Normally on PIP, we lead with all things RailRiders. And we will get to SWB in just a bit. But with the Fall Classic underway, we found an article of particular interest. Who wouldn’t want to play Major League Baseball? Who didn’t spend hours upon hours playing in the backyard or in the street imagining a World Series pitch or at-bat? For this year’s Kansas City Royals (who saw their eight-game post-season winning streak shattered in a 7-1 thumping last night), the playoffs nearly never were thanks to…Clash of Clans?
For those unaware, Clash of Clans (per the 100% accurate Wikipedia) is “an online multiplayer game in which players build a community, train troops, and attack other players to earn gold and elixir, which can then be used to build defenses so as to protect the player against other players attacking them.” For the Kansas City Royals, Clash of Clans became mind control. As this IGN piece details, first-base coach Rusty Kuntz “remembered coming into the locker room after a tough loss against Boston — their third in a row in the middle of the season, putting the team below .500 — and seeing a handful of players fixated on Clash of Clans”. Getting the Royals to tone it down turned their season around. (Clash of Clans is a lot of fun though).
The Royals made one change to their roster for the World Series. They dropped 2010 first-round pick Christian Colon, and added an SWB alumnus in Jayson Nix. The Dallas, Tex. native played eight games for the then-SWB Yankees early in the 2012 season. He spent a good deal of the 2014 campaign in the IL with Durham. He played in 55 games for the Bulls and started at six different positions. The Giants, however, made no changes to their roster for the World Series which means former SWB hurler George Kontos remains off the active roster.
Do you like watching San Francisco second baseman Joe Panik? According to this piece by former SWB/current New York Yankees beat man Chad Jennings, some scouts believe Panik is very similar to the RailRiders’ best position player prospect in 2014 – Rob Refsnyder.
Jennings also took a look at a number of former SWB players who are among the Yankees that could be looking at arbitration or being non-tendered and the money they’re likely to make in 2015 with help from MLB Trade Rumors.
Tonight, it’s Game 2 of the World Series as the hard-throwing young gun Yordano Ventura faces longtime veteran Jake Peavy. Click away for MLB.com’s preview of the game. It will be a special night at PNC Field as well. Season ticket holders and sponsors will gather in the Mohegan Sun Club for what’s become an annual tradition – watching the World Series in Moosic. It’s one of the many benefits afforded to STH and sponsors of NEPA’s favorite team.
The Arizona Fall League has served as a launching pad for many of baseball’s biggest stars. What’s the latest when it comes to the Yankees and some former/likely future RailRiders? Check out Jim Callis’ overview of the Yankees in the circuit, read up on how Tyler Austin sparked a huge late rally, and check up on Greg Bird who claimed Player of the Week honors.
Yes, the chill has arrived and winter will soon follow. But warm up with the release of the Yankees spring training schedule. Pitchers and catchers report to Tampa Feb. 20 and work out starting Feb. 21. The other position players arrive Feb. 25 with a first full-squad the next day. The 33-game Grapefruit League slate starts March 3 in Clearwater against the Phillies.
Per Mark Feinsand of the Daily News, it appears that Gary Denbo will take over as the top man running the Yankees’ minor league system. He has had a long-running relationship with Derek Jeter and has been known as a brilliant hitting coach. He served as the Yankees’ hitting coach in 2001. Some thought Trey Hillman was in line for the position previously held by Mark Newman, but the Astros hired Hillman to be their bench coach.
As for the Yankees’ current hitting coach, CBS’ Jon Heyman reports that former Yankee Chili Davis turned down the Bombers in favor of the Red Sox. Dave Magadan reportedly interviewed for the gig in the Bronx, but was told he is no longer a candidate. Magadan is still in the running for the hitting coach role with the Mets, however, along with the man recently axed by the Yankees, Kevin Long, who is set to meet with the team today according to the NY Post.
Over at MinorLeagueBall.com John Sickels took a look at the breakout effort by one of the nicest guys in SWB baseball history, Chase Whitley.
How the heck is CC Sabathia doing? Apparently, he’s “pretty much back to 100%” according to Bryan Hoch.
