Porcupine Points: May 16 at Lehigh Valley
LAST TIME OUT: Shane Greene lasted a season-best five-plus innings, but yielded four runs on eight hits as the RailRiders fell to Lehigh Valley on Thursday night, 7-1.
TOUGH TIMES: SWB’s fifth loss in six games dropped it below .500 and into last place. It marks the first time the squad has endured either distinction since it was 14-15 on May 5. Before this spiral, the team had won six straight including a four-game sweep of first-place Indianapolis.
COMPLETE EFFORT: The offense mustered just four hits against Barry Enright (1-2), who tossed his second career nine-inning complete game and logged his first win of the season.
ON A ROLL: The lone run came off a Kyle Roller homer, his second of the week and his 11th of the season including time with Double-A Trenton. After going 0-fot-6 in his first two Triple-A games, Roller has hit safely in four consecutive contests. His season-long home run total ranks second on the Yankees’ farm to current Double-A resident, Peter O’Brien (14).
HOT HITTER: Adonis Garcia went 1-for-4 with a double and stretched his hitting streak to 12 games. That surpassed his own 11-game run from April 9-23 for the longest SWB hitting streak of the season. Since his current surge of swinging success began on May 3, he owns the IL’s best contact clip. His 21-for-48 performance makes for slashes of .438/.471/.563/1.033 as his season-long average has leapt 78 points (.237-.315).
ROSTER CHANGES: A flurry of roster moves had Chase Whitley sent to the big leagues where he tossed 4.2 scoreless innings and notched a base hit in his debut against the Mets. Fred Lewis returned from the SWB DL, but failed to get an out as he allowed five men to reach and coughed up three runs. Austin Romine hit the shelf as he was placed on the DL while fellow catcher Jose Gil was received back from SS-A Staten Island. Gil has played in two games all season and none since April 8 at Rochester.
IRONRAIL TROPHY: On June 13 of last year, the RailRiders and IronPigs announced the creation of the “IronRail Trophy”. The 16-game series between the RailRiders and IronPigs decides the annual winner. The stakes have the losing team’s GM singing in a fat lady costume on the winner’s video board after home wins in the series and the heavy hardware itself. The trophy is held by the previous year’s winning team. The 2013 series was an 8-8 draw, but per the rules, the winner of the last game won the tiebreaker. By taking a 3-2 contest on Aug. 31 in Allentown, the RailRiders claimed the prize. SWB owns a 57-46 lead in the all-time series dating back to Lehigh Valley’s inaugural 2008 season. Lehigh Valley has only won a season series against SWB once, and did so by the slimmest of margins when it went 9-7 in 2010. The RailRiders trail this year’s set, 6-1.
SHUFFLING THE DECK: Ramon Flores hit third for the first time since he was with Advanced-A Tampa in 2012. The usual leadoff man essentially swapped roles with the team’s customary three-hole hitter this season, Dean Anna. Anna served as a leadoff man for the first time since he was with Triple-A Tucson last season. Garcia hit second for the first time since last season with SWB – something he did just once with the 2013 team.