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    By Josh Cook

    Thirteen proved to be lucky for the Louisville Bats on Sunday night.

    Sam LeCure struck out a baker's dozen, while Zack Cozart's 13th home run of the season was ultimately the difference as Louisville beat Lehigh Valley 5-4 in front of 7,794 fans at Louisville Slugger Field.

    The right-handed LeCure, who was recently activated off the disabled list by the parent Cincinnati Reds, gave up two earned runs on four hits over seven innings. In LeCure's last start in Louisville he tossed a complete-game, one-hitter against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on May 22 before being called up by the Reds.

    He went 1-4 in six starts with the Reds. That, combined with the facts that former Bat Travis Wood is excelling in Cincy and Edinson Volquez appears to be fully-recovered from Tommy John surgery, made LeCure expendable.

    Against the Iron Pigs he struck out two in the first and second innings, three in the third, one in the fourth and fifth and two in the sixth to improve to 6-2 in 10 Triple-A starts this season.

    And he got plenty of offensive help, at least in the first inning, as the Bats (47-49) won for the 11th time in their last 15 games. Especially from a four-run first inning and Cozart, who went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored.

    Louisville's leadoff hitter, Gary Matthews Jr., singled off Lehigh Valley starter Brian Mazone (5-10) to start things off. He scored when Cozart followed with a double. Yonder Alonso then singled Cozart home.

    After Todd Frazier flew out Juan Francisco reached on an error and Alonso advanced to second. Then with Wladimir Balentien batting Alonso stole third. Then a botched pickoff attempt at first allowed Alonso to score and Francisco to move to second. Balentien grounded out, but Chris Valaika followed with an RBI-single to make it 4-0.

    Lehigh Valley (38-57) responded with two runs in the third on an RBI-double by Chris Duffy and an RBI-single from Domonic Brown.

    The Bats added another run, which proved to be the game-winner, in the fifth when Cozart hit his 13th home run of the season.

    Philippe Valiquette relieved LeCure to start the eighth inning and lasted only two-thirds of an inning. He walked the first batter he faced (Chris Aguila) then gave up back-to-back singles before Brown grounded into a double play, which scored Aguila. Valiquette was then lifted in favor of Enerio Del Rosario.

    John Mayberry greeted him with an RBI-double - a run that was charged to Valiquette - before he struck out Neil Sellers to end the inning.

    Carlos Fisher pitched a perfect ninth to earn his fourth save of the season (and of the month).

    Valaika added to Louisville's eight-hit attack by going 2-for-4.

    The Bats begin an eight-game road swing at 7:15 p.m. at Charlotte on Monday night.

    Photo courtesy Louisville Bats

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