Moosic, Pa. – The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders powered three home runs in the bottom of the first en route to a 9-2 win over the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Philadelphia Phillies) on the final home game of the season at PNC Field. Chris Bootcheck, who has been a consistent starter all season long, picked up his 10th victory of the season. The win also tied the IronRail series at seven games apiece.
J.R. Murphy began the home run fest in the bottom of the first with a solo homer with one out. It was Murphy’s sixth as a RailRider, and his second in as many nights. Ronnier Mustlier followed Murphy up with a home run of his own, and it bounced atop the walkway that stands above the bullpens in left field. Brent Lillibridge later singled, and came home when Neil Medchill homered to right field to cap the inning. RailRiders led 4-0 after one frame.
Lehigh Valley got on the board with a run in the top of the fifth. Michael Martinez hit a one-out single, then moved to second on Leandro Castro’s base hit. Steven Lerud then singled Martinez home to cut the lead to 4-1.
The IronPigs moved closer with another run in the sixth. Steve Susdorf hit a one-out double to start the rally, and came around to score when Josh Fields singled him home.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre put the game out of reach with a five-run eighth inning. Run scoring singles by Jose Gil and Bobby Wilson highlighted the frame. Two walks and a wild pitch plated the other three runs. That gave the RailRiders a comfortable winning margin of 9-2.
Bootcheck (10-7) had not won since July 13 despite solid performances, but he got elusive win number 10. He worked five and two-thirds innings, and allowed just two runs on six hits. He did not walk a batter, and struck out five IronPig batters.
The RailRiders have four remaining games on the 2013 campaign, and they’ll begin the final four-game road trip of the season on Friday night in Allentown, Pa. The IronRail series will be decided at Coca-Cola Park during a two-game series between SWB and the Pigs. Chase Whitley (3-2, 3.36) will take the mound for SWB, and he’ll be opposed by Tyler Cloyd (5-9, 4.89). First pitch is 7:05 p.m., and pre-game coverage will get underway 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.
- SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! -
TIGHTROPE WALKING: The RailRiders’ only deficit on Wednesday night was a 1-0 margin that lasted for the opening half-inning. But a dominant showing by Lehigh Valley’s bullpen, which retired 13 in a row from late in the seventh until the start of the 12th, put victory in significant peril for a squad that has struggled to manufacture runs. Then came that 12th, an extra-base hit, and some good fortune. Prospect catcher J.R. Murphy notched his third hit of the night, all for extra bases, when his double snapped the string at 13 straight set down. A Justin Friend (5-4) wild pitch gave him third and a Steve Lerud passed ball opened the door for Murphy to score as the RailRiders and Matt Daley (2-2) won, 5-4.
COTHAM CITY: Starter Caleb Cotham settled for a no-decision, but tossed another outstanding game. Two of the three runs he allowed went unearned thanks to his own errant pickoff tries. But with last night’s five frames, Cotham has made six August starts going 3-0 with a 1.25 ERA in the process. He entered the month 3-5 with a 6.75 mark.
IRONRAIL TROPHY: On June 13, the RailRiders and IronPigs announced that they will be playing for the “IronRail Trophy” on an annual basis. The 16-game series between the RailRiders and IronPigs will decide the winner. The losing team’s GM will sing in a fat lady costume on the winner’s field, and a feast will be paid for by the losing team as well. The trophy will be held by the winning team, displayed for all to see. The 2013 series currently favors the ‘Pigs, 7-6. SWB owns a 54-39 lead in the all-time series dating back to Lehigh Valley’s inaugural 2008 season. Lehigh Valley has only once won a season series against SWB, and did so by the slimmest of margins when it went 9-7 against NEPA’s team in 2010. The two clubs split the season series in 2012. In the event of 8-8 ties, the club that wins the final regular-season meeting will also claim the IronRail Trophy.
PLAYER PARADE: Last night, catcher Jose Gil became the 71st different RailRider this season. There have been 37 position players and 34 pitchers in the RailRiders colors in 2013. Last season, Norfolk set the IL record by using 75 different players, surpassing the 74 used by the 2003 Louisville Bats. The Tides also tied an IL record by using 25 different starting pitchers, and 15 different pitchers registered a save. Norfolk made 228 roster moves during the course of its 144-game season, and the Tides had just two players – outfielder Jamie Hoffmann and reliever Oscar Villarreal – remain active with the club throughout the year. By comparison, the RailRiders have seen 184 roster moves thus far, 19 different starting pitchers, and 14 different pitchers have registered a save. That does not include any moves that might be made today after press time of these notes. Only three men – Dan Johnson, Jim Miller and Bobby Wilson have been active RailRiders from Opening Day to date without interruption.
