Whitley Provides Strong Start in SWB Win

Allentown, Pa.Chase Whitley was dominant as he made just his third start of the season, and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) topped the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Philadelphia Phillies) on Tuesday night, 3-1. Whitley took the victory over his rehabbing Phillie counterpart, Jonathan Pettibone.

Whitley (3-2) went five innings in just the sixth start of his professional career. The only run he allowed scored on a throwing error, and Whitley struck out four without issuing a walk. The five frames accounted for the longest outing of Whitley’s pro tenure. Dellin Betances was dominant as he worked three innings out of the bullpen with four punch outs. Jim Miller was brought in for the ninth and recorded his fifth save.

Pettibone (0-2) made his first Triple-A start since April, but this time on a rehab assignment. Pettibone allowed three runs on 10 hits over six innings in the loss. While he did not walk a batter, Pettibone only struck out one. He is 5-4 with a 4.04 earned run average in 18 big league starts this season.

The IronPigs were the first to strike offensively, and scored their only run in the second. Cesar Hernandez led off the frame with a single to left-center field. Leandro Castro then singled to right field, and Hernandez’s wide turn at second base prompted a throw from right fielder Ronnier Mustelier to third. It overshot the bag, and went into the Lehigh Valley dugout. That allowed Hernandez to score, and Castro to move up to third. Despite the error, Whitley recorded the final three outs without conceding another run.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre grabbed the lead with two runs in the fifth. J.R. Murphy led off with a double down the left-field line. Mustelier atoned for his error when he followed with a base hit to center field that plated Murphy. Brent Lillibridge then grounded into a force out that allowed him to reach at first, but retired Mustelier at second. Alberto Gonzalez singled to right field which appeared to move Lillibridge to third, but the throw from Castro was mishandled by Tyler Henson, and Lillibridge was able to score on the play.

The RailRiders added an insurance run in the top of the sixth. With one out, Dan Johnson singled to shallow center field. Randy Ruiz then launched a double to left-center field, and Johnson was able to score all the way from first base. It advanced the RailRider lead to 3-1, which was the game’s final margin.

The win cuts Lehigh Valley’s lead in the IronRail series to 7-5. SWB now returns home to PNC Field on Wednesday night as they’ll open up a four-game series with the Pawtucket Red Sox (Boston). Prospect right-hander Brett Marshall (7-9, 5.26) will take the mound against Allen Webster (7-4, 3.84). Fans can help the RailRiders fight hunger, and receive a free ticket to Wednesday night’s game. Fans who bring at least one non-perishable food item will receive a free NEPA Honda Homer Zone ticket. All donations will be made to the Volunteer Action Center (VAC). It’s also a Kids Eat Free Wednesday presented by Minooka Subaru at PNC Field, and all kids 12 and under will receive a voucher for a free hot dog, soda, and bag of chips.

- SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! -

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