The Louisville Bats, who have struggled offensively all season long, broke out Saturday night to the tune of a 9-2 drubbing of the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. Chris Valaika, Kristopher Negron, and Neftali Soto each homered in the game while Danny Dorn doubled twice.
The Bats started the scoring off with Valaika’s solo shot in the third inning. Negron’s three run blast and Soto’s two-run homer, both in the fifth, gave the Bats a 6-0 lead.
Valaika added to his impressive night in the sixth with an RBI single. Soto added an RBI single of his own in the eighth for the Bats’ final tally.
The Bats, who had 12 runs on 28 hits in their previous four games, scored nine times on 14 hits Saturday night. The Bats’ 1-thru-5 hitters of Negron, Valaika, Bill Rhinehart, Soto, and Felix Perez combined to go 11-for-25 at the plate.
Louisville also got a stellar start from Sean Gallagher, who went six innings giving up just one run on four hits while walking four and striking out five. It was Gallagher’s fourth quality start in his last five outings. He is 2-1 in that time frame with a 3.48 ERA. Gallagher also walked twice and scored two runs to help the Bats offensively.
The Bats improved their league-worst record to 14-30 on the season. The Bats are now 5-14 in the month of May and need to avoid losing four more games; if they do, they’ll set the franchise mark for the worst May record since baseball came back to Louisville in 1982.
The Bats also improved to 10-5 when scoring first. By contrast, they are 4-25 when their opponents score first.
The Bats looked to win back-to-back games for the first time in month of May Sunday afternoon. They send Pedro Villarreal (1-0, 3.65 ERA) to the bump against Lehigh Valley’s Tyler Cloyd (4-0, 0.69 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m.
Photo Credit: Max Sharp