OFF THE RAILS: Last night’s win gave the RailRiders consecutive successes against divisional competition for the first time since sweeping a July 13 twinbill at Buffalo in the final series before the All-Star break…The team went 24 straight divisional games without consecutive wins…SWB spoiled a bases-loaded, one-out opportunity in a scoreless sixth last night…With its 0-for-2 bases-loaded performance last night, the team has hit just .171 with the bases full, by far the worst such contact clip in the IL…The next-worst number belongs to Toledo (.236)…Randy Ruiz picked up an RBI with his fifth-inning fielder’s choice, but went 0-for-5 to extend his hitless streak to 17 at-bats…Ronnier Mustelier has crushed Lehigh Valley pitching…With last night’s 3-for-6 performance that included a pair of doubles, he has hit .429 (15-for-35)/.459/.629/1.088 against the ‘Pigs…Before the game, the Yankees placed Melky Mesa on the RailRiders’ DL, retroactive to Aug. 26…Mesa has not played since Aug. 22…The corresponding move added Gil, an SWB player in 2011 and 2012…Gil had been a Yankees’ farmhand from his start in pro ball in 2004-2012, but spent this season split between Double-A and Triple-A on Baltimore’s farm, along with a stint in the independent ranks with the Lincoln (Neb.) Saltdogs before he joined Double-A Trenton to add catching depth…Nine of SWB’s 16 extra-inning games have come from July 20 to date with 24 innings above and beyond scheduled play during that time.
Moosic, Pa. – The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) walked off with a win in unique fashion on Wednesday night at PNC Field. They beat the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Philadelphia Phillies) 5-4 thanks to a passed ball in the bottom of the 12th inning.
The 12th began with a double by RailRider catcher, J.R. Murphy. He advanced to third base on a wild pitch from Justin Friend to move within 90-feet of a walk-off with no one out. Shortly after, a Friend pitch got away from Lehigh Valley catcher Steven Lerud, and Murphy scored from third to give SWB the victory. It moved the RailRiders to within one game in the IronRail series with three left to play.
It was the IronPigs who opened the scoring in the first inning. Cesar Hernandez reached on a bunt single, and then advanced to third base when a throw from SWB starter Caleb Cotham got away at first base on a pick-off attempt. That setup a sacrifice fly off the bat of Freddy Galvis to give the Pigs a 1-0 lead.
The score was evened in the bottom of the first. With Murphy aboard at first, Ronnier Mustelier doubled to left field that moved him up to third base. Later in the inning, Adonis Garcia hit a single up the middle to drive home Murphy and tie the game at one.
The RailRiders went in front with two runs in the third. Murphy led off the frame with a home run to left field, his fifth as a RailRider. Mustelier then doubled to right-center field, and later scored when Garcia delivered another RBI-single.
The IronPigs tied the game back up with two in the fifth. Derrick Mitchell led off with a double, and moved to third on a bunt single by Hernandez. Galvis then drove home Mitchell with another sacrifice fly, and Hernandez moved to third on another failed pick-off attempt. He would score on a sac-fly by Steve Susdorf.
SWB went back in front in the bottom of the fifth. Murphy led off with a double, moved to third base on a single by Mustelier, and then scored when Randy Ruiz bounced into a fielder’s choice. That put the RailRiders in front, 4-3.
The game was once again tied in the seventh. With one out, Galvis lined a double off the left-field fence. Following an infield single by Susdorf, he scored on a base hit by Tyler Henson through the left side. The game remained 4-4 until the passed ball in the 12th plated Murphy to end the game.
Cotham worked five innings, and allowed three runs (one earned) on five hits. He left in line to win, but received a no-decision. Yoshinori Tateyama worked three scoreless innings, and Matt Daley (2-2) followed him up with two perfect frames to earn the victory.
Friend (5-4) entered the game in the 11th, but allowed the run in the 12th to pick-up the loss.
