RailRiders Solve Columbus Riddle
Moosic, Pa. – An impressive display of power and crafty pitching helped propel the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) passed the Columbus Clippers (Cleveland Indians) Sunday afternoon in a 5-1 win. Two thunderous home runs by Antoan Richardson and Kyle Rollerwere combined with five plus innings of two-hit ball from starter Nik Turley to help and end the club’s longest losing streak of the season at five games. The two home runs accounted for three of SWB’s five runs and concluded the season series between the two clubs with Columbus (65-57) taking seven of the eight clashes.
The RailRiders led wire-to-wire, with three of the club’s five tallies scoring courtesy of home runs. Richardson provided Turley with some early run support by launching a majestic bomb in the first for the initial lead. Roller joined the party with an impressive two-run opposite-way laser off starter Tyler Cloyd to extend the lead to 3-0 in the fourth.
Turley danced around four walks and didn’t yield a hit until Jesus Aguilar ripped a line drive to right field to leadoff the sixth. A fielder’s choice by Giovanny Urshela erased Aguilar before a base hit via Carlos Moncrief chased Turley from game. Reliever Nick Rumbelow tossed behind Turley, promptly issuing a fly ball and a walk before retiring Matt Carson on fielder’s choice to end the threat. Two more RailRider runs crossed on a run-scoring knock by Richardson and sacrifice fly by Rob Refsnyder to extend the SWB lead, 5-0.
Turley (2-2) notched the win, pitching into the sixth and striking out five batters, while Cloyd (9-7) spun a quality start, spinning six innings and yielding three runs on four hits and striking out four in the loss, his first since July 3 against the Toledo Mud Hens. Three SWB relievers combined to finish off the game, with Edgmer Escalona yielding the only run on Luke Carlin’s RBI double.
The RailRiders continue the eight-game home swing with the series opener against the Louisville Bats (Cincinnati Reds), August 11 at 7:05 p.m. SWB will start left-hander Matt Tracy (1-5, 3.99) while the Bats counter with right-hander Dylan Axelrod (7-8, 4.05). 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 sports 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 swbrailriders.com.
OFF THE RAILS:
Antoan Richardson’s home run in the first inning marked his third of the season and first since May 4 off Suk-min Yoon of the Norfolk Tides in the fourth inning. The home run ended a drought that lasted 62 games and spanned 183 at-bats.
Richardson’s home run in the first marked just the second time a RailRider a lead off a game with a home run this season, with Jose Pirela’s solo blast off Pawtucket’s Steven Wright on June 23 the lone other occurrence.
The win over the Clippers snapped a 14-game losing streak against Columbus dating back to the 2013 season, marking the longest successful run by a Columbus in the history of the series. It trumped a 12-game domination from June 1, 1993-April 9, 1994 when the then-Red Barons got outscored 97-27. The win was SWB’s first against Columbus since April 23, 2013.
The RailRiders series finale win avoided a historic loss for SWB. Only once has SWB ever lost every meeting with a team in a single season. That came in 1989 when the first-ever Red Barons dropped each of their three games against Buffalo, all on the road. The SWB franchise has only lost every home match-up against a team in a single season five times (1989 vs. Iowa, 0-3; 1999 vs. Charlotte, 0-3 and vs. Indianapolis, 0-4; 2004 vs. Norfolk, 0-4; 2011 vs. Durham, 0-4). Today’s contest is the final meeting with Columbus on the regular season.
– SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! –