Francis Tames RailRiders

Veteran Southpaw Baffles IL’s Best Offense

Buffalo, N.Y. – Veteran lefty Jeff Francis (6-3) tossed eight dominant innings and IL MVP candidate Matt Hague hit a towering tie-breaking home run as the SWB RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) fell to the Buffalo Bisons (Toronto Blue Jays) on Saturday night, 3-1.

Home runs made for all of the game’s scores. Dalton Pompey hammered Eric Wooten’s first pitch to him in the third inning for a two-out solo shot to left and a 1-0 Buffalo advantage. An inning later, big league rehabber Dustin Ackley added his own two-out thunder with an opposite-way blast to right off of Francis for a 1-1 draw.

That would all change in the sixth. Reliever Caleb Cotham (2-2) jumped ahead of Jon Berti 0-2 before losing him to a walk. On Cotham’s next pitch, Hague mashed an impressive homer to left, his 11th of the year, for the 3-1 score.

That lead held up in large part due to Francis. He allowed just two clean base runners and retired the final 13 he faced.

He was lifted after eight innings and 80 pitches (55 strikes) in favor of Ryan Tepera. Catcher Juan Graterol reached on an Andy Burns fielding error in the ninth, but Tepera rebounded by inducing a fly to foul left from Ben Gamel and a groundout to second by Rob Refsnyder for his third save. Gamel’s out saw Pompey slam into the wall while making the grab.

The series continues at 1:05 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. SWB looks to southpaw Chris Capuano (1-1, 1.93) against right-hander Chad Jenkins (8-4, 2.93).

The RailRiders will host “Mariano Rivera Day” on Thursday, Sept. 3 against the Bisons with an appearance by the Yankees’ legendary closer himself. For more information please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.

OFF THE RAILS:

The RailRiders’ fastest nine-inning game of the season lasted just 1:49.

SWB went a collective 2-for-29 (.069) with no walks and six strikeouts.

Eric Wooten allowed one run over five innings. He gave up five hits, no walks and struck out four on 56 pitches (39 strikes).

Andrew Bailey struck out one in a perfect eighth inning. In nine outings and 12.1 innings with SWB he has struck out 13 and walked three.

Caleb Cotham had allowed just one home run in the minors before Hague’s game-winning blow. It came on April 28 in a loss at New Hampshire, the Blue Jays’ Double-A affiliate. That was also a tie-breaking blast, a seventh-inning shot by former SWB and New York Yankee Melky Mesa. Cotham’s Trenton club would lose the game, 7-5.

Mesa hit a walk-off homer against the RailRiders on July 10 at Buffalo. He also connected on a two-out, two-run walk-off homer in SWB’s most recent playoff win, the Game 3 triumph over Pawtucket on Sept. 7, 2012.

Jeff Francis had lost three straight starts entering Saturday night with a 7.71 ERA and .356 batting average against over that time. He improved to 2-0 in two starts against SWB with one run allowed in 15 innings (0.60 ERA). The RailRiders have hit just .125 against Francis.

– SWB RailRiders Baseball – The Place to Be! –

SWB Game Notes 8-29-15

CLICK HERE for the Aug. 29 edition of the RailRiders’ game notes. CLICK HERE to listen to the radio call live with John Sadak and Darren Headrick. Pregame coverage starts at 6:35 p.m.

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The RailRiders claimed the coveted IronRail trophy and clinched the season series against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs with a 7-2 win last night at PNC Field. The RailRiders finished 10-8 against their Allentown rivals.

JUST WAIT ‘TILL WE GET OUR HAYNES ON YOU: Kyle Haynes (3-1) fired six innings of scoreless, three-hit baseball for his second straight win and quality start. After his first two nods, both against Columbus, Haynes stood 0-1 with an 11.42 ERA, .419 batting average against and 2.42 WHIP. In four starts since, he has gone 3-0, 1.50, .165, 1.00. Haynes began the year in the Double-A bullpen and did not become a starter until early June.

WE MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE: The paid crowd of 10,000 made for the fifth complete sellout of the season to set a new RailRiders era record. It was also the team’s 16th fixed-seat (7,115+) sellout. The team announced 10,000 fans at just two games last season and four times in year one of the RailRiders era (2013). Three of the four complete sellouts in 2013 featured a rehabbing Derek Jeter while the fourth came on the Fourth of July. The RailRiders have won 16 of 20 at PNC Field since the All-Star break.