The RailRiders close out the home portion of their schedule on Fan Appreciation Night on Thursday at PNC Field. It’s a Thirsty Thursday presented by Budweiser, which means Bud Light and Pepsi products will be just one dollar for the first two hours after gates open at 6 p.m. A post-game fireworks show presented by Jack Williams & Kumho Tires will follow the final out. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m., and Chris Bootcheck (9-7, 3.71) will take the mound for SWB.
- SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! -
Pawtucket, R.I. – A night after Brett Marshall turned in a fine starting performance, right-hander Graham Stoneburner followed suit to help lead the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) to a 2-1 victory over the Pawtucket Red Sox (Boston) on Tuesday night. Stoneburner tossed six innings and allowed one run on just two hits.
Stoneburner (4-5) has been up and down between SWB and Double-A Trenton, and he’s also been in and out of the rotation. Tuesday marked his first win since he beat Pawtucket on June 29. After allowing a home run to Jeremy Hazelbaker in the third, Stoneburner retired the final 11 batters he faced.
Hazelbaker’s home run came with one out in the third inning. It was his 11th of the season, but Hazelbaker’s fourth against the RailRiders. In 13 games, Hazelbaker drove in 10 runs against the RailRiders.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre got on the board and leveled the game in the top of the sixth. Corey Patterson led off with a walk, and proceeded to move to second when J.R. Murphy recorded a base hit through the left side. Patterson moved to third and Murphy to second thanks to a passed ball by Dan Butler. Ronnier Mustelier then grounded out to short to drive home Murphy for the tying run.
The RailRiders went in front in the seventh. David Adams started the rally with a single to center field. He moved up to third base when Adonis Garcia reached on an error by second baseman Brock Holt. That setup Neil Medchill, who delivered a single up the middle that drove home Adams and gave SWB the 2-1 lead.
Dellin Betances replaced Stoneburner to start the seventh, and he followed up Stoneburner’s performance with an electric save. He struck out three, and only allowed a base runner to reach second on one occasion as he picked up his fifth save of the season.
Brock Huntzinger (2-2) relieved PawSox starter Steven Wright, and picked up the loss. He allowed an unearned run on two hits in his one inning of work.
The RailRiders now return to PNC Field to play the final two games of their 2013 home schedule. They’ll welcome in the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Philadelphia Phillies) to renew the IronRail series, with SWB trailing, 7-5. Kids eat free on Wednesdays at PNC Field thanks to Minooka Subaru and all kids 12 and under will receive a voucher for a free hot dog, chips, and soda. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. with Caleb Cotham (6-5, 4.82) taking the mound for the RailRiders.
- SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! -
ELIMINATION DAY: There are tough losses, and then there’s what happened to the RailRiders on Monday night at McCoy Stadium. Corey Patterson bombed a first-inning solo homer to stake his team to a 1-0 lead. In the bottom of the frame, RailRiders starter Brett Marshall allowed a leadoff hit that made contact with Addison Maruszak’s glove at second base. Marshall then retired 17 in a row en route to seven scoreless innings of two-hit ball. In that time, he struck out a career-high-tying nine and put his team in prime position to win. Then came the ninth. Following a perfect eighth, lefty reliever Cesar Cabral loaded the bases with nobody out. Jim Miller was then given the nearly impossible task of solving that jammed riddle. He gave up a run on a Ryan Lavarnway sac fly that advanced both lead runners and set the stage for Mark Hamilton. The PawSox cleanup man delivered. He lashed a single to right that scored Jackie Bradley, Jr. and handed the RailRiders both a walk-off loss and the formal death of their playoff aspirations.
THE BIG PICTURE: Sunday’s setback officially eliminated the RailRiders from repeating as IL North champs. Last night’s loss meant not only no chance at a wild-card berth, but coupled with Syracuse’s 15-5 domination of Rochester, it also dropped the RailRiders into sixth place. SWB had not sat in last by itself since starting the year 1-5. The franchise has not finished in last since 1998. The team had only missed the playoffs once (2011) since becoming a Yankees farm club in 2007. The 2011 team still finished with a winning record (73-69) in third place. Pawtucket has won eight of nine and 14 of 16 to own the North by 3.5 games. Rochester has dropped six straight and ownership of the wild-card lead thanks to Norfolk’s 13-1 pounding of Gwinnett.