Do you want baseball to pick up its pace? The Arizona Fall League is conducting experiments in an attempt to accomplish that with mixed results per Mike Axisa.
Are you awake all night wondering what could have been with the SWB Black Diamond Bears? Lose the diamond, but another team is going to help you out.
Love AMC’s The Walking Dead? So do minor league baseball players.
Remember Rob Refsnyder‘s walk-off homer on the Fourth of July? So does the rest of MiLB. And you could help its memory live on all the more. His blast is a finalist for a 2014 MiLBY award as the “Top Home Run” in the minors last season. CLICK HERE to vote.
With his new deal in hand, what’s on Cashman’s plate? A loot from former SWB beat man/current Yankees reporter Chad Jennings at Cashman’s to-do list including the names of a number of former SWB men including coach Frank Menechino and possibly adding longtime manager Dave Miley to the big league staff on his LoHud blog.
Some hires have to be made because the Yankees fired hitting coach Kevin Long and first base coach Mick Kelleher. An excellent composite look at moves has been assembled by Michael Axisa of River Ave Blues.
His matrix includes word from RailRiders beat man Donnie Collins that Luis Sojo will not return to NEPA. He also caught a glimpse of some poor bald man while on his other beat covering Penn St. football:
The only hitting coach the SWB franchise has known since becoming Yankees affiliate in 2007, the incredibly likable Butch Wynegar, has been let go by the Yankees according to WFAN’s Sweeny Murti:
It should be noted – the RailRiders led the IL in batting average in 2014 and paced the circuit in home runs in 2013.
The NY Post’s George King asked former Mets GM Omar Minaya if he’s been in talks to join the Yankees and has the skinny on some names the Yankees have talked to about their top minor league position vacated by the retiring Mark Newman.
Want a breakdown of each Yankee/Met participating in winter ball in Venezuela and Mexico? Newsday’s Cody Derespina has you covered with a list that includes SWB alumni Francisco Arcia, Francisco Cervelli, Ramon Flores, Adonis Garcia, Jose Gil, Mark Montgomery and Diego Moreno.
Chip Hale has moved from Oakland bench coach to Diamondbacks skipper. In his wake, a former Yankee may benefit. The San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser reports that ex-Yank/current Oakland hitting coach Chili Davis is under consideration for the hitting gig with the Yankees, Red Sox and Cubs along with a possible bump to bench man for the A’s.
The RailRiders won a SAGE Award in 2013 for Best Practices in Community Involvement. This year the team is a finalist for “Pride & Progress: Exterior Renovations” for the reconstruction of PNC Field. The SAGE Awards (Scranton Awards for Growth and Excellence) recognize the outstanding efforts, talent, creativity and innovation within the northeast Pennsylvania business community. They are administered by The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce and MetroAction and are announced annually at the Chamber Gala.
While it may be the off-season for the RailRiders and Yankees alike, there’s still quite a bit going on these days. Let’s take a trip around the latest news and notes:
The RailRiders laid claim to a “major award” (granted, not quite the Christmas Story leg lamp) for the second time in as many years by grabbing a Golden Bobblehead. The team’s website took a look at the accolade while the Times Leader gave it some praise as well.
Antoan Richardson has received his share of pub in recent days. There’s this piece on his positive approach to the game and his “Jeter moment” and a multi-part look at his efforts of late from Tribune 242, the paper of his native Bahamas. Part 1 looks at how he never gave up on his big league dreams while part 2 examines the mark he’s made at the highest level. Another chapter with a more personal twist is due out later today.
Former RailRiders beat man Chad Jennings does an excellent job covering the big club these days. Among PIP’s favorites from his recent work are this look at the Rule 5 possibilities for the organization, this take on possible minor league impact for next season including Hal Steinbrenner referencing a 2014 RailRider, and Jennings’ own personal examination of minor leaguers that could help the 2015 Yankees.
How could Rob Refsnyder be a Yankee in 2015? NJ.com’s Brendan Kuty offers his thoughts.
Bad news? Rising prospect Eric Jagielo was forced out of the prestigious AFL due to injury when he took a fastball to the face. Good news? His surgery went well including photo proof per his personal social media. Read more from MiLB.com.