THEY’VE GOT THE MAGIC IN THEM: The RailRiders have two games left against second-place Rochester and five versus third-place Buffalo. SWB has magic numbers of five and two with each club. Any combination of SWB wins and losses by each foe totaling to those figures would cement a higher finish for the RailRiders. SWB leads Rochester by 6.0 games with 10 to play.

MVG: Ben Gamel went 2-for-5 with a double and a run scored. The IL MVP candidate has hits in 28 of his last 32 with multiple knocks in 19 of those games. In that time he has slashed .372/.423/.620/1.043 with 19 extra-base hits (5-3B, 4HR), 20 RBIs and 24 runs scored. He leads the IL with 13 outfield assists and co-paces all of MiLB with 14 triples, two shy of the single-season franchise record set by Shane Victorino in his 2005 IL MVP season. SWB’s leadoff man leads the team with 59 RBIs. He ranks among the IL’s best in batting average (3rd, .305), hits (T-2nd, 144), on-base percentage (6th, .361), slugging (2nd, .475), extra-base hits (3rd, 48), runs scored (3rd, 72) and total bases (2nd, 224).

ON A ROLL AGAIN: Kyle Roller‘s resurgence continued. He went 2-for-4 with a triple, a homer and two RBIs. The IL All-Star has slashed .382/.432/.676/1.109 by going 13-for-34 over his last 11 games with six extra-base hits and five RBIs. He entered this run in a 5-for-56 funk slashing .089/.235/.179/.414 with 24K (43% of his at-bats). He has his average up to .231, the best it has been since he doubled versus Toledo on July 24 for a .231 contact clip. Roller’s home run was his first since July 16, an 11th-inning game-winning blast at Louisville off of Jose De La Torre.

WHO’S HOT: Slade Heathcott singled in the win. He has hit safely in seven straight and nine of 10, going 12-for-38 (.316/.333/.368/.702) in the longer stretch. He has hit .308/.366/.367/.733 at PNC Field versus .198/.232/.274/.506 on the road. Over his last eight games, IL All-Star Austin Romine has hit .444/.483/.481/.964 by going 12-for-27 with eight RBIs. Since the All-Star break, Jose Pirela has hit .361/.432/.449/.881. At .336 and .401, his average and OBP would each rank second in the IL if he had enough plate appearances to qualify (2.7/team game).

OFF THE RAILS: Dustin Ackley went 2-for-4 with a steal and a run scored…In two games with SWB, the MLB rehabber has gone 3-for-8 with a double, an RBI and two runs scored…On Thursday, Ackley became the 71st different RailRider this season…The 2013 RailRiders used 73 players (37 position players/36 pitchers)…Norfolk’s 2012 team set the IL record by using 75 different players…Thanks to three-baggers by Roller and Pirela, the RailRiders belted two triples in one game for the first time this season…The team’s 17 hits fell one short of the season-high mark set June 12 versus Rochester in the 13-3 win.

RailRiders Claim IronRail Trophy

Moosic, Pa. – The SWB RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) took home the IronRail trophy and clinched the season series against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs with a 7-2 win on Friday night at PNC Field. The RailRiders (75-59) finished 10-8 against their rivals from Allentown, Pa. SWB dropped their magic number to clinch the International League North to five. The IronPigs fell to 60-74.

Kyle Haynes (3-1) earned his second straight win by blanking the IronPigs over six innings. He scattered three hits, walked two and struck out one. Severino Gonzalez (2-6) was rocked in the surprise start for Lehigh Valley. The right-hander allowed seven runs on 12 hits in just 3.1 frames.

Ben Gamel ignited the offense by beating out an infield single in the opening stanza. Rob Refsnyder threaded the needle for a double inside of third to score Gamel from first. Austin Romine later came through with the first of his three hits on the night, singling in Refsnyder.

Kyle Roller continued his breakout week with a bomb to right field. The solo shot to begin the second inning was his team-best 14th of the year.

