Porcupine Points: June 26 vs Syracuse

 Game Notes 6-26-14

FIRST TIME IN A LONG TIME: It had been awhile. Two months to be exact. The RailRiders’ first rainout since April 25 postponed play between SWB and Rochester, shelving the contest until the Red Wings next visit PNC Field on July 10. The RailRiders’ eighth rainout of the season was just their third at home.

ROCKED: The RailRiders’ season-long woes against Rochester continued as the Red Wings plated five unanswered runs to rally for a 7-5 series-opening win Tuesday. The RailRiders are 1-7 against Rochester this season and they have lost 10 of their last 11 clashes going back to last season. SWB fell to a season-worst-tying five games below .500 and a season-worst 11.5 games out in the North.

FALLING FROM AHEAD: The RailRiders led 2-0 after the first inning. They have owned a lead in 18 (44%) of their 41 losses this season.

NICE SHOOTIN’ SON, WHAT’S YOUR NAME?: John Ryan Murphy connected on two of the team’s three extra-base hits and drove in three of its five runs. Since coming back from the bigs he has gone 6-for-17 (.353) with four extra-base hits.

ANNA BEGINS: Dean Anna‘s first game off the disabled list sported his second home hit of the season. Anna entered the night 1-for-33 (.030) at PNC Field but doubled his hit total with a 1-for-4 showing. Conversely, the 2013 PCL batting champion has hit .290/.375/.478/.853 on the road as a RailRider in 17 games with eight extra-base hits among his 20.

STOP, THIEVES!: Eric Farris stole second base in the eighth inning. The RailRiders have allowed their opponents to successfully swipe a bag in each of their last 18 tries. The RailRiders have nabbed just 21 of 103 (.204) would-be base stealers. No IL team has had more stolen base attempts or successes against it than SWB which has the circuit’s worst caught-stealing efficiency. No team has allowed fewer stolen bases than Rochester (31). The Red Wings rank fourth in efficiency (.340) but have only seen their foe attempt a steal a league-low 47 times.

TOUGH TIMES: Since its May 28 win at Louisville, SWB has gone 9-17 (.346). Nine of those losses have come by one run or in extra innings.

UNDER MY PIRELA: Jose Pirela homered for the second time in as many days on Tuesday. His third homer in five games lifted his season-long total to seven, tying the leadoff man for second on the team. His lone double-digit home run season came last year when he hit 10 over 129 games, mostly with Double-A Trenton. He enters tonight ranked among the IL’s best in average (5th, .320), hits (2nd, 90), runs scored (2nd, 52) and total bases (T-4th, 131). He went 1-for-4 with a walk, two RBIs and two runs scored. Pirela started June with a five-hit effort at Indianapolis. He has hit .362/.402/.574/.976 on the month with the IL’s fourth-best average, fifth-best OPS and its highest June hit total (34).

SCOUTING SYRACUSE: The Chiefs are the hottest and best team in the IL. Winners of eight straight while outscoring foes 61-18, the Chiefs have gone a league-best 18-5 in June while leading the league with a .300 team batting average. Steven Souza leads the league in average (.362), OBP (.463) and SLG (.576). He has crushed this month .397/.484/.641/1.125, ranking first or second in each slash category. SWB alumnus Brandon Laird ranks seventh with his .312 average. He has 22 extra-base hits and 40 RBIs as the team’s usual eight-hole hitter. He enters the series on a 10-game hitting streak hitting .439/.467/.805/1.272 with four homers and 12 RBIs. 2013 IL All-Star Zach Walters has hit .290 with 10 homers as the team’s usual second baseman. Syracuse was a league-worst 30-42 at home last year, but stands a league-best 26-11 at home in 2014 and is the IL’s only team with an overall winning percentage over 60 (.615).

OFF THE RAILS: The RailRiders lead the league in batting average (.270) and slugging (.406)…However, SWB has the IL’s lowest walk total (224, 2.9/game) and just a .333 OBP…Syracuse ranks second by fractions of a point with its .270 contact clip and ranks second with its 3.38 ERA…No IL squad has allowed fewer home runs (41) or issued fewer walks (212) than the Chiefs who have tossed a league-best 11 shutouts while getting blanked a league-best-tying two times…The RailRiders own the IL’s fourth-worst team ERA (4.42)…SWB sports the league’s worst fielding percentage (.975) while Syracuse boasts its fifth-best rate (.981).

Miscues Doom RailRiders in Loss

Moosic, Pa. – A two-run lead refused to hold serve Tuesday night at PNC Field as the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) fell from the mountaintop en route to its second straight loss, a 7-5 defeat at the hands of the Rochester Red Wings (Minnesota Twins). John Ryan Murphy collected two hits and drove in three runs, while Jose Pirela mashed his seventh tater of the campaign in the two-run tilt.

On social media night at PNC Field, Murphy gave the announced crowd of 4,511 something to chat about. The initial occurrence came in the home first a two-run double to center that put the RailRiders (36-41) on the board. Murphy followed his first at-bat by clubbing a monstrous opposite-way home run to left in the fifth that helped bring the RailRiders’ offense to life.

