Porcupine Points – April 18

TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE START: They started 1-6. The pitching struggled mightily. One day it was a starter, the next day the bullpen. The offense could not come through, leaving masses of men on base. That seems like a long time ago. On Wednesday night at Frontier Field, the red-hot Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) dominated the Rochester Red Wings, 7-0. The RailRiders’ fourth straight win was their second straight shutout while the Red Wings’ seventh straight loss lowered the International League’s worst record to 2-11.

LET’S GET SERIESOUS: With last night’s win, the RailRiders secured their first series win of 2013. The team’s prior series victory in a true four-game road set came from Aug. 6-9, 2012, also at Frontier Field against the Red Wings. Through three games in this series, the RailRiders have outscored the Red Wings, 18-1.

SUPER START: Graham Stoneburner (1-1), known for his sinking fastball, recorded 10 groundball outs against five in the air for his first Triple-A triumph. The 25-year-old won as a starter for the first time since an April 15, 2011 victory with Double-A Trenton versus Harrisburg.

PITCHING PROWESS: SWB pitching has not allowed a run in 20 consecutive innings. On Wednesday, Stoneburner and Sam Demel combined to retire 11 straight batters from the end of the fourth inning until Ray Olmedo singled with one out in the eighth.

HEATING UP: David Adams went 3-for-4 with a walk and scored twice. After starting the season 2-for-12 (.167), the third baseman has gone 7-for-15 (.467) to lift his season-long contact clip to .333.

HELLO MR. WILSON: Catcher Bobby Wilson has caught each of the team’s consecutive shutouts. He also recorded four RBIs in a game for the second time on the road trip. With Wilson behind the plate, the RailRiders have posted a 1.91 ERA. The team is 3-1 when he is the starting catcher. Wilson shares the team lead in RBIs (9) despite playing in just five games (four starts) and a .125 batting average (2-for-16).

TIME TO MAKE THE DONUTS: SWB notched its first back-to-back shutouts in nine-inning games since blanking the IronPigs at Lehigh Valley from April 20-21, 2011. The then-Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees led the IL that season with 13 shutouts, but failed to qualify for the playoffs.

BROOMS READY: Tonight, SWB seeks its first sweep of a four-game set since a June 26-29, 2012 series against Gwinnett. It hasn’t turned the trick in a road four-game series at Rochester since July 4-7, 2010.

SCORING SURGE: In starting the season 1-6, the RailRiders scored a total of 18 runs (2.6/g). During their bounce-back four-game win streak, they have crossed the plate 30 times (7.5/g).

OFF THE RAILS: Zoilo Almonte earned his league-leading 13th walk in addition to his RBI double…Twenty of Rochester’s 22 hits on the series have been singles…The Red Wings went 0-for-4 with men in scoring position on Wednesday…They have gone 1-for-29 (.034) with men in prime real estate on the series… The RailRiders put their leadoff man on base five times in the game…Four times that man came around to score…In addition to guaranteeing a series victory, the RailRiders also secured a winning road trip.

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