Jagielo’s tweet/instagram were among those that made Danny Wild’s latest post in the “wildly” fun “Minoring in Twitter” blog. The list includes another Yankees farmhand in Cito Culver.
The Yankees have a number of names in the AFL this year including former RailRider Caleb Cotham. Jennings looks at each pinstriped entrant while Greg Bird got things started with a bang yesterday. The second piece also mentions the exploits of a former power bat on the Yankees’ farm and how his new life with the Diamondbacks halted after his in-season trade.
Former SWB Yankees pitching coach Rafael Chaves has been named minor league pitching coordinator for the Phillies.
Speaking of SWB’s former parent club, the baseball world lost a legend when the great Bill Campbell passed away Monday at the age of 91. The dean of Philadelphia sportscasters saw many of the greatest moments in the history of Philadelphia sports during his days calling games for the Phillies, Eagles, Sixers, Warriors, Big 5 and more.
What did the baseball world expect from a young Derek Jeter? Baseball America was kind enough to post its look at the then-young gun from 1994.
Transactions time – the Yankees have re-signed a member of the RailRiders’ 2014 rotation and bullpen, Joel de la Cruz. Reliever Diego Moreno and catcher Francisco Arcia have also been re-signed by the organization.
One of the newest New York Rangers, goalie Cédrick Desjardins, has woven Jeter and Frank Sinatra into the artwork on his mask.
Everyone is giving Jeter love these days. Even the “People’s Champion”, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
In case you missed it, Abington Heights took the inaugural RailRiders Bowl over Valley View, 26-15. Below are some pics of the celebration and of a Yankees flavor to the event’s sidelines:
And so, The Captain’s curtain call has come and gone. While his final at-bat (CLICK HERE for video) fittingly saw him deliver a hustle RBI single, the 3,465th hit of his career, it’s impossible to top his storybook final moment in the Bronx. CLICK HERE to watch the magic over and over. When you do, realize that quite a bit of SWB flavor added up to the recipe for that Hollywood finish.
It was a 5-2 lead for the Yanks entering the top of the ninth. There are no theatrics for Jeter if SWB alum David Robertson (2008-09, 12) doesn’t suffer his fifth and final blown save of an otherwise excellent season (he finished 3rd in the AL with 39 saves) thanks to a pair of homers that tied it up. The game-tying homer? That was struck by 2012 SWB slugger Steve Pearce. In the bottom of the ninth, the lone 2014 RailRiders All-Star, Jose Pirela, set the stage with a leadoff single. His NEPA teammate this season, Antoan Richardson, then came on as a pinch runner. Brett Gardner, an SWB outfielder from 2007-09 and in 2012, followed with a sacrifice. Worth noting, Gardner led the AL with 13 sacrifices and blasted a career-best 17 home runs on the season. Jeter then singled and the speedy Richardson, who led SWB with 26 stolen bases this season, scored from second as Jeter went out a monumental hero. Pun intended, are they working on that monument yet?
CLICK HERE for a fun look at how Boston gave Jeter the royal treatment in his final act.
Did Jeter make a mistake by playing in Boston? A famous New Yorker thinks he did. CLICK HERE for Jerry Seinfeld’s thoughts. The link also has a YouTube clip of Jeter’s appearance on Seinfeld when he and Bernie Williams got hitting lessons from the assistant to the team’s traveling secretary, George Costanza.
Boston hurler Joe Kelly took a selfie with Jeter. But his wife’s tweet about the selfie is the real story. CLICK HERE for the social media joy.
CLICK HERE for a pretty cool collection of tweets from minor league players, including some with direct Yankees ties, saying goodbye and giving their memories of Jeter.
Jeter has already hit the ground running in retirement. CLICK HERE for more on his first effort post-baseball.
Hal Steinbrenner, managing general partner of the Yankees, apologized for the Bombers failing to reach postseason play for the second time in as many seasons. He also confirmed that a new contract is in the works for GM Brian Cashman. For more, CLICK HERE.
ABOVE: Cashman gives a high-five to his SWB counterpart, Rob Crain, after inking a PDC extension on PNC field during a game this season
Manager Joe Girardi talked about the 2014 season and highlighted minor leaguers as the near future for the Yankees. Could that mean any recent or soon-to-be RailRiders? CLICK HERE for more.