A three-run Rochester second propeled the visiting nine to five unanswered runs. Back-to-back walks began the frame before an error and a two-run single by Eric Farris hung the crooked number. Two more tallies followed in the third before Murphy’s home run brought the RailRiders to within striking difference at 5-3.

Rochester buoyed a run in the seventh prior to Pirela’s two-run dinger in the seventh drew the game to within one at 6-5. Former SWB product Doug Bernier stung his former club by reaching on a walk and scoring on a fielder’s choice in the eighth that proved too much to overcome.

Bruce Billings (3-4) spun six innings of five-hit ball in the loss, while left-hander Logan Darnell (4-4) wobbled through five tough frames to pick up the win. Michael Tonkin (5) worked a perfect ninth to lockdown the save.

The RailRiders conclude the six-game run at PNC Field and two-game set with the Rochester Red Wings Wednesday, June 25 at 7:05 p.m. The RailRiders will toss right-hander Alfredo Aceves (0-0, 2.89) while Rochester calls upon left-hander Kris Johnson (6-3, 2.72). 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 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:

Jose Pirela walked and homered in the ballgame to reach base twice. The RailRiders do-everything man has now reached base safely in 15-straight contests, including hits in 11 of his last 12 games. During the 15-game run, Pirela is 17-for-62 with a slash line of .274/.328/.452/.780.

John Ryan Murphy doubled and homered in the game while also driving in three runs. The home run marked Murphy’s first as a RailRider this season and second overall. The three runs driven tied a season-high for Murphy with the last such occurrence coming during his time with the New York Yankees a 2-for-3 nights on April 26 against the Los Angeles Angels. Murphy also homered in the ballgame.

- SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! –

 

Romine Helps Complete Rally in 5-4 Win

Moosic, Pa. – The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) rallied from a three-run deficit to top the Pawtucket Red Sox (Boston Red Sox) 5-4 Sunday afternoon at PNC Field. Austin Romine drove in the tying and go-ahead runs with a sacrifice fly in the sixth and a double that was lost in the sun by right field Alex Hassan in the eighth.

An early lead was erased in the second courtesy of a pair of costly miscues. Doubles by Ryan Roberts and Dan Butler plated Pawtucket’s first two runs, but it was a wild pitch and passed ball that led to the final tally of the frame to give Pawtucket the daunting 3-1 advantage. The final Paw Sox run crossed in the third, this time by way of a run-scoring base knock by Carlos Rivero that ballooned the lead to 4-1.

Facing Pawtucket’s ace Allen Webster, the violent RailRiders comeback commenced. Rob Refsnyder took home on a passed ball while Zoilo Almonte made it a one-run affair with a base hit that helped hang the RailRiders’ crooked number in the third. Romine’s sacrifice fly in the sixth evened the contest before the RailRiders’ catcher put the local nine ahead, plating Kyle Roller with a one-out double in the eighth.

Pat Venditte (2-2) posted a well-deserved win, spinning three scoreless frames in relief of starter Shane Greene who labored through five frames. Venditte did not allow a hit, needing 30 pitches to calm the Red Sox offense while fanning a batter. Danny Burawa (3) struck out two before working around a bloop single and well placed base knock by Mookie Betts to secure the save. Chris Resop was charged with the loss, allowing the go-ahead in the eighth.

The RailRiders will look to earn the series win with their northern brethren Monday, June 23 at 7:05 p.m. The RailRiders will toss the left-hander Jeremy Bleich (0-1, 8.10) while the Red Sox call upon the right-hander Steve Wright (1-1, 3.57). 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 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:

Scott Sizemore committed two errors during Sunday’s ballgame. The multiple errors brought his single-season mark up to six, while the multi-error contest marked the first occurrence for Sizemore since September 7, 2011 against the Kansas City Royals.

Rob Refsnyder collected two more base hits Sunday to raise his season-long contact clip with SWB to .318. Refsnyder has now collected a hit seven of his last eight games, including four multi-hit affairs. During the run of success the RailRiders’ usual second baseman is 12-for-28 (.429).

SWB claimed its fifth win against Pawtucket in seven tries this season. The five wins against Pawtucket marks the second most for SWB against a single club, trailing only their 6-2 mark against the Indianapolis Indians (Pittsburgh Pirates). SWB still has nine games remaining against Boston’s top satellite. The win also moved SWB to 17-18 against divisional foes.

- SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! –

 

Porcupine Points: June 19 at Toledo

Game Notes 6-19-14

MOTHER NAUGHTY BY NATURE: A 48-minute delay preceded play, but the RailRiders claimed a 3-0 lead early in Toledo. Alas, Mother Nature’s prosperous path led to a doomed finish. A Manny Pina home run gave the Mud Hens a one-run edge and driving rains spoiled a bases-loaded comeback threat as the RailRiders lost a rain-shortened contest at Fifth Third Field Wednesday night, 4-3.

