ALLENTOWN ‚?? Keep that champagne on ice.
The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees received a rather cold reception to their planned division-clinching party.
Instead, Cody Overbeck greeted Yankees reliever Kelvin Perez with a two-run home run in the sixth inning Wednesday, sparking the Lehigh Valley IronPigs to a 5-2 victory and delaying Scranton/Wilkes-Barre‚??s bid to win the International League North Division for at least another day.
That achievement can happen as soon as today, if the Yankees defeat Lehigh Valley at 7:05 p.m. or if Pawtucket drops one of its doubleheader games against Gwinnett.
But not Wednesday.
‚??We‚??ve been playing good baseball for a number of days now,‚?Ě said Lehigh Valley manager Ryan Sandberg, whose IronPigs remained 1 1/2 games behind Pawtucket for the IL wild card playoff spot. ‚??That feels good.‚?Ě
It felt even better for the IronPigs watching 36-year-old veteran Scott Elarton pick up his first victory in 102 days on short rest.
After the Yankees surged to a 2-1 lead against him in the second inning, they managed just three more hits the rest of the night ‚?? a remarkable feat for the IronPigs, considering their scheduled starter, Tyler Cloyd, was promoted to the parent Philadelphia Phillies to make a start for the ailing Cole Hamels on Wednesday night.
But Elarton stepped in a day before his expected start and held the Yankees at bay long enough for the IronPigs to rally.
‚??He got the call 10:30 this morning that he‚??d be the starter a day earlier than planned,‚?Ě Sandberg said. ‚??He‚??s a true professional.
‚??It was a much-needed win for the team, for him.‚?Ě
The Yankees touched up Elarton ‚?? just off the disabled list after suffering a pulled hamstring ‚?? for a couple runs when Cole Garner doubled home Francisco Cervelli in the bottom of the second inning and rode home on Ramiro Pena‚??s single.
But Elarton lasted five innings while improving to 6-11 with his first win since May 16.
‚??I really don‚??t think in those terms,‚?Ě Elarton said. ‚??I‚??m pretty flexible, pretty laid-back. I‚??ve had rougher stretches, pitched way worse than that many times.‚?Ě
Juan Morillo pitched scoreless ball through the next two and Joe Savery and Jake Diekman slammed the door during the final two innings.
That impressive pitching gave the IronPigs a chance to fight their way back.
They did it with pure power and timely pokes.
Pete Orr rocketed a solo homer in the top of the second, and after Yankees starter Mike O‚??Connor departed with two outs in the sixth and a 2-1 lead, Overbeck launched a deep drive over the left field wall for a two-run homer that put the IronPigs ahead, 3-2.
The IronPigs didn‚??t stop there.
Michael Spidale started the seventh inning with a single off the glove of diving Yankees third baseman Pena, then surprised the Yankees with a delayed steal of second base. It paid off when Spidale was able to score on Andres Blanco‚??s bloop single just over third base.
And Blanco eventually scored when rehabbing Philadelphia outfielder Nate Schierholtz, recovering from a broken toe, hoofed out an RBI single for the last run of the game.
But it was more than enough to put Scranton/Wilkes-Barre‚??s planned celebration on hold, and get the IronPigs thinking about holding one of their own.
‚??A much-needed win,‚?Ě Sandberg called it, ‚??and a much-needed start for us.‚?Ě
|Hernandz 2b||5||0||2||0||Nunez ss||5||0||0||0|
|Mitchell cf||4||0||1||0||Fukudm 1b||3||0||0||0|
|Schierholtz rf||5||0||1||1||Joseph 2b||3||0||0||0|
|Pridie lf||4||1||0||0||Mustelier lf||4||0||1||0|
|Overbeck 1b||4||1||1||2||Romine dh||4||0||0||0|
|Orr 3b||4||1||1||1||Cervelli c||4||1||1||0|
|Spidale dh||4||1||2||0||Mesa cf||2||0||0||0|
|Valle c||4||0||2||0||Garner rf||4||1||3||1|
|Blanco ss||4||1||1||1||Pena 3b||4||0||1||1|
LOB ‚?? Lehigh 9, Yankees 10
2B ‚?? Garner (12) HR ‚?? Orr (4) Overbeck (13)
SB ‚?? Hernandez (5) Spidale (7) Mesa (5)
|Elarton (W, 6-11)||5||3||2||2||4||2|
|Morillo (H, 1)||2||2||0||0||2||2|
|Savery (H, 1)||1||1||0||0||0||1|
|Diekman (S, 7)||1||1||0||0||0||1|
|Perz (BS, 1, L, 1-1)||1||4||3||3||0||3|