RailRiders Rally, Defeat PawSox in 10 Innings

 Pawtucket, R.I. – On a night they hit into a triple play, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) found the resolve to rally and defeat the Pawtucket Red Sox (Boston Red Sox) at McCoy Stadium in 10 innings, 5-3.  The RailRiders (22-21) posted their third win in four games while the PawSox (25-21) lost for the fifth time in seven games.

Dean Anna gave his team a 1-0 lead with a run-scoring groundout in the second inning.  That seemed to be enough with the way starter Joel De La Cruz was tossing.  At one point, he retired 11 straight PawSox from the close of the first until Corey Brown singled with one out in the fifth.   The next hitter, Dan Butler, bounced into a double play.

But in the sixth, Mike McCoy worked a one-out walk and Ryan Roberts followed with a single that sent McCoy to third.  Daniel Nava subsequently sent McCoy home with a sacrifice fly for a 1-1 draw.  De La Cruz allowed just that one run on four hits over 5.2 innings.  He walked two and struck out a season-best six.

Mark Montgomery, who stranded two inherited runners in the sixth, ran into trouble an inning later.  The first three men reached base in Garin Cecchini, Corey Brown and Dan Butler with Cecchini scoring on a wild pitch.  Roberts singled Brown home for a 3-1 margin and Nava then walked to load the bases.  But Montgomery got a fly-out to right from clean-up hitter Ryan Lavarnway to leave ‘em loaded.

In the eighth, Adonis Garcia connected on a two-run homer to left-center that tied the game against Drake Britton.  Consecutive walks to Ramon Flores and Kyle Roller extended the threat before Zelous Wheeler bounced into a history-making series of outs.  He had shown bunt multiple times with the infield in, but ultimately chopped a bouncer to the drawn-in Cecchini at third.  Cecchini retreated, hit third for one and ignited an around-the-horn triple play.

Jim Miller (3-1) struck out three men over two perfect innings in providing a bridge to free baseball.  Chris Hernandez (1-4) fired a 1-2-3 ninth but had trouble in the 10thJose Pirela reached for the fifth time in as many plate appearances with a high-bouncing single to Lavarnway at first.  He hustled hard down the line and just reached the bag ahead of the choppy steps of Hernandez covering.  Garcia then walked and Flores snapped the deadlock with a single to right.  Nava’s throw in was late as Pirela scored, Garcia took third and Flores advanced to second on the throw.

Roller then skied a ball to left that allowed Garcia to tag up and score, but Flores got caught in a rundown for a 7-5-6-4 sacrifice-fly double play that ended the inning.  In the bottom half of the inning, Diego Moreno struck out two and allowed just a two-out Lavarnway single for his first save.

The RailRiders conclude their eight-game homestand Tuesday, May 20 at 12:05 p.m.  SWB will toss right-hander Shane Greene (0-2, 6.11) against PawSox right-hander Anthony Ranaudo (4-2, 3.47). John Sadak and Aaron Berlin will have the call on radio with the pregame show beginning at 11:35 a.m. on NEPA Sports Radio – The GAME, Northeast PA’s largest sports radio network: 100.7 FM, 1340 WYCK-AM, 1400 WICK-AM, 1440 WCDL-AM and 106.7 FM. For season ticket information, single-game tickets or to book a ballpark group outing, call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.

OFF THE RAILS:

The IL’s first triple play of 2014 was Pawtucket’s first since June 26, 2009 against the Norfolk Tides.  The only SWB triple play turned occurred June 5, 1997 at Norfolk. In game two of a doubleheader, singles by two SWB alumni then with the Tides, Wes Chamberlain and Phil Geisler, put runners on first and second. Chris Saunders then hit a soft liner to shortstop Desi Relaford who stepped on second to double-up Chamberlain and threw to Mike Robertson at first to complete the trifecta.

On the season, the RailRiders have now been no-hit (April 26 at Durham) and have seen an opponent turn a triple play against them.

Adonis Garcia added another multi-hit effort, going 2-for-4 with his game-tying homer and stretched his hitting streak to 16 games.  His streak has lifted his season-long average by 87 points (.237-.324). Garcia owns the team’s best hitting streak since Todd Linden‘s 19-game run from April 14-May 4, 2009.

Jose Pirela posted his fourth straight multi-hit performance (3-for-3, 2BB) and lifted his season-long average to a season-high .303. He has gone 10-for-15 over those three affairs, raising his contact clip by 43 points.

Pawtucket suffered its first extra-inning loss of the year while the RailRiders tied the PawSox for the league’s best record in free baseball (5-1).

The RailRiders have won consecutive road games for the second time this season. The only other occasion came on April 17 when they swept the Bisons in a doubleheader at Buffalo.  The franchise has not won three straight road games since July 26-28, 2013, all at Louisville.

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