BEST WEEK EVER: Ronnier Mustelier, SWB’s lone entrant into MiLB’s annual Moniker Madness contest for the best name in minor league baseball, has also been the team’s best bat of late. And for his efforts from Aug. 15-21, he was named the IL’s Batter of the Week on Monday. Last night he went 0-for-4 with a strikeout to snap the league’s then-top active hitting streak at 13 games. He had multiple knocks in six of seven at the close of his run. Over his longer string of success, he hit .458 (22-for-48) with six doubles, five RBIs and seven walks (.527 OBP). That made for Triple-A’s second-best average in that time (Alex Presley, Indianapolis, .500). During his streak, his average soared by 37 points (.233-.270) and his on-base percentage shot up 45 points (.273-.318).
SHUT OUT STARS: Earlier today, the IL announced its year-end All-Star squad and superlatives. No RailRiders made the squad that was highlighted by former indy baller Chris Colabello of Rochester who claimed both MVP and Rookie of the Year honors. In his second season after seven years in the indy ranks, the first baseman leads the league in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging. Durham’s J.D. Martin, who leads the league and has set a franchise single-season record for wins, took Most Valuable Pitching accolades. Martin’s skipper, former SWB player Charlie Montoyo, was named the IL’s Manager of the Year. His Bulls boast Triple-A’s best record entering today. The rest of the squad: C Tony Sanchez, Indianapolis; 2B Cesar Hernandez, Lehigh Valley; SS Zach Walters, Syracuse; 3B Cody Asche, Lehigh Valley; OF Nick Castellanos, Toledo; OF Billy Hamilton, Louisville; OF Joey Terdoslavich, Gwinnett; DH Mauro Gomez, Buffalo; Reliever Jairo Ascencio, Norfolk; and UTIL Vince Belnome, Durham.
OFF THE RAILS: The RailRiders, who lead the IL with 124 home runs, have slammed 17 home runs during their seven games at McCoy Stadium…Thirteen of the dingers have come in their three wins…Last night’s loss cemented a losing season for the RailRiders…Even if they win out, the best they can do is finish at 71-73…Brett Marshall‘s career-high-tying nine strikeouts came one year to the day from the last time he turned the trick…That transpired in a team 3-2 win for Double-A Trenton at Akron (Cleveland Indians)…Former RailRider Thomas Neal notched a pinch-hit single that game for Akron and Davis Stoneburner, brother of today’s SWB starter Graham, doubled off of Marshall…Trenton’s starting lineup included six 2013 RailRiders: Adonis Garcia, J.R. Murphy, Zoilo Almonte, Luke Murton, Addison Maruszak and Kevin Mahoney…Mark Montgomery got the win while Ryan Pope logged a save.
Pawtucket, R.I. – Brett Marshall gave the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) seven shutout innings, but the Pawtucket Red Sox (Boston) scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth to walk-off with the 2-1 win on Monday night.
Marshall was phenomenal, as he allowed just two hits and did not walk a batter. He tied a career-high with nine strikeouts, and retired 17 consecutive batters after allowing a single to Jackie Bradley Jr. in the bottom of the first. Marshall hurled 93 pitches, 63 of them for strikes. It was exactly one year ago on Monday night that Marshall had last struck out nine batters, when he did so against the Akron Aeros (Double-A/Cleveland Indians) as a member of the Trenton Thunder.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre received it’s only run of the game in the top of the first. With one out, Corey Patterson homered to right-center field. It was Patterson’s fifth home run as a RailRider, and it gave Marshall an early lead.
Marshall settled into a grove as he allowed just two base runners following the first inning. The lead remained slim for the RailRiders, and the PawSox rallied for the walk-off win in the ninth. Jeremy Hazelbaker started the rally by drawing a walk off Cesar Cabral. Jackie Bradley Jr. followed with a double that moved Hazelbaker to third, and then Brock Holt was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Ryan Lavarnway hit a sacrifice fly to right field to tie the game, and it was won when Mark Hamilton singled through the right side to drive home Bradley Jr.
Allen Webster was matched up well with Marshall, but like his SWB counterpart, he earned the no-decision. Webster went eight innings, and allowed just the Patterson home run and one other hit. He walked three, and struck out five batters. Jose De La Torre (4-1) worked a scoreless top of the ninth to pick-up the win.
Cabral (0-1) tossed a scoreless eighth, but he failed to record an out in the ninth. He allowed two runs on one hit in the loss.