BILL ME: It spoiled a solid showing by Bruce Billings (4-3). The Opening Day man tossed seven innings for the third time this season, struck out a season-best seven, and retired the last 10 he faced. He also allowed the four scores and took his second straight loss. At home, Billings has gone 3-0 with a 1.42 ERA, a .191 batting average against and no home runs. On the road, he is 1-3 with a 7.43 ERA, a .339 batting average against and five home runs allowed.

CURSES, ZOILED AGAIN: The RailRiders loaded the bases with three-two out walks in the eighth, but rains forced the tarp to unfurl with Zoilo Almonte at the plate and an 0-1 count on the board. After a 1:05 delay, the umpires called the contest over. That snapped Almonte’s hitting streak at 15 games as he went 0-for-4 with a strikeout. It was the IL’s top active hitting streak and one of the loop’s top five on the season. The string’s early stage was disrupted by a nearly month-long stay in the bigs. Despite that, he leads the team in home runs (10) and RBIs (35). During his hitting streak he went 21-for-62 (.339) with four home runs, 12 RBIs and eight runs scored. Almonte and Rochester’s Chris Parmelee now share one of the league’s five-best hitting streaks this season. Kevin Pillar’s 18-gamer with Buffalo is the current gold standard with Adonis Garcia‘s 17-gamer tied for second. Garcia’s was the SWB franchise’s best in half a decade.

SEVENTH HEAVEN: Billings authored the team’s seventh start of seven innings or more. The 4-3 final that lowered Billings’ record to 4-3 brought the team’s mark in games where its starter goes at least seven innings to…4-3.

FALLING FROM AHEAD: By blowing a 3-0 advantage, the RailRiders tied their season-high mark for largest lead erased in a loss. The team saw a 3-0 edge evaporate in a 5-4 loss at Columbus in last Thursday’s road trip opener. That came the night after a 3-0 lead led to a 6-3 loss in 10 innings versus Toledo in last homestand’s June 10 finale. The RailRiders have owned a lead in 15 (41%) of their 37 losses.

BEST IN THE WEST: Today’s contest concludes a stretch of 24 straight games against non-divisional foes with the bulk of them coming against the IL West. The team is 10-13 through 23 games on this run and 13-10 against IL West teams on the year. When SWB returns home, it begins the second half of its 144-game schedule and plunges back into IL North play against Pawtucket. Two-thirds of the team’s remaining 72 contests will pit it against its Northern brothers.

OFF THE RAILS: The RailRiders have allowed a homer in a season-worst 10 straight games…Despite that surge, SWB pitching has only surrendered 43 total taters, the IL’s third-lowest sum (Pawtucket 36; Syracuse 39)…Toledo’s Mike Hessman, who stands one home run shy of snapping a tie with Buffalo legend Ollie Carnegie for the most home runs in IL history, has yet to face the RailRiders this season while he mends a wrist injury from a collision at home plate, oddly enough, in Buffalo…The RailRiders have lost six of their last seven one-run games…They are guaranteed to endure a losing road trip and to return home to NEPA with a losing record…Wednesday marked SWB’s first rain-shortened game since an Aug. 15, 2012 doubleheader nightcap at Pawtucket was called after four-and-a-half innings due to rain and lightning…The result that Wednesday night was a 5-2 PawSox win…Billings delivered the RailRiders’ first start of seven or more innings since Zach Nuding lasted eight innings in a May 24 win against Rochester…Antoan Richardson notched his team-best 18th stolen base…He ranks second in the league and has not been nabbed in his last 41 attempts going back to last May.

Porcupine Points: June 18 at Toledo

Game Notes 6-18-14

DOUBLE AGENTS: Former Toledo Mud Hen Scott Sizemore burned his former squad with a bases-loaded single up the middle in the ninth that plated the tying and winning runs as the RailRiders claimed an 8-7 Tuesday triumph.

RALLY ‘RIDERS: Sizemore delivered the team’s lone advantage. The RailRiders rallied from three different deficits including a 4-0 hole in the second inning. The ninth-inning offensive came at the expense of former SWB closer Kevin Whelan (2-1), who suffered his second blown save and his first loss. The RailRiders tagged him with two runs on three hits. He entered the night with a 1.19 ERA and .173 BAA. The league has mustered a total of five runs and 17 hits against him. Three of those runs and six of the hits have come courtesy of the RailRiders.

INTO THAT GOOD NIGHT: The Mud Hens did not go quietly. Three-time NL All-Star Heath Bell walked a pair and saw both men reach scoring position in the final frame. However, Bell did not yield a hit or a run as he secured his second IL save of the year and his first as a RailRider.

AT FIRST BLEICH: Lefty Jeremy Bleich tossed four-plus innings in his second Triple-A start. A 35-pitch second inning saw four runs cross against him. He owns an 8.10 ERA as a RailRider. Today he turns 27 years old.

CURSES, ZOILED AGAIN: Zoilo Almonte walked twice and singled once to extend the league’s best active