The RailRiders made it 4-0 in the third on when Gregorio Petit singled with two away and scored on Roller’s triple to right-center. It was his third three-baser of the season.

SWB poured on three more runs in the fourth. Refsnyder and Dustin Ackley singled to start the inning. With Jose Pirela up, the RailRiders attempted a double steal. The throw from catcher Erik Kratz sailed past third and Refsnyder scored on the error. Pirela followed with a triple over the head of Brian Bogusevic in center that easily scored Ackley. Romine capped the frame with a run-scoring single.

Lehigh Valley plated a pair of runs off reliever Nick Rumbelow in the ninth.

The RailRiders begin a five-game road trip with three against the Buffalo Bisons (Toronto Blue Jays) at Coca-Cola Field. First pitch on Saturday, August 29, is set for 7:05 p.m. Left-hander Eric Wooten (2-5, 5.05) matches up with veteran southpaw Jeff Francis (5-3, 2.46). The RailRiders will host “Mariano Rivera Day” on Thursday, September 3rd, against the Buffalo Bisons (Toronto Blue Jays) with an appearance by the Yankees’ legendary closer himself. For more information please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.

– SWB RailRiders Baseball – The Place to Be! –

SWB Game Notes 8-28-15

CLICK HERE for the Aug. 28 edition of the RailRiders’ game notes. CLICK HERE to listen to the radio call live with John Sadak and Darren Headrick. Pregame coverage starts at 6:35 p.m.

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The SWB RailRiders completed a long 24 hours by splitting a pair of games against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs on Thursday night at PNC Field. Chaz Hebert (2-0) went the distance in a 5-0 victory in game one before the IronPigs took the nightcap, 6-1.

OFFENSIVE FUNK: SWB has been held to two runs or less in seven of its last 12 games. Two of the exceptions came in extras with three runs scored each time.

THE BEAR: Hebert entered 2015 without a complete game on his short pro career (2012-Present). Last night he recorded his third of the season, all shutouts. He allowed six hits and no walks while whiffing four over his seven frames. With Advanced-A Tampa he held Clearwater without a run over nine innings in a 1-0 triumph on June 5 and tossed seven scoreless innings for the CG win at Lakeland on Aug. 17. SWB’s only other CG this season came in its only other doubleheader with a pair of seven-inning games. Bryan Mitchell gave up one earned run over seven innings, but five errors behind him led to three unearned scores in a 4-1 loss to Pawtucket on April 25. The franchise has not seen a nine-inning CG since Adam Warren bested Charlotte on June 9, 2011 (9IP, 6H, 1R, 1BB, 7K). The team has not had a hurler toss a nine-inning shutout since 2008 when Daniel McCutchen did it twice: June 14 at Norfolk and July 5 versus Syracuse. Those remain the only two shutouts on McCutchen’s pro career over 321 appearances and 1,085 innings. He currently starts for the Padres’ Triple-A team in El Paso.

WIN SOME, LOSE SOME: SWB’s wins leader Kyle Davies (9-8) suffered his team-worst eighth loss. The team has not scored more than two runs in any of his setbacks, totaling 12 runs in the eight games (1.5 runs/loss). In his 17 other appearances, the squad has scored 89 runs (5.2/game).

THEY’VE GOT THE MAGIC IN THEM: The RailRiders have two games left against second-place Rochester and five versus third-place Buffalo. SWB has magic numbers of seven and four with each club. Any combination of SWB wins and losses by each foe totaling to those figures would cement a higher finish for the RailRiders. SWB leads Rochester by 5.0 games with 11 to play.

MVG: Ben Gamel went 2-for-3 in the opener with a double, a walk and two runs scored. The IL MVP candidate has hits in 27 of his last 31 with multiple knocks in 18 of those games. In that time he has slashed .371/.423/.621/1.044 with 18 extra-base hits (5-3B, 4HR), 20 RBIs and 23 runs scored. He leads the IL with 13 outfield assists and co-paces all of MiLB with 14 triples, two shy of the single-season franchise record set by Shane Victorino in his 2005 IL MVP season. SWB’s leadoff man leads the team with 59 RBIs. He ranks among the IL’s best in batting average (3rd, .304), hits (3rd, 142), on-base percentage (T-5th, .361), slugging (2nd, .473), extra-base hits (T-3rd, 47), runs scored (3rd, 71) and total bases (2nd, 218).

