Mesa’s Slam and Marshall’s Gem Lead SWB to Win

Buffalo, N.Y. – The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) used a grand slam from Melky Mesa and a strong starting performance from Brett Marshall to defeat the Buffalo Bisons (Toronto Blue Jays) on Friday night, 7-3. Mesa joins Cody Grice as the only two SWB players to hit a grand slam this season.

Marshall (6-9) allowed just two hits over his six scoreless frames, and struck out six batters. While he issued three walks, Marshall induced seven groundouts and only two fly outs.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre wasted no time in jumping out to a big lead, as they scored five runs in the second. Dan Johnson led off the frame with a double, and Randy Ruiz was then hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second. Two outs later, Bobby Wilson singled to left field to drive home Johnson and move Ruiz to second. Brendan Harris was then hit by a pitch to load the bases. That setup Mesa, who slammed a Drew Hutchison pitch over the center field wall for a grand slam. The RailRiders led 5-0 after the top of the second.

The offense would not let up as SWB added another in the third. Adonis Garcia started the inning with a single to left-center field, which snapped a 0-15 streak. Johnson followed with a double down the left-field line, and Garcia scored all the way from first base. It was 6-0 after just two and a half innings of play.

Buffalo got on the board with one run in the seventh. Moises Sierra led off with a single, and moved to second base on a wild pitch. Andy LaRoche then doubled to plate Sierra and cut the deficit to 6-1.

The lead was cut further when the Bisons scored two in the eighth. Anthony Gose hit a one-out triple, and scored on a single by Luis Jimenez. After a hit by Sierra moved Jimenez to second, Ryan Goins recorded a base hit that drove home Jimenez. LaRoche batted as the tying run, but he popped out to Wilson to end the inning.

The RailRiders added an insurance run in the top of the ninth. Alberto Gonzalez hit a one-out single, and would later come around to score when Mesa singled him home. Mesa finished the game with three hits and five runs batted in.

Hutchison (0-1) was making a rehab start, and took the loss. He allowed six runs over three and two-thirds innings.

The RailRiders now return home to PNC Field to open up an eight-game homestand. It begins on Saturday night, as SWB will welcome in the Bisons on Magic Night. The first 2,500 fans will receive a Houdini Paperweight courtesy of Geico Scranton. It’s also a bonus postgame fireworks show presented by Jack Williams and Tire & Auto. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. Tickets are available by calling (570)969-BALL (2255), by logging on to swbrailriders.com, or by visiting the PNC Field Box office.

- SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! -

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