RailRiders Claim Doubleheader Sweep with Rochester
Moosic, Pa. – One wasn’t enough. Not against a team in the Rochester Red Wings (Minnesota Twins) that had claimed 10 of the last 11 meetings between the two squads. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) let out a cry of frustration in against their Northern Brethren mattered Thursday night at PNC Field by claiming two walk-off victories in Thursday’s doubleheader. Adonis Garcia played the hero in both stories. First plating the game-winning run in the initial 5-4 tilt, before he blistered a walk-off home run in the 1-0 win in game two.
The RailRiders never knew a deficit in the first fight. Rob Refsnyder set the tone early, launching a two-run blast in the home first that gave the RailRiders the initial advantage of 2-0. Bruce Billings worked a scoreless first and labored through the second. A walk by Josmil Pinto kick-started the frame and a run-scoring base hit by Eric Farris followed that gave Rochester its first run. Billings loaded the bases without an out in the second and exchanged a double play ball by Chris Rahl for a run that evened the game 2-2 in the second.
Jose Pirela regained the lead with a solo home run in the fifth and SWB received some needed insurance when starter Scott Diamond issued a bases loaded walk to Dan Fiorito that put the RailRiders up 4-2. The lead wouldn’t last, as a single by Pedro Florimon and a walk to Brad Nelson chased Billings in the seventh. Diego Moreno entered and promptly issued back-to-back run-scoring knocks to Doug Bernier and James Beresford that brought the game to 4-4.
With the stage set, Garcia delivered. First working a leadoff walk in the seventh before taking second on a sacrifice bunt. A base hit by John Ryan Murphy moved him to third and a weakly- hit bouncing ball by Kyle Roller plated Garcia for the winning run and the 5-4 victory.
Despite allowing two inherited runners to cross in the seventh, Moreno (2-2) notched the win while reliever Lester Oliveros (0-1) took the loss.
Game two was a different story as battle of bullpen carried their respective teams through the sixth in a pitcher’s duel. Lefty Jeremy Bleich received the starting nod, spinning three scoreless frames before handing the baton off to right-hander Joel De La Cruz in the fourth. The starter-turned reliever allowed three-hits over four innings to carry a scoreless ballgame into the home seventh.
Rochester’s A. J. Achter issued a base hit to Garcia in the fourth and proceeded to retire his next nine batters in a row before allowing Garcia’s deciding bomb in the seventh that secured the doubleheader sweep for SWB. Achter (2-3) earned the tough-luck decision while De La Cruz (3-5) notched the win.
The RailRiders and Red Wings will wrap up the homestand Friday, July 11 with the final game of the series. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre will toss right-hander Jairo Heredia (0-0, 10.61), while Rochester counters with the righty Mark Hamburger (1-0, 1.13). 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:
Rob Refsnyder blistered his sixth home run at Triple-A in the first inning against lefty Scott Diamond. The six dingers for Refsnyder since June 15 are tied for the most in the circuit during that span. Since the month of July Refsnyder has hit three home runs in 11 games (.220/.319/. 463).
The doubleheader split marked the RailRiders’ first since the club swept a twinbill against the Buffalo Bisons (Toronto Blue Jays) on April 17, 2014.
The RailRiders claimed its first series win against the Rochester Red Wings since July 8-10, 2013. The club had lost 10 of the previous 11 meetings between to two longtime foes.
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