--By Mike Gilpatrick
--File photo by Jared Anderson
The Louisville Bats won number two in a row.
They also clinched the series against the 70-47 Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the best team in the International League. The Bats came
back in the fourth, and beat the Phillies affiliate _-_.
Lehigh Valley jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first. Joey Meneses started the 35-minute first inning with an RBI single, hitting a line drive to right. Then, Aaron Altherr had a ground ball single to plate Trevor Plouffe. Meneses was the third run to score in the inning, after Zach Green doubled to left.
DJ Peterson plated CJ McElroy in the bottom of the inning with a sacrifice fly.
Louisville gained the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. First, Taylor Sparks hit his second home run of 2018 to left field. It was a solo shot. Then, Blake Trahan hit double No. 16 to right, scoring McElroy.
Gabriel Guerrero capped the inning with his 16th home run of the year. It was a no-doubt, 408-foot bomb with one runner on, and gave Louisville the 5-3 lead.
Both starters were giving up a lot of bases.
Justin Nicolino made it only four innings, and gave up three runs on six hits and one walk. All runs were earned. He did strike out seven.
His replacement added to the cause, singling softly to right, scoring one run in the bottom of the fifth.
Nicolino still made it longer than his competition. RHP Harold Arauz only made it 3.2 innings before being pulled. He gave up five runs, all earned, on nine hits and no walks. He struck out four. Two of his hits were off home runs.
Danny Ortiz cut the lead to one in the eighth. He hit a double to the right-center gap, scoring two.
Louisville moves to 53-62. After being 20 games under .500 earlier in the season, they could potentially climb close to, or above, .500. The Bats have 23 games left. They need at least 16 wins over the span to obtain the record.
It is possible. Louisville is 18-7 in their last 25 games.
Louisville will start their remaining 23 tomorrow. They finish up their series against Lehigh Valley. RHP Jose Lopez (5-10, 4.47) takes on LHP Cole Irvin (10-3, 2.77). The game will be at 2pm. It is the final game against a non-divisional opponent still on the schedule.