Tuffy Gosewisch delivered the big hit-a one-out double-to drive home Cody Overbeck with the game winner. It was just two innings after he ripped a clutch two-out double to the exact same spot in right field to tie the game at five.It was not until that eighth inning that the IronPigs made at any real noise at the dish, however.
The IronPigs scored in the first when Kevin Frandsen smacked his league leading 25th double to score Kyle Hudson. They added another run in the second on a double play. Facing a pitcher in Luke French who had 15 runs in his last three starts, it looked like a promising day for the IronPigs batsmen.
Things did not work out as planned.
French blanked the 'Pigs over his last five innings of work, and retired to the clubhouse having just thrown one of his best outings of the year-seven innings and one earned run on just five hits.
Lehigh Valley's Scot Elarton also worked seven frames, but it was a struggle for the tall righty all night long.
Like French, he also allowed two runs through the first two innings but was unable to finish his outing on a strong note.
In the sixth, three straight singles and a one-out sacrifice fly from Michael Hollimon put the Red Wings in front 4-2. Elarton, who was at 94 pitches after the sixth, came back out for a final inning of work and allowed one more run to cross the plate. He finished up the day giving up five earned runs and allowing ten base hits.
It has been a struggle for Elarton since recording his last win on May 16. In his eight starts since he has allowed 36 runs and more than doubled his ERA from 2.06 to a lofty 4.60.
The bright side of Elarton's outing was that he worked into the seventh. With an already taxed bullpen and a doubleheader coming up Sunday, the veteran was able to at least keep the bullpen rested for the most part.
Entering the eighth, things did not look promising for Lehigh Valley, down by three runs and barely able to scrape together hits.
But they have been in this spot before. Five times they have come from behind after trailing in the seventh inning or later.
Make it six.
Casey Fien replaced French in the eighth, and immediately gave up a single to the red-hot Frandsen. John Suomi then reached on catcher's interference, and a big inning was suddenly within sight.
Michael Spidale chose to bunt the runners to second and third. It looked like a questionable move, especially after Overbeck struck out for the second out, but the move paid off in the end. Pete Orr, who collected three hits and three RBI on Thursday, came through yet again.
He lined the Fien offering into centerfield, plating both runs and pulling Lehigh Valley to within one. Gosewisch then stepped into a fastball and lined it off the rightfield wall, tying the game at five and allowing Elarton off the hook.
Neither team was able to score in the ninth, but only one extra inning was needed to decide the winner.
Luis Perdomo came in for the Red Wings, and on the first pitch blooped a broken bat single into centerfield. Orr then laid down a perfect bunt, moving Overbeck to second and bringing Gosewisch up for another chance to be the hero, and he didn't miss the chance.
Gosewisch lined another double to right, almost to the exact same spot as the one in the eighth, and gave Lehigh Valley the 6-5 win. It was his second walk off hit this year, the other being a game winning double against Louisville in the tenth inning on May 12.
Gosewisch finished up the game 2-for-5 with 2 RBI. Orr also drove in two runs on two hits and Suomi went 2-for-4 with a run batted in.
Rochester got an RBI apiece from Pedro Florimon, Brian Dinkelman, and Sean Burroughs.
Phillippe Aumont, who shut down Rochester for the final two innings, earned the win, his second of the year. Perdomo evened up at 1-1 with the loss.
With the win paired with a Pawtucket loss, the IronPigs move into first place in the North. They will face the Red Sox Saturday at 7:05 for an important three game set. The IronPigs will send Pat Misch (5-9, 4.24) to the hill against the righty Justin Germano (8-4, 2.60).