Four-Run Eighth Stampedes RailRiders in 6-3 Loss
Moosic, Pa. – A quick two-run difference was promptly erased and a one-run lead built courtesy of a pair of well-timed home runs and a costly miscue. A 3-2 advantage refused to hold serve Saturday night at PNC Field as a four-run eighth inning, fueled by a trio of extra-base hits, reigned supreme in a 6-3 loss by the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) to the Buffalo Bisons (Toronto Blue Jays). The loss earned the RailRiders (42-47) a disappointing series split with the Herd (46-42), while moving the RailRiders to 6-5 this season against their northern brethren.
On a bullpen day for SWB, it was Edgmer Escalona who received the nod for the RailRiders. The right-hander gave SWB three efficient frames before departing in favor of Francisco Rondon in the fourth. The lefty worked a minimum faced frame before Buffalo tagged him for two runs in the fifth. The first tally came by way of a sacrifice fly and Ryan Goins made it 2-0 with a run-scoring single to right.
Solo home runs by John Ryan Murphy and Zoilo Almonte in the fifth and sixth brought the game back to sea level at 2-2, before a wild pitch with the bases loaded by Aaron Sanchez plated the go-ahead run in the sixth for a 3-2 lead.
Throwing on back-to-back nights, Pat Venditte relieved Diego Moreno in eighth and promptly allowed his only two batters faced to reach base. Matt Daley followed suit, allowing a double by Erik Kratz that drew the game even at 3-3. A sacrifice fly plated the go-ahead run and successive doubles by Andy LaRoche and Jonathan Diaz brought the game to its final resting point at 6-3.
Venditte (2-3) did not record an out in the loss, while starter-turned-reliever Kyle Drabek (6-6) worked around a hit in two shutout frames to score the win. All-Star closer Bobby Korecky picked-up his team-leading 11th save of the year in the process.
After wrapping up the series with the Bisons, the RailRiders will open a four-game series with the Charlotte Knights (Chicago White Sox) Sunday, July 6 at 7:05 p.m. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre has yet to announce a starter, while Charlotte counters with righty Deunte Heath (5-1, 2.39). John Sadak and Aaron Berlin will have the call on MyNetwork TV with longtime voice Jim Riley filling in on radio. The pregame show begins 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 clubbed his team-leading 13th home run of the season. The home run by Almonte was his fourth of the season against the Herd, the most by any RailRider against a single team this season.
Yangervis Solarte reported to SWB after a July 3 option by the New York Yankees. The RailRiders’ recently received infielder went 3-for-3 in his SWB debut with an extra-base hit and walk. Solarte also helped ignite an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play that helped Escalona escape a Ryan Goins base hit in the third.
Jose Pirela collected two more base hits and reached base a third time on a fielder’s choice in the ninth. The RailRiders’ lone All-Star now has a league-leading 106 base hits, while raising his contact clip to .319 on the season.
Rob Refsnyder went 0-for-5 with a strikeout and four groundouts in Saturday’s loss. The hitless day dropped his batting average 18 points from .333 to .315 on the season.