ON A ROLL AGAIN: Kyle Roller‘s resurgence continued. He went 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and drove in the team’s lone run in the nightcap. The IL All-Star has slashed .367/.424/.533/.958 by going 11-for-30 over his last 10 games. He entered this run in a 5-for-56 funk slashing .089/.235/.179/.414 with 24K (43% of his at-bats). He has his average up to .229, the best it has been since he singled against Lehigh Valley on July 27 for a .230 contact clip.

WHO’S HOT: Slade Heathcott went 3-for-6 with a pair of RBIs on the twinbill. He has hit safely in six straight and eight of nine, going 11-for-33 (.333/.353/.394/.747) in the longer stretch. He has hit .313/.373/.374/.747 at PNC Field against .198/.232/.274/.506 on the road. Over his last seven games, Austin Romine has hit .409/.458/.455/.913 by going 9-for-22 with six RBIs. Since the All-Star break, Jose Pirela has hit .350/.421/.427/.847. At .329, his average would rank second in the league if he had enough plate appearances (2.7/team game).

OFF THE RAILS: Dustin Ackley went 1-for-4 with an RBI double and a run scored in the opener…The MLB rehabber also struck out twice and bounced into a double play as the DH…He did not play in the nightcap…Ackley became the 71st different RailRider this season…The 2013 RailRiders used 73 players (37 position players/36 pitchers)…Norfolk’s 2012 team set the IL record by using 75 different players…Last night’s paid crowd of 7,793 made for the team’s 15th fixed-seat sellout (7,115) of the season.

RailRiders and IronPigs Split Doubleheader

Moosic, Pa. – The SWB RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) completed a long 24 hours by splitting a pair of games against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs on Thursday night at PNC Field. Chaz Hebert went the distance in a 5-0 victory in game one before the IronPigs (60-73) took the nightcap 6-1.  The RailRiders (74-59) lead second place Rochester in the International League North Division standings by five games with 11 to play.

Hebert (2-0) yielded six hits over seven innings while striking out four. The left-hander authored his third complete game shutout of the season and first at the Triple-A level. Jesse Biddle (2-4) surrendered five runs on 10 hits over 4.2 innings in the loss.

Slade Heathcott paced the offense with two hits and plated a pair of runs. Ben Gamel and Jose Pirela also collected two hits. Dustin Ackley finished 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI in his MLB rehab appearance with SWB.

Game two went to the IronPigs behind an impressive start from right-hander Jason Berken. He blanked SWB on two hits over four innings and Chris Leroux (3-3) finished the game for the victory. Kyle Davies (9-8) absorbed the loss after allowing three runs on seven hits over five innings. The right-hander fanned six, two off his season high.

The RailRiders’ only run in the nightcap came in the sixth when Kyle Roller doubled home pinch runner Rico Noel.

The RailRiders and IronPigs meet for the final time in 2015 on Friday night at PNC Field. With SWB’s lead in the IronRail Series at 9-8, the winner of the series finale claims the IronRail trophy. Right-hander Kyle Haynes (2-1, 5.06) opposes right-hander Alec Asher (2-0, 2.08). The RailRiders will host “Mariano Rivera Day” on Thursday, September 3rd, against the Buffalo Bisons (Toronto Blue Jays) with an appearance by the Yankees’ legendary closer himself. For more information please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.

– SWB RailRiders Baseball – The Place to Be! –

SWB Game Notes 8-27-15

CLICK HERE for the Aug. 27 edition of the RailRiders’ game notes. CLICK HERE to listen to the radio call live with John Sadak and Darren Headrick. Pregame coverage starts at 5:30 p.m.

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: In eight seasons as the top affiliate of the New York Yankees, the SWB franchise had never been swept in a series of three or more games at McCoy Stadium, home of the Pawtucket Red Sox. On Wednesday night, Jonathan Roof changed that. He singled over second with two outs off Caleb Cotham (2-1) in the home 10th to score Allen Craig as the reigning Governors’ Cup champions completed a three-game broom cleaning of the RailRiders, 4-3.