With the loss, the RailRiders were eliminated from playoff contention. They have dropped the first two games at McCoy Stadium, and they’ll look to salvage a game in their three-game series with the PawSox on Tuesday night. Graham Stoneburner (3-5, 4.98) will look for win number four when he ascends the mound on Tuesday night against Steven Wright (7-7, 3.76).
Following Tuesday night’s game, the RailRiders will return home to PNC Field for their final two games of the regular season at home. First pitch on Tuesday night in Pawtucket, R.I. is slated for 7:05 p.m. Pre-game coverage 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.
- SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! -
A LEAD LOST: With their playoff pulse barely registering, the RailRiders leapt out to a 5-1 lead at McCoy Stadium on Sunday night. But abundant run-scoring chances fell short as they left the bases loaded in the third, fourth and fifth. That opened the door for an opportunistic PawSox team to score five unanswered runs, including a go-ahead homer by Brock Holt at the start of the seventh. Factor in a scoreless ninth from closer Anthony Carter and the night added up to a 6-5 RailRiders’ loss. The RailRiders outhit the PawSox 14-6, but left 15 men on base and went 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position. It marks the RailRiders’ second-largest lead blown in a loss this season, trailing only the five-run advantage squandered at Toledo on May 15.
PLAYOFF PICTURE: With last night’s loss the RailRiders have been officially eliminated from repeating as IL North champs and now face an elimination number of one in the wild-card chase. Their next loss, or Rochester’s next win will cement a postseason-free campaign for just the second time in the era of SWB’s Yankees’ affiliation. Rochester fell to Indianapolis yesterday in 10 innings, 8-5. The Red Wings have lost five straight, but still lead the wild-card field by a half-game. Last night also saw Syracuse drop a 3-1 decision to Charlotte to stay even with the RailRiders in the IL North’s cellar. The RailRiders have not sat in sixth by their lonesome since starting the year 1-5. SWB has not finished in last since 1998. Pawtucket has won seven of eight and 13 of 15 to own the North by 2.5 games.
HELLO MR. WILSON!: Bobby Wilson’s impactful swings continued last night. Despite playing for just the second time in nine days and the sixth time since July 30, Wilson posted a pair of hits including a go-ahead two-run homer in the second inning. He finished with three RBIs in total thanks to a bases-loaded walk in the third. Wilson has hit .215 and boasts just 43 hits in 62 games played, but has hit seven homers and owns 37 RBIs. He has a nearly even walk (32) to strikeout (35) ratio this season and is the only one of the RailRiders four different catchers to post a winning record. The team is 29-28 with the current back-up, Wilson, as the starter, but has losing marks when Jeff Farnham (6-8), J.R. Murphy (24-28) or Austin Romine (5-8) have gotten the nod behind the dish.
BEST WEEK EVER: Ronnier Mustelier, SWB’s lone entrant into MiLB’s annual Moniker Madness contest for the best name in minor league baseball, has also been the team’s best bat of late. And for his efforts from Aug. 15-21, he was named the IL’S Batter of the Week today. Last night he went 2-for-4 with a double and a walk. He has hit safely in 13 straight games and has multiple knocks in six of his last seven. Over his longer string of success, the IL’s best active hit streak, he has hit .458 (22-for-48) with six doubles, five RBIs and seven walks (.527 OBP). That makes for Triple-A’s second-best average in that time (Alex Presley, Indianapolis, .500). During his streak, his average has soared by 37 points (.233-.270) and his on-base percentage has shot up 45 points (.273-.318).
DAN THE MAN: Dan Johnson delivered three hits, including his team-leading 26th double and team-best 69th RBI. Johnson also worked his league-leading 92nd walk of the campaign. He has hit .337/.461/.590/1.051 in 24 August games played.
OFF THE RAILS: The RailRiders, who lead the IL with 123 home runs, had not homered in a season-high six straight games before Wilson’s blow last night…SWB has slammed 16 home runs during its six games thus far at McCoy Stadium…Thirteen of the dingers have come in its three wins…Bryce Brentz was activated off Pawtucket’s DL yesterday and played for the first time since July 5…The 2010 first-rounder (36th overall) bashed a two-run homer in his second plate appearance…It made for his first round-tripper since a July 2 loss to SWB when he hit a solo shot off of SWB All-Star Chris Bootcheck…He had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee less than six weeks ago…Ballots for the IL’s year-end All-Star team were due to the league office today…After going 0-for-3 with the bases loaded last night, SWB has hit .174 with the bases full (21-for-121)…No other team has hit less than .238 (Toledo) with the bases juiced.