Carlos Beltran had surgery on his elbow and spoke about his latest condition. CLICK HERE for quotes and video.
Where do the Yankees stand for the 2015 season? CLICK HERE for a position-by-position breakdown.
The AL wild card game provided some amazing baseball theater to get postseason play underway. CLICK HERE for the crazy finish thanks to one of the game’s best catchers, Salvador Perez. The plucky Royals are back at it tonight as each ALDS gets underway. CLICK HERE for the full MLB postseason schedule.
How much have the RailRiders given back to NEPA this year? CLICK HERE for the 2014 Community Report to learn more.
Don’t forget, the first-ever RailRiders Bowl comes to PNC Field this Saturday night at 7 p.m. as Valley View faces Abington Heights. CLICK HERE for a listen to RailRiders president/GM Rob Crain’s interview with Joby Fawcett about the game. CLICK HERE to buy tickets. Check out the initial look below.
SLOWING DOWN, STARTING UP: The off-season is upon the minors, but the big clubs are still coming down their home stretches. While it marks an end for most, this week saw a big beginning for a RailRider. 2014 IL All-Star Jose Pirela made his Major League debut on Monday and made history in multiple ways. Serving as the DH, he became the 57th different man to play for the 2014 Yankees, setting a new single-season franchise record. He then tripled to drive in a run and became the first Yankee to triple in his first big league at-bat since Steve Balboni in 1981. CLICK HERE to read more about his smashing debut, which saw him post a pair of hits, his post-game quotes and a video highlight of the three-bagger.
IT WAS A VERY GOOD YEAR: Pirela led the IL with 11 triples, 163 hits and 87 runs scored while also ranking among the league’s best in batting average (5th, .305) and total bases (2nd, 236). Despite potent line-drive power that helped him slam 10 home runs in a pitcher-friendly ballpark, Pirela served as the leadoff man in 99 games for Dave Miley’s squad.
RECORD KEEPING: The 56-man record that Pirela broke was set in 2013 with SWB alumnus Mike Zagurski serving as the 56th man in a Sept. 15 game against the Red Sox at Fenway. Before the 2013 campaign, the franchise record was 51 – set in 2005 and tied in 2008. The 52nd Yankee that broke the record? Another SWB alum in catcher John Ryan Murphy who also notched a hit in his debut. CLICK HERE for some post-game quotes including Murphy acknowledging some nerves.
WHAT IF: Pirela’s opportunity seemingly only came about due to circumstance. He got the call when Martin Prado got struck with illness and had a season-ending appendectomy. Even before his big debut, Chad Jennings forecast the possibility of Pirela staying on the 40 in his blog. CLICK HERE to read more.
BYE-BYE: Steve “Bye Bye” Balboni was a second-round pick by the Yankees in 1978. He tripled off Detroit’s Howard Bailey in a 7-2 win at the stadium in a game started by Ron Guidry. He spent most of his 11-season big league career with the Royals, but had two separate tours of duty with the Bronx Bombers. He crushed 181 homers in 960 career big league games. However, the beefy first baseman only tripled 10 more times on his career after starting his big league tenure with a triple.
RECORDS ARE MADE TO BE BROKEN: A big part of the puzzle for the 2014 IL North champion Syracuse Chiefs could crack Pirela’s record. Eury Perez was claimed off waivers from the Washington Nationals and would be the 58th different Yankees of the season if he plays before the campaign comes to a close. The Chiefs led the IL with 81 wins but lost to the eventual Governors’ Cup champion Pawtucket Red Sox in the first round of the playoffs. The PawSox swept the set in three games, but two of the contests came down to a single score.
END OF AN ERA: As first reported by the New York Post’s George King, the Yankees’ longtime senior VP of baseball operations, Mark Newman, is retiring. Newman has spent over a quarter century with the Yankees including the last 15 as the top man on the farm. CLICK HERE to read King’s original report and CLICK HERE for Baseball America‘s look at the story. CLICK HERE to read Mark Feinsand‘s chat with Newman including news that his retirement was decided upon months before the season even started.
