RailRiders Split Twinbill with Charlotte
Moosic, Pa. – A day of hope and optimism faded quickly as the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) and Charlotte Knights (Chicago White Sox) fought to a doubleheader split Wednesday afternoon at PNC Field. The RailRiders (43-50) took the initial contest 7-2 before dropping the second game of the twinbill by a final ledger of 5-1. The doubleheader split gave the Knights (38-56) the four-game series at 3-1.
Starter Chris Leroux was masterful in game No. 1, giving a RailRiders squad in desperate need of innings a complete game effort. Leroux authored six shutout frames before Andy Wilkins and Miguel Gonzales belted solo homers in the seventh for Charlotte’s two lone runs. Leroux (2-2) scattered eight hits in the complete game win and issued five strikeouts in his second straight triumph for SWB.
The offense backed its starter early, aiding Leroux with an initial run courtesy of a knock by Yangervis Solarte in the third. A crooked number followed in fourth by way of a bunt single by Antoan Richardson that plated Austin Romine, before a wild pitch by Erik Johnson allowed Corban Joseph to score from third, extending the RailRiders’ advantage to 3-0.
A scoreless fifth proceeded before SWB tagged Johnson (2-6) for four runs in home sixth to slate the right-hander with the loss. Richardson drove the bus, plating two runs in the seventh with a double before Jose Pirela and Solarte followed suit with back-to-back RBI singles that swelled SWB’s lead to 7-0. Richardson collected three RBI on the evening in the win.
Game two followed a similar script, with a different ending. Left-hander Matt Tracy spun four scoreless frames before a two-run triple by Marcus Semien chased him from the game. The two-run advantage proved to be enough as Knights’ starter Dylan Axelrod twirled five inning of one-run baseball before departing in line for the win after the fifth. Reliever Taylor Thompson finished off the contest by tossing two scoreless frames. Only two of the five runs scored in the second game against the RailRiders’ pitching staff counted as earned runs.
The RailRiders will host its second doubleheader in as many days Thursday, July 10 when SWB welcomes the Rochester Red Wings (Minnesota Twins) to PNC Field for a twinbill. The first game begins at 5:35 p.m. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre will toss right-hander Bruce Billings (4-5, 5.31), while Rochester counters with lefty Scott Diamond (4-7, 6.45). John Sadak and Aaron Berlin will have the call on MyNetwork TV while longtime voice Jim Riley fills in on radio. The pregame show begins at 5:05 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:
Chris Leroux’s complete game effort marked the first for his career. Leroux also became the first RailRiders starter in five days to spin at least five frames. The last RailRiders starter to twirl at least five frames not named Leroux: Shane Greene on June 27 when the right-hander lasted seven innings against the Syracuse Chiefs.
Antoan Richardson doubled and drove in three runs in opening game of the twinbill. The three RBI marked a season high for Richardson and the marked first time the outfielder had accomplished the feat since he drove in three-runs on April 18, 2013 against the Portland Sea Dogs (Double-A/Eastern League).
Yangervis Solarte went 4-for-7 in Wednesday’s doubleheader and drove in three runs. Since his option on July 3, the SWB infielder has hit safely in each of his first five games, including four with multiple hits. Solarte is 12-for-20 (.600) with four extra-base hits and five RBI since his option.
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