Moosic, Pa. – Ronnier Mustelier is in the midst of a 13-game hitting streak, the International League’s top active string of success. On Monday, the IL office recognized the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) outfielder’s efforts when it named him the league’s Batter of the Week for the period from Aug. 19-25. He is the fifth RailRider to receive a weekly honor, joining southpaw Vidal Nuno (April 15-21), outfielder Zoilo Almonte (April 29-May 5), right-hander Chien-Ming Wang (May 27-June 2), and outfielder Melky Mesa (Aug. 5-11). Toledo’s Blaine Hardy earned Pitcher of the Week honors.
Mustelier played in six games for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this past week, and recorded multiple hits in five of the contests. He recorded a .556 (13-for-23) average which led the International League, and was second in all of minor league baseball. Mustelier started the week off by driving in a run in each of the first three games and added three doubles throughout the week as well. Mustelier’s 13-game hitting streak began on Aug. 11. During it, he is batting .458 (22-for-48) with six doubles and five runs batted in. The streak has lifted his batting average by 36 points to .270.
The RailRiders play game two of a three-game set in Pawtucket, R.I. on Monday night against the Pawtucket Red Sox (Boston). Only two home games remain at PNC Field on the 2013 regular-season calendar, as SWB will return home on Wednesday, Aug. 28 for a two-game series against Lehigh Valley (Philadelphia Phillies) to close out the PNC Field portion of its regular season. Kids eat free on Wednesdays thanks to Minooka Subaru, and first pitch on Wednesday is slated for 7:05 p.m. Thursday will be Fan Appreciation Night on a Budweiser Thirsty Thursday.
With no upper deck at PNC Field anymore, every seat in the ballpark provides the supreme views and intimacy that make minor league baseball so special at incredibly affordable prices. For more information on the final two games of the 2013 campaign, or any other future Railriders events, please logon to the team’s official website, www.swbrailriders.com, visit the PNC Field box office, or call 570-969-BALL (2255).
- SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! -
Pawtucket, R.I. – The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) raced out to an early lead, but the Pawtucket Red Sox (Boston) rallied from a 5-1 deficit to defeat the RailRiders on Sunday night, 6-5. The SWB offense left 15 runners on base, and went 2-14 with runners in scoring position.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre wasted no time as they opened the game with a run in the top of the first. With one out, Adonis Garcia doubled to right field. Dan Johnson immediately followed with a double of his own to right-center field, and it gave the RailRiders an early lead.
Pawtucket leveled the game in the bottom of the first. Jackie Bradley Jr. began the inning with a double to right-center, and would later score on a base hit by Mark Hamilton.
Bobby Wilson returned the lead to SWB in the top of the second. Addison Maruszak led off the inning with a hard-liner up the middle. Wilson followed with a terrific at-bat. After fouling off a number of good pitches from PawSox starter Anthony Ranaudo, Wilson slammed a two-run home run to left field.
Another run crossed for the RailRiders in the third. Johnson started the rally with a single, and following base hits by Ronnier Mustelier and Maruszak, the bases were loaded. Ranaudo then issued a four-pitch walk to Wilson to force home Johnson from third base. Ranaudo was able to get out of the inning without further damage, and the SWB lead was 4-1.
The lead was stretched to 5-1 in the fourth. David Adams led off with a walk, and moved to second on a single by Garcia. He advanced to third on a fly ball by Johnson, and then scored when Randy Ruiz reached on a fielder’s choice. A double by Mustelier and walk to Neil Medchill loaded the bases, but SWB was unable to cash in.
The Pawtucket comeback started in the bottom of the fourth. With Hamilton aboard at first base, Bryce Brentz homered to left-center field. It was Brentz’s 17th home run of the season on the day he returned from the disabled list, and it cut the lead to 5-3.
Pawtucket leveled the game with a two-out, two-run rally in the fifth. Ryan Lavarnway, Hamilton, and Brentz each drew walks to load the bases. Jonathan Diaz then hit a double off the end of his bat, and it landed just to the left of the right-field foul line, and two runs came across to tie the game at five.
A seventh-inning home run untied the game in the seventh. Brock Holt led off the frame for Pawtucket, and he sent his third home run of the season over the right field fence to give the PawSox their first advantage of the night at 6-5. The Red Sox bullpen was able to close out the contest, and preserve the win.