SIMPLY THE BEST: For the second straight year, the RailRiders led the IL in a major team offensive category. Last year the squad led the loop with its 133 home runs. The 2014 incarnation paced the circuit in team batting average at .273. The league’s overall average was .261. SWB also ranked second in slugging percentage at .413. Only Charlotte, which plays in by far the most home-run friendly stadium in the IL, enjoyed a better season at .436. The league average was .393. Charlotte had definite power, but also slugged .467 at home compared to .406 on the road. The RailRiders slugged .407 at the expansive PNC Field and .419 on the road.
MUST SEE: For all of the hoopla surrounding Derek Jeter’s final season, a commercial has made for one of the more poetic examinations of the Yankees’ longtime leader. CLICK HERE if you’re not among the millions to see Gatorade’s 90-second look at Jeter with his fans and history.
ON DECK: For those that missed it, the RailRiders 2015 schedule has been announced. CLICK HERE to check it out.
COMMUNITY LOVE: Earlier today the team announced its annual community report with all of the year-to-date fun facts. It includes over $360,000 of cash or in-kind donations, over 550 hours of volunteerism and more. CLICK HERE for the full story.
Moosic, PA. – For the second straight day, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs’ (Philadelphia Phillies) Tyler Henson provided a big hit. This time, it came in the form of a game-tying solo home run in the eighth inning to even Sunday’s contest at 1-1. A half inning later, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) got some help from an unexpected source – Mother Nature.
With Carmen Angelini standing at first base after a leadoff single in the eighth, the heavens opened and heavy rain drenched the playing surface, forcing the RailRiders to suspend Sunday’s contest due to unplayable field conditions. The two teams will resume the game in the eighth inning in 1-1 ballgame with Angelini at first and nobody out on Monday, September 1 at 11:30 a.m. Monday’s regularly scheduled season finale will commence 30 minutes after the conclusion of the suspended game and will be scheduled for seven innings.
The RailRiders conclude the 2014 odyssey with the final home game of the 2014 season against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Philadelphia Phillies) Monday, September 1 at 11:30 a.m. Monday is fan appreciation day at PNC Field and the RailRiders will toss the left-handed pitcher Nik Turley (4-3, 4.88) in the second game of the impromptu twinbill while the IronPIgs spin the left-handed Greg Smith (9-10, 4.29). John Sadak and Aaron Berlin will have the call on radio with the pregame show beginning at 11:05 a.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.
Allentown, PA. – A man the wasn’t in the original lineup provided the big hit Saturday night at Coca-Cola Park. Tyler Henson pinch-ran for Reid Brignac in the ninth inning and, after two innings of scoreless baseball, laced a two-out triple off the left-center field wall. A base hit by Cam Perkins followed to give the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Philadelphia Phillies) the 3-2 walk-off win over the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) in 11 innings Saturday night. The loss dropped the RailRiders to a seasons worst 10-games under .500 and finished the road portion of the RailRiders’ 144-game schedule.
The RailRiders jumped out to an early 2-0 advantage, plating tallies on Scott Sizemore’s run-scoring single in the second and Chris Young’s solo home run in the fifth provided a little cushion.
Zach Nuding spun six-innings of one-run ball, but did not factor into the decision. After a bruised batter and base hit in the seventh, Nuding departed in favor of reliever Bryan Mitchell. Mitchell, making his first relief outing with SWB, allowed a single to Reid Brignac that loaded the bases and produced a 6-4-3 double play that scored the IronPigs’ initial tally. With the score at 2-1, Mitchell provoked an infield fly to end the threat. The eighth inning saw Mitchell scuffle some more, as Nate Spears began the frame with a leadoff bunt single. A throwing miscue by Austin Romine pushed him to second and Mitchell’s throwing error on Maikel Franco’s grounded ball plated the tying run, 2-2.
A scoreless ninth and 10th followed before the RailRiders spun position player Taylor Dugas in the 11th. Dugas retired his first two batters faced before allowing the triple and single to end the game. Dugas (0-2), tossing for the third time this year, took the loss. Reliever Tyler Knigge (4-3) claimed the win, tossing a perfect 11th.
