RailRiders Sweep Rochester to Close Out Homestand
Moosic, Pa. – A doubleheader sweep wasn’t enough. After besting their Northern nemesis with a pair of walk-off victories the night before, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) polished off a series sweep of the Rochester Red Wings (Minnesota Twins) Friday night at PNC Field with a 5-1 thumping. The win concluded the RailRiders’ nine-game eight-day homestand with a 4-5 ledger.
In his first start at the Triple-A level, Jairo Heredia (1-0) dazzled. The once highly touted prospect spun five innings of one-run ball en route to his first decision in five appearances with the RailRiders. Heredia faced just 21 batters over five efficient frames before leaving in favor of reliever Pat Venditte in the sixth.
The RailRiders made sure the solid start didn’t go to waste. Taylor Dugas gave the RailRiders the lead in the second, lacing a double over the head of centerfielder Eric Farris to plate the hustling Austin Romine from first. A Rochester run in the visiting third would follow, but the RailRiders pitching staff held serve, allowing just five base hits to the potent Rochester attack the rest of the way.
Crooked numbers in the third and fourth followed for SWB. Antoan Richardson and Jose Pirela reached on successive base knocks before a two-run single by Romine tilted the game back in favor of the RailRiders at 3-1. With Heredia cruising, SWB brought the game to its final resting point with a pair of runs in the fourth. Richardson ignited the inning, reaching courtesy of a one-out walk. A double by Pirela plated Richardson from first before Rob Refsnyder collected a run-scoring single that made lead an insurmountable 5-1.
Venditte worked around a bases loaded jam in the sixth before striking out Wilkin Ramirez and inducing consecutive fly balls to Josmil Pinto and Daniel Ortiz to wiggle out of the inning. A base hit by Brad Nelson in the eighth chased Venditte in favor of Edgmer Escalona who worked two perfect frames to finish off the Red Wings and secure the series sweep. Mark Hamburger (1-1) worked four innings and was tagged for all five runs in the loss for Rochester.
The RailRiders and Red Wings home-and-home series will shift to Frontier Field as the RailRiders begin their final road trip before the All-Star break Saturday, July 12. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre will toss left-hander Nik Turley (0-1, 7.94), while Rochester counters with the lefty Sean Gilmartin (1-1, 4.44). John Sadak 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:
Jairo Heredia became the first active RailRiders’ starting pitcher besides Chris Leroux to claim a win since right-hander Bruce Billings marched to a 12-6 triumph over the Norfolk Tides (Baltimore Orioles) on June 6 at PNC Field.
The three-game series sweep of the Rochester Red Wings marked the club’s first three-game winning streak at PNC Field since the RailRiders won five-straight from May 5-9 against the Indianapolis Indians (Pittsburgh Pirates) and Durham Bulls (Tampa Bay Rays).
Jose Pirela went 3-for-5 with a double and two runs scored to raise his season-long contact clip to .324. Pirela leads the International League in hits with 116 hits. His 116 base knocks ranks fourth in all of minor league baseball and first since April 27 with 99.
Edgmer Escalona spun two perfect innings of relief to secure the RaiLRiders 5-1 victory. In four appearances with SWB the right-hander has yet to allow a run in 10.2 innings since being signed on July 2.
– SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! –