ALLENTOWN, Pa. -- The Lehigh Valley IronPigs used a high-powered 16-hit attack to hand the Gwinnett Braves their fifth loss in the last six games, with a 10-1 drubbing Tuesday night at Coca-Cola Park.
The Gwinnett loss, combined with a Charlotte 3-1 win at Toledo, puts the Knights in first place of the International League's South Division, a half game ahead of the G-Braves.
Tuesday's game was ugly from the beginning for the G-Braves. Domonic Brown (3) lifted a two-run blast to right off starter Todd Redmond in the bottom of the first to stake the IronPigs to a 2-0 lead. Lehigh Valley added a run off Redmond in the bottom of the second to make it 3-0, as Tug Hulett tripled off the wall, then scored on a single to center by Andres Blanco.
In the bottom of the third, the IronPigs extended their lead to 6-0, after Brown ripped a one-out double to left, and scored on a single by Steve Susdorf. Cody Overbeck followed with a two-run home run to left.
Tempers flared in the bottom of the fourth. Redmond and Lehigh Valley second baseman Kevin Frandsen exchanged words after Frandsen's at-bat, prompting the home plate umpire to issue a warning to both benches. The next batter, Brown, hit a solo homer to right, his second blast of the game and his celebration around the bases angered Redmond further. The G-Braves' right-hander hit the next batter, Erik Kratz, leading to both benches and bullpens emptying onto the field, but that was as far as it went. Both Redmond and G-Braves manager Dave Brundage were ejected after all was said and done.
The G-Braves only run came in the top of the seventh. Ernesto Mejia hit a solo home run, his ninth of the season, off 'Pigs reliever B.J. Rosenberg. It was just the second, and final hit of the game for Gwinnett, which cut the IronPigs lead to 7-1 after six and a half innings.
Lehigh Valley added three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning off Gwinnett reliever Jose Lugo, finishing the game 10-1.
Redmond (L, 5-4) worked 3 innings before the ejection. He allowed a season-high nine hits, three homers and seven earned runs with one walk and one strikeout. Jaye Chapman worked 1 scoreless innings, as he gave up two hits and struck out one. Lugo worked the final three innings, surrendering five hits, three earned runs alongside one walk and one strikeout.
Left hander Tom Cochran (W, 3-1) picked up the win, working five scoreless innings with one hit, no walks and five strikeouts. Rosenberg worked two innings and allowed one hit, one earned run and struck out four. J.C. Ramirez pitched one scoreless inning and struck out one, while Brian Sanches worked a scoreless ninth with two strikeouts.
Only two G-Braves had hits, with the newly acquired third baseman Ruben Gotay being one of them with his single in the second. With Mejia's blast, he upped his team-leading RBI total to 42 on the season.
For Lehigh Valley, Brown was 4-for-5 with four runs scored, two homers and three RBI. Susdorf was 3-for-5 with three RBIs and Fransden had a 3-for-5 night with one RBI. Hulett and Blanco each had multiple-hit nights' amidst the IronPigs 16-hit attack.
The G-Braves (33-26) continue their 10-game road trip today with the second game of the four-game series in Allentown against Lehigh Valley (32-26). Southpaw Yohan Flande (2-3, 3.44 ERA) is scheduled to start for the G-Braves against the IronPigs right-hander Tyler Cloyd (4-1, 2.47 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. from Coca-Cola Park.