The RailRiders return to PNC Field for the final two games of the season against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Philadelphia Phillies) Sunday, August 31 at 1:05 p.m. The RailRiders will toss the right-handed pitcher Diego Moreno (2-3, 5.19) while the IronPIgs spin the right-handed Sean O’Sullivan (6-10, 4.45). Sunday’s contest will be televised on MyNet TV and Jim Riley will fill-in on radio with the pregame show beginning at 12:35 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
Adonis Garcia extended his team-best hitting streak to 21-games, the top active hit streak in the International League.
The RailRiders are now 4-10 against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs and fell to 5-5 in extra-inning games.
Saturday’s contest four Lehigh Valley pitchers combine to strikeout 14 RailRider hitters.
Moosic, PA. – A back-and-forth contest went the way of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Philadelphia Phillies) Friday night at Coca-Cola Park. The deciding knock came in the sixth inning when Tony Gwynn Jr. coaxed a double to right-center field to erase a two-run deficit and tilt the game to its end result, a 6-5 loss. The defeat marked the Scranton/Wilkes-RailRiders’ (Triple-A/New York Yankees) ninth in their last 11 games and also gave the IronPigs the 2014 IronRail trophy.
Manny Banuelos got the start, and for the third straight outing, struggled early. Banuelos allowed two runs in the first inning, allowing Cesar Hernandez to plate the game’s first run on a wild pitch. Russ Canzler’s RBI knock hung the crooked to number to make it 2-0.
The RailRiders responded with four unanswered runs, with all four scoring via the home run. Scott Sizemore cut the deficit in half with a solo home run in third, and John Ryan Murphy’s three-run tater in the fourth meant a 4-2 lead. Cam Perkins brought the game to within one with a solo shot in the home fourth, but Adonis Garcia’s RBI double off the center field wall pushed the RailRiders lead to 5-3. SWB would not record a hit the rest of the way as the duo of Mike Adams and Luis Garcia held the RailRiders’ offense at-bay to set the table for Gwynn’s game-deciding double.
Jason Marquis (3-1) spun six innings and allowed five runs to notch the win, while Edgmer Escalona (2-4) took the loss in relief, tossing two innings and allowing three runs on four hits while striking out two.
The RailRiders continue the brief two-game road trip at Coca-Cola Park against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Philadelphia Phillies) Saturday, August 30 at 6:35 p.m. The RailRiders will toss the right-handed pitcher Zach Nuding (3-5, 5.40) while the IronPIgs spin the right-handed Brad Lincoln (6-11, 5.26). Aaron Berlin will have the call on radio with the pregame show beginning at 6:05 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
Adonis Garcia extended his team-best hitting streak to 20-games, the top active hit streak in the International League.
The RailRiders are now 4-9 against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
Moosic, PA. – Anthony Gose homered, doubled and drove in six runs as the Buffalo Bisons (Toronto Blue Jays) pounded the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) to the beat of an 11-3 loss Thursday night at PNC Field. The lopsided loss handed the season series to Buffalo’s top satellite, with the Bisons claiming 9 of the 16 total meetings, and also gave the Herd the three-game series win, 3-2.
All of Buffalo’s 11 runs crossed in the first third of Thursday night’s affair, with all 11 tallies coming at the expense of Chris Leroux’s ledger. Leroux pitched into the third inning, failing to get an out in the frame after the first seven batters of the inning reached. Already leading 5-0, A.J. Jimenez blistered a two-run home run to left to extend the Herds’ lead to 7-0. With the bases loaded, an RBI knock by Dalton Pompey plated another run before Gose ended Leroux’s night by carving a bases clearing double down the right-field line for the 11-0 lead.
Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte relieved Leroux in the third and retired all three batters faced to end the six-run frame. Buffalo would not plate another run the rest of the way as a quartet of relievers closed out the game to hold the Buffalo offense silent. The RailRiders plated three runs the rest of the way, using RBI knocks by the recently signed Chris Young in the second and John Ryan Murphy in the sixth to close out the scoring, 11-3.