SWEEPS WEEK: Pawtucket (52-80) earned its first sweep win since the first week of May.  SWB was swept for the first time in a series of three or more games at McCoy Stadium since the then-Red Barons (Philadelphia Phillies) fell in all three from Aug. 16-18, 2006.

WALK IT OFF: The RailRiders suffered their eighth walk-off loss of the season and third in extra innings. Five of the walk-off losses have come since the start of July, starting with a 10-inning loss at Lehigh Valley on July 1.

RARE ROAD WOES: The IL’s best road team (38-26) has lost five straight road games for the first time since the 2013 unit dropped five in a row over three different road trips from June 2-14. SWB has not dropped more than five in a row on the road since the vagabond 2012 SWB Yankees lost six true road games from June 18-23 at the start of the Louisville/Indianapolis journey. Pawtucket had not won three in a row overall or at home since a four-game run from June 10-13.

WHERE’S THE BEEF?: Pawtucket pitching held the RailRiders to four runs through 28 innings on the series. SWB went 21-for-96 (.219) with just four extra-base hits and a 2-for-20 effort with men in scoring position. The team has been held to two runs or less in six of its last 10 games. Two of the exceptions came in extra innings with three runs scored in each of those games.

NEMESIS: The RailRiders have more wins against Pawtucket (13-6) than any other team in 2015. They went 5-3 in the Ocean State and 8-3 at PNC Field. They have taken eight of 11 and 19 of 25 going back to 2014. Despite the sweep this week, SWB has won 12 of 15 at McCoy Stadium, outscoring the PawSox, 69-37.

THEY’VE GOT THE MAGIC IN THEM: The RailRiders have two games left against second-place Rochester and five versus third-place Buffalo. SWB has magic numbers of eight and six with each club. Any combination of SWB wins and losses by each foe totaling to those figures would cement a higher finish for the RailRiders. With their 4-2 loss to Buffalo, the IronPigs joined defending IL North champ Syracuse and reigning Governors’ Cup king Pawtucket as eliminated.

WHITE KNUCKLERS: Half of SWB’s last 34 games have been decided by one run and 25 (74%) have come down to two or less. It has gone 22-12 (.647) in that time and owns the IL’s best one-run record at 26-17 (.605).

MVG: Ben Gamel singled and picked up his team-leading 59th RBI. The IL MVP candidate has hits in 26 of his last 29 with multiple knocks in 17 of those games. In that time he has slashed .376/.426/.632/1.059 with 17 extra-base hits (5-3B, 4HR), 20 RBIs and 21 runs scored. He picked up his IL-best 13th outfield assist Saturday and co-paces all of MiLB with 14 triples, two shy of the single-season franchise record set by Shane Victorino in his 2005 IL MVP season. SWB’s leadoff man entered today with the IL’s third-best batting average (.304). He also ranks among the IL’s best in hits (4th, 140), on-base percentage (5th, .360), slugging (2nd, .474), extra-base hits (T-4th, 46), runs scored (3rd, 69) and total bases (2nd, 218).

OFF THE RAILS: Caleb Smith allowed three runs on five hits and a season-high-tying five walks in his Triple-A debut…He struck out four and tossed 109 pitches (59 strikes)…He faced 23 batters and endured a 10 three-ball counts…He fell one walk shy of his career-high mark set in his May 10, 2014 Low-A debut, a loss for Charleston against Savannah…Bryan Mitchell set SWB’s high-water mark for walks in a game this season (7) in a June 3 win versus Pawtucket…Smith became the 70th different RailRider to see action this season, the 43rd pitcher and the 24th starter…Johnny Barbato and Andrew Bailey combined on 4.2 innings of scoreless, three-hit relief behind Smith….Kyle Roller‘s resurgence continued…He went 2-for-2 with an RBI and a walk…The IL All-Star has slashed .375/.444/.500/.944 by going 9-for-24 over his last eight games…He entered this run in a 5-for-56 funk slashing .089/.235/.179/.414 with 24K (43% of his at-bats).

