Billings Stumbles as RailRiders Rally Falls Short
Columbus, Ohio. – Zoilo Almonte collected his team-leading 10th home run of the season and drove in a pair, but a wave of home runs by the Columbus Clippers (Cleveland Indians led to four early tallies that proved too much in 4-3 loss Friday night at Huntington Park. The one-run loss by the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) marked the second-straight for SWB and the third consecutive loss for the RailRiders.
All four Columbus runs scored with two outs in a frame, the first three courtesy of two-out three-run tater by Audy Ciriaco in the second that leapt the Clippers out to the early 3-0 lead. Travis Banwart settled until a rhythm, spinning four scoreless frames until Antoan Richardson laced a triple to center and scored on a two-run home run by Almonte, his second in as many days. The home run by Almonte brought the game to within one at 3-2.
A Tyler Holt homer in the fifth pushed the lead to 4-2, but the resilient RailRiders responded with a run on an infield hit by Austin Romine in the seventh that plated Zelous Wheeler to make the score 4-3.
Alfredo Aceves and Heath Bell spun three scoreless innings in relief, but five shaky frames from starter Bruce Billings (4-2) doomed the RailRiders in the loss. Banwart (4-2) picked up the win, tossing 6.2 innings and tying a single-high strikeout total with eight, while Vinnie Pestano (5) notched the save for the second-straight night.
The RailRiders continue an eight-game road trip with the second game of the odyssey occurring against the Columbus Clippers Friday, June 12 at 7:15 p.m. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre sends right-hander Brian Gordon (4-5, 4.46) to the hill, while Columbus counters with righty Zach McCallister. John Sadak and Aaron Berlin will have the call on radio with the pregame show beginning at 6:35 p.m. on NEPA Sports Radio —The GAME, Northeast PA’s largest 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 swbrailirders.com.
OFF THE RAILS:
Zoilo Almonte homered for the second-straight evening. The RaiRiders outfielder mashed his team-leading 10th home run of the season while also collecting RBI’s 33 and 34, both good team leads. Since his return from the Big Leagues, Almonte is 14-for-40 with four home runs and 10 RBI.
Almonte’s home run marked the ninth-straight ballgame the RailRiders’ offense has clubbed a long ball, a season-best.
SWB has now lost nine-straight clashes with Columbus dating back to the 2013 campaign, with 12 of the last 19 meetings between the two clubs decided by a single run.
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