Leroux (6-4) took the loss, lasting just two innings and allowing 11 runs on nine hits. Leroux walked four and struck out three and allowed home runs to Gose and Jimenez, before departing in the third. Rising star Kendall Graveman (3-2) tossed 5.1 innings of solid baseball and struck out seven to notch the win.
The RailRiders embark on a brief two-game road trip when the club makes the trek to Coca-Cola Park to face the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Philadelphia Phillies) Friday, August 29 at 7:05 p.m. The RailRiders will toss the left-handed pitcher Manny Banuelos (1-0, 2.45) while the IronPIgs spin the right-handed Jason Marquis (2-1, 4.20). 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
Adonis Garcia extended his team-best hitting streak to 19 games, the top active hit streak in the International League.
Chris Young made his first appearance for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The veteran outfielder went 1-for-5 with an RBI and two strikeouts.
Moosic, PA. – Playing their second doubleheader in five days, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) fought to a twinbill split with the Buffalo Bisons (Toronto Blue Jays) Wednesday night at PNC Field. Game one went the way of Toronto’s top satellite; Brett Wallace and Dan Johnson combined to drive in four runs in a five-run seventh inning that resulted in a 6-5 loss. Game two went the way of the local nine, as the RailRiders (66-73) built a big six-run lead en route to an 8-3 victory. The win moved the RailRiders to 2-2-6 on doubleheaders this season.
The RailRiders seemed poised for a decisive 5-1 win in the initial contest, only to have it snatched away by an old friend. With reliever Tyler Webb on the bump, Buffalo’s (74-64) offense came alive in a five-run seventh inning to leapfrog the RailRiders. Jonathan Diaz sparked the frame with a lead off walk. Successive knocks by Dalton Pompey and Anthony Gose succeeded to load the bases, Cole Gillespie scored the innings first tally with a sacrifice fly to center. The recently received Wallace tied the game with a majestic three-run home to center and Johnson’s team-leading 18th bomb of the year gave Buffalo the lead for good, 6-5.
Matt Tracy started the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader. The former Ole Miss Rebel spun 5.2 innings and allowed one run on two hits. Tracy walked four and struck out one but did not factor into the decision. Webb took the blown save, recording just two outs and allowing four runs on three hits and Edgmer Escalona (2-3) was slated with the loss. Raul Valdes notched the win, allowing five runs over six frames. Bobby Korecky (21) slammed the door in the ninth for the save.
Game two was a similar story with a different ending. Just like game one, the RailRiders took the initial lead, but this time it held. Kyle Roller went a perfect 3-for-3, falling a triple shy of the cycle. His second base hit of the night resulted in a two run third, a double that sliced into the left-field corner. Four more runs crossed in the RailRiders’ fourth courtesy of RBI knocks by Carmen Angelini and Jose Pirela to push the lead to 6-0.
Starter Nick Turley wavered in the fifth as a sea of run-scoring singles by Gose, Gillespie and Wallace closed the gap to 6-3. Roller’s 16th home run of the campaign meant a 7-3 lead, and Angelini’s second RBI of the evening put the nail in the coffin, 8-3.
Turley (4-3) claimed his third win in four tries, twirling five efficient innings and scattering three runs before departing in favor of reliever Nick Rumbelow. Rumbelow bridged the gap from the sixth on to finish off the game. Scott Copeland (2-1) lasted just four innings and was tagged for four six runs on six hits and struck out one in the loss.
The RailRiders conclude the brief three-game homestand with the Buffalo Bisons (Toronto Blue Jays) Thursday, August 28 at 7:05 p.m. The RailRiders will toss the right-handed pitcher Chris Leroux (6-3, 3.67) while the Bisons spin the right-handed Kendall Graveman (2-2, 1.36). Aaron Berlin will have the call on MyNet TV while longtime area voice Jim Riley fills in 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
The game one loss to Buffalo meant the RailRiders cannot finish the season with a .500 record. The best the club can possibly finish is 71-73. The losing record marks the first time since the 2004 and 2005 seasons that an SWB club has had back-to-back losing records.
Kyle Roller’s home run in the fifth inning marked his 16th at Triple-A and 25th between his time at Double-A and SWB. He ranks among minor league baseball’s top 25 in home runs hit this season.
- SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! –