Pawtucket Sweeps SWB

First True Sweep Defeat at McCoy Stadium in Yankees Era

Pawtucket, R.I. – In eight seasons as the top affiliate of the New York Yankees, the SWB franchise had never been swept in a series of three or more games at McCoy Stadium, home of the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox. On Wednesday night, Jonathan Roof changed that. He singled over second with two outs off Caleb Cotham (2-1) in the home 10th to score Allen Craig as the reigning Governors’ Cup champions completed a three-game broom cleaning of the RailRiders, 4-3.

Pawtucket (52-80) earned its first sweep win since the first week of May while SWB (73-58) was swept for the first time in a series of three or more games at McCoy Stadium since the then-Red Barons (Philadelphia Phillies) fell in all three from Aug. 16-18, 2006.

Both teams plated a pair in the second and all the runs came on two-out hits. Kyle Roller and Ben Gamel had RBI singles for the RailRiders while Mike Miller and Deven Marrero did the same for Pawtucket.

SWB surged ahead in the fourth when Austin Romine’s hard hopper was errantly missed by third baseman Carlos Rivero, allowing Slade Heathcott to score from third for a 3-2 edge. An inning later, Allen Craig homered off rookie southpaw Caleb Smith to tie the game.

SWB returns home for a three-game, two-day set against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Philadelphia Phillies). Thursday sports a doubleheader with game one getting underway at 5:35 p.m. The RailRiders are scheduled to toss right-hander Kyle Davies (9-7, 3.52) in the opener against southpaw Jesse Biddle (2-3, 5.85). SWB will look to lefty Chaz Hebert (1-0, 1.80) in the nightcap against a to-be-announced hurler.

The RailRiders will host “Mariano Rivera Day” on Thursday, Sept. 3 against the Buffalo Bisons (Toronto Blue Jays) with an appearance by the Yankees’ legendary closer himself. For more information please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.

OFF THE RAILS:

Caleb Smith allowed three runs on five hits and a season-high-tying five walks in his Triple-A debut. He struck out four and tossed 109 pitches (59 strikes).

Johnny Barbato and Andrew Bailey combined on 4.2 innings of scoreless, three-hit relief behind Smith.

The RailRiders have lost five straight road games for the first time since the 2013 unit dropped five straight spread over three separate road trips from June 2-14.

Seventeen of the RailRiders’ last 34 games have been decided by one run and 25 have come down to two runs or less.

– SWB RailRiders Baseball – The Place to Be! –

SWB Game Notes 8-26-15

CLICK HERE for the Aug. 26 edition of the RailRiders’ game notes. CLICK HERE to listen to the radio call live with John Sadak and Darren Headrick. Pregame coverage starts at 6:35 p.m.

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The SWB RailRiders suffered a rare shutout defeat with a 2-0 blanking at the hands of the Pawtucket Red Sox on Tuesday night. The RailRiders put their leadoff man on base in the first, fourth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings, but went 0-for-10 with men in scoring position and bounced into a pair of double plays.

OFF THE BEATEN PATH: The IL’s top offense suffered its fifth shutout loss of the year and its second on the road. No IL team entered today with fewer than seven shutout setbacks. The mean average for the circuit’s 13 clubs outside of SWB sat at 10.6 this morning. Pawtucket earned its sixth shutout win. Entering today only Toledo (4) had fewer.

RARE ROAD WOES: The IL’s best road team at 38-25, SWB has lost a season-worst four straight road games. The 2014 squad lost its final four road games. Tonight, the RailRiders seek to avoid their first five-game road losing streak since the 2013 unit dropped five in a row over three different road trips from June 2-14. That run saw two losses at Durham, a single loss during a rain-shortened series at Syracuse and a pair of setbacks at Lehigh Valley. Pawtucket has won back-to-back home games for the first time since June 27-28.

BOUNCING BACK: Gary Sanchez went 2-for-4. Starting with his home run on Saturday night that snapped a 4-for-40 slide, he has gone 8-for-12 with two doubles and two homers to lift his average back over .300 to .302. Since his July 18 debut he ranks among the IL’s best in extra-base hits (T-9th, 15), total bases (T-8th, 66), home runs (T-6th, 6), RBIs (T-4th, 26) and slugging percentage (10th, .512). Including his Double-A numbers, he ranks among the best on the Yankees’ farm in homers (2nd, 18) and RBIs (3rd, 62). His teammate at both levels this season, Aaron Judge, leads the system in both categories at 20 and 70 respectively.

