who led off the seventh with a walk and Ronnier Mustelier who followed with a one out single, giving the Yankees a 3-2 lead. Francisco Cervelli’s slow roller to first base moved Joseph to third and Mustelier to second to set up Laird’s go ahead single.
Thomas, who last pitched seven innings in a Double-A game on July 8, 2008 for the Double-A West Tenn Diamond Jaxx, set his season high in innings and in pitches, throwing 88 on the afternoon, surpassing his previous high of 5.1 innings and 86 pitches in his last outing on August 21st at Buffalo. The southpaw allowed just three hits to the Iron Pigs with one walk and five strikeouts and none after a bunt single by Pete Orr in the fifth inning.
The Yankees scored first off Lehigh Valley starter Jonathan Pettibone in the top of the second inning on the first of two RBI’s on the day by Kosuke Fukudome. Fukudome’s two out RBI single scored Mustelier who doubled to right to lead off the second and went to third on Melky Mesa’s fly ball to right field.
The Iron Pigs took a 2-1 lead scoring single runs in the fourth and fifth off Thomas to grab a one run advantage. Hector Luna’s solo homer with two out in the fourth landed in the Lehigh Valley bullpen beyond the wall in left and tied the game at 1-1. The Pigs grabbed a one run lead in the fifth inning on Andres Blanco’s sacrifice fly to right that scored Cory Overbeck. Overbeck drew a leadoff walk and moved to second base on Orr’s bunt single. John Suomi’s sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third setting up the Blanco RBI.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre broke the game open with a three run ninth inning off Iron Pig reliever Jake Diekman to run the score to 6-2. Following a leadoff walk by Mustelier, Cervelli took his place at first reaching on a fielder’s choice. Laird’s second single of the afternoon moved Cervelli to second and both came home on Mesa’s two RBI triple to left, a sinking line drive that eluded Michael Spidale’s attempt at a sliding catch. With a 5-2 lead and the infield in, Fukudome picked up his second RBI of the day with a double to right inside the bag at first scoring Mesa for a 6-2 Yankees advantage.
Cory Wade (SV, 5) pitched 2.0 innings of shutout baseball allowing a one out single in the eighth before retiring the final five batters he faced to record the save.
Pawtucket moved ahead of Lehigh Valley win a 5-4 come from behind win at Charlotte so the Yankees “magic number” to clinch the IL’s North Division title sits at two games with six games to play. With a win at Lehigh Valley on Monday and a Gwinnett win over Pawtucket, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre will clinch its fifth division title in the last six seasons.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre continues the three game series at Lehigh Valley Monday night at 7:05 PM. The Yankees send right hander Adam Warren (7-8, 3.64 ERA) to the mound for the game three start with the Iron Pigs countering with left hander Tom Cochran (8-5, 4.18) ERA