Lehigh Valley left-handed pitcher Joely Rodriguez tossed seven shutout innings, Brian Bogusevic launched a key two-run home run, and the IronPigs beat the Charlotte Knights 3-1 on Thursday in the opening game of a four-game series.
Making his ninth start of the season, Rodriguez (2-3, 5.18) allowed four hits over seven innings. The Dominican native threw just 88 pitches while walking three batters and striking out two.
Both Rodriguez and Charlotte right-handed pitcher Kyle Drabek (0-2, 2.32) were in a pitchers’ duel through the first four innings. Drabek ran into trouble in the fifth inning. Cord Phelps began the fifth inning with a double off Drabek. Three batters later, Chase d’Arnaud singled home Phelps for the game’s first run.
On a 2-1 pitch from Drabek, Bogusevic ripped a two-run home run over the center field wall to give the ‘Pigs a 3-0 lead. Drabek, who started his sixth game of the season for the Knights, allowed three runs on six hits over six innings and was saddled with the loss. He entered the game having allowed just two runs over his previous three starts (17 innings).
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The Knights scored their lone run in the eighth inning.
The teams will continue their four-game series on Friday at 7:05 p.m. at Coca-Cola Park. RHP Chris Beck (3-1, 3.43 ERA) will take the mound for the Knights against Lehigh Valley RHP Jason Berken (2-2, 4.99). Berken, a former Knights starter, won 12 games for the team in 2013.