WHERE’S THE BEEF?: Pawtucket pitching has held the RailRiders to one run through 18 innings on the series. That score came on a Sanchez home run on Monday night. On the set, SWB has gone 12-for-59 (.203) with just three extra-base hits and no knocks in 10 tries when men in scoring position. The team has been held to two runs or less in six of its last nine games. One of the exceptions saw the team score three in a 14-inning walk-off win over Rochester on Fridays.

NEMESIS STATUS: The RailRiders have more wins against Pawtucket (13-5) than any other team this season, including a 5-2 mark in the Ocean State. They have taken eight of 10 and 19 of 24 going back to last season. SWB finished the 2015 regular season 8-3 against Pawtucket at PNC Field. The RailRiders have won 12 of 14 at McCoy Stadium, outscoring the PawSox 66-33.

ONE STEP BACK, TWO STEPS FOWARD: The RailRiders have two games remaining against second-place Rochester and five versus third-place Buffalo. Despite its loss last night, SWB gained more ground thanks to losses by both the Red Wings and Bisons. The RailRiders now have magic numbers of eight and six with Rochester and Buffalo respectively. Any combination of SWB wins and losses by each foe totaling to those figures would cement a higher finish for the RailRiders. SWB’s magic number for Lehigh Valley’s divisional elimination sits at one. Defending IL North champion Syracuse and reigning Governors’ Cup champ Pawtucket have already been mathematically erased from the equation.

WHITE KNUCKLERS: Sixteen of SWB’s last 33 games have been decided by one run and 24 (73%) have come down to two or less. It has gone 22-11 (.667) in that time and owns the IL’s best one-run record at 26-16 (.619).

MVG: Ben Gamel went 2-for-4 with a double. The IL MVP candidate has hits in 25 of his last 28 with multiple knocks in 17 of those games. In that time he has slashed .384/.435/.652/1.087 with 17 extra-base hits (5-3B, 4HR), 19 RBIs and 21 runs scored. He picked up his IL-best 13th outfield assist Saturday and co-paces all of MiLB with 14 triples, two shy of the single-season franchise record set by Shane Victorino in his 2005 IL MVP season. SWB’s leadoff man leads the team with 58 RBIs. He entered today with the IL’s third-best batting average (.305). He also ranks among the IL’s best in hits (T-4th, 139), slugging (2nd, .477), extra-base hits (T-4th, 46), runs scored (3rd, 69) and total bases (T-2nd, 217).

PawSox Blank RailRiders

SWB Suffers First Four-Game Road Losing Streak of Season

Pawtucket, R.I. – The SWB RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) suffered a rare shutout defeat with a 2-0 blanking at the hands of the Pawtucket Red Sox (Boston Red Sox) on Tuesday night. SWB (73-57) has lost a season-worst four straight road games while Pawtucket (51-80) has won back-to-back home games for the first time since June 27-28.

The RailRiders put their leadoff man on base in the first, fourth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings, but went 0-for-10 with men in scoring position and bounced into a pair of double plays.

The game’s only runs crossed in the home fourth. Brady Lail (2-2) walked Sandy Leon and Allen Craig before allowing run-scoring hits to Chris Marrero and Humberto Quintero. Lail suffered the loss despite a quality start. He allowed five hits and two walks while posting a groundout-to-flyout ratio of 13:0.

Right-hander Shawn Haviland (5-8) earned his first win with Pawtucket. The former Charlotte Knight fired six scoreless innings. He gave up five hits, walked none and whiffed four.

Jorge Marban followed with two scoreless innings and Noe Ramirez posted his second save with a perfect ninth.

The RailRiders will host “Mariano Rivera Day” on Thursday, Sept. 3 against the Buffalo Bisons (Toronto Blue Jays) with an appearance by the Yankees’ legendary closer himself. For more information please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.

OFF THE RAILS:

Ben Gamel went 2-for-4 with a double. He has hit safely in 25 of his last 28 games with multiple hits in 17 of them.

Gary Sanchez also went 2-for-4. Including his home run on Saturday night that snapped a 4-for-40 slide, he has gone 8-for-12 to lift his average back over .300 to .302.