Ranaudo was chased after pitching to one batter in the fourth; he allowed five runs on eight hits. Chris Martin (3-3) received the win out of the Pawtucket bullpen after tossing two scoreless innings.
Matt Daley (1-2) allowed the homer to Holt to pick-up the loss. That was the only blemish on Daley’s line, as he struck out three and did not walk a batter in his two innings.
SWB and the PawSox will meet for game two of their series at McCoy Stadium on Monday night. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m., and right-hander Brett Marshall (7-10, 5.40) will take the mound for the RailRiders. Pre-game coverage will get underway 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.
- SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! -
EL CAPITÁN: Derek Jeter singled on a 1-for-3 night, but made one of the team’s season-worst four errors as the RailRiders fell to the PawSox in 10 innings, 5-4. Jeter went 4-for-18 (.222) with five walks (.391 OBP) in seven games as a RailRider. He also committed three errors in 17 total chances in that time.
THE FIX IS IN: The RailRiders posted their 24th fixed-seat sellout of the season last night. Seven of the fixed-seat sellouts have come with Jeter in the lineup for a cumulative paid crowd of 66,860 (9,551/game). PNC Field has 7,115 fixed seats. When factoring in the NEPA Honda Homer Zone (lawn seats) and standing-room maximums, capacity for the first-year facility is 10,000. Thursday night’s crowd brought the franchise’s season-long attendance figure over 400,000 for the first time since 2008.
A TRUE MUSTY: Ronnier Mustelier, SWB’s lone entrant into MiLB’s annual Moniker Madness contest for the best name in minor league baseball, has also been the team’s best bat of late. Last night he went 1-for-4 with a run scored. He has hit safely in 12 straight games and has multiple knocks in five of his last six. Over his longer string of success, the IL’s best active hit streak, he has hit .455 (20-for-44) with five doubles, five RBIs and six walks (.543 OBP). That makes for Triple-A’s second-best average in that time (Alex Presley, Indianapolis, .500). During his streak, his average has soared by 34 points (.233-.267) and his on-base percentage has shot up 40 points (.273-.313).
STANDINGS SNAPSHOT: Last night’s win dropped the RailRiders’ elimination number to one in the division and two in the wild-card chase. Out of town, Rochester fell to Indianapolis, 6-4. The Red Wings have lost four straight, but still lead the wild-card field by 1.5 games. Indy clinched the IL West with its win, joining Durham as cemented playoff participants. Last night also saw Syracuse drop a 5-4 decision to Charlotte to stay even with the RailRiders in the IL North’s cellar. The RailRiders have not sat in sixth by their lonesome since starting the year 1-5. Pawtucket has won six of seven and 12 of 14 to own first in the North 1.5 games.
BREAKING OUT: Addison Maruszak replaced Jeter defensively in the eighth after Jeter finished his scheduled seven innings of play. In the bottom half of the inning, he delivered a two-out, two-run double to snap what had been an 0-for-20 skid. It made for his first hit since July 9 against Rochester.
JUST (MED)CHILL: In his second career Triple-A game, Neil Medchill collected his first hit at the highest level of the minors. The Oklahoma State product connected on a two-out, two-run single that tied the game in the bottom of the ninth and forced free baseball. The former JUCO All-American at Chandler-Gilbert C.C. (alma mater of Andre Ethier) spent more than two months on the DL before becoming the RailRiders’ 70th player of the season on Thursday.
TOUGH LUCK: All-Star starter Chris Bootcheck (9-7) departed a 1-0 game and saw his final line include two scores (one earned) on three hits over 6.2 innings. Alas, he settled for a no-decision as his seventh attempt at win No. 10 fell short. Bootcheck was 9-2 at the All-Star break.
OFF THE RAILS: The RailRiders, who lead the IL with 122 home runs, have not homered in a season-high six straight games…All of the RailRiders’ eight hits last night were singles…SWB slammed 15 home runs during its five-game series at McCoy Stadium from June 29-July 3…Thirteen of the dingers came in its three wins…Jeremy Hazelbaker singled and stole a bag last night…He has hit .362 (17-for-47)/.388/.638/1.026 with six extra-base hits and nine RBIs in 11 games against the RailRiders…He has hit .252 against every other IL team…SWB and Pawtucket began the season with an extra-inning contest won by the PawSox…The final clash of the teams at PNC Field this season went the same way.