SWB suffered its fifth shutout loss of the year and its second on the road. No IL team entered Tuesday with fewer than seven shutout setbacks. Pawtucket earned its sixth shutout win. Entering Tuesday, only Toledo (4) had fewer.

– SWB RailRiders Baseball – The Place to Be! –

SWB Game Notes 8-25-15

CLICK HERE for the Aug. 25 edition of the RailRiders’ game notes. CLICK HERE to listen to the radio call live with John Sadak and Darren Headrick. Pregame coverage starts at 6:35 p.m.

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The SWB RailRiders’ winning streak at McCoy Stadium halted at a dozen games as the Pawtucket Red Sox took Monday night’s series opener, 5-1. SWB saw its overall winning streak end at four with its first loss at Pawtucket since May 17, 2014.

BOUNCING BACK: Gary Sanchez connected on the team’s only extra-base hit with a home run to left in the fifth. He went into his final at-bat on Saturday night in a 4-for-40 slump before he went opposite way for a three-run homer. He followed that with two doubles in a 4-for-4 Sunday showing with a pair of runs scored. His first four-hit game of 2015 was the fourth of his career to tie his career-high mark. He connected on four hits in a pair of games last season, both in the same series against the Richmond Flying Squirrels (San Francisco Giants) on May 23 and 26. Sanchez has six home runs with SWB and 18 total taters including his time at Double-A Trenton. Only his SWB teammate, Aaron Judge (20), has more composite home runs on the Yankees’ farm this season.

ONE-SIDED RELATIONSHIP: The RailRiders have more wins against Pawtucket (13-4) than any other team this season, including a 5-1 mark in the Ocean State. They have taken eight of nine and 19 of 23 going back to last season. SWB finished the 2015 regular season 8-3 against Pawtucket at PNC Field. The RailRiders have won 12 of 13 at McCoy Stadium, outscoring the PawSox 66-31.

INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE MAN OF MYSTERY: Austin Romine delivered SWB’s lone multi-hit showing, going 2-for-3. Over his last four games he has gone 8-for-13 with six RBIs. The IL All-Star has lifted his average by 15 points (.251-.266) in four days.

CRYSTAL BALLIN’: The RailRiders have two games remaining against second-place Rochester and five versus third-place Buffalo. SWB has magic numbers of nine and seven with Rochester and Buffalo respectively. Any combination of SWB wins and losses by each foe totaling to those figures would cement a higher finish for the RailRiders. SWB’s magic number for Lehigh Valley’s divisional elimination sits at one. With its 9-0 loss to Rochester last night, defending IL North champion Syracuse has been mathematically eliminated in its IL North pursuits.

TIGHTROPE WALKERS: Half of SWB’s last 32 games have been decided by one run and 23 (72%) have come down to two or less. It has gone 22-10 (.688) in that time and owns the IL’s best one-run record at 26-16 (.619).

MVG: Ben Gamel went hitless for the second time in 20 games played this month. The IL MVP candidate has hits in 24 of his last 27 with multiple knocks in 16 of those games. In that time he has slashed .380/.433/.648/1.081 with 16 extra-base hits (5-3B, 4HR), 19 RBIs and 21 runs scored. He picked up his IL-best 13th outfield assist Saturday and co-paces all of MiLB with 14 triples, two shy of the single-season franchise record set by Shane Victorino in his 2005 IL MVP season. SWB’s leadoff man leads the team with 58 RBIs. He entered today with the IL’s third-best batting average (.304). He also ranks among the IL’s best in hits (4th, 137), slugging (2nd, .475), extra-base hits (T-4th, 45), runs scored (3rd, 69) and total bases (T-3rd, 214).

OFF THE RAILS: The RailRiders were held to five hits (four singles)…SWB lost three men on the bases…Romine was gunned down attempting to leg out a double in the second…Rico Noel and Jose Pirela were caught stealing in the third and fourth innings respectively…Add in the 4-6-3 double play Noel hit into during the sixth and Pawtucket pitching faced just two over the minimum…The RailRiders had won eight straight against Pawtucket overall and 13 of 14…SWB has lost a season-high-tying three straight road games for the second time all season…It previously occurred at Lehigh Valley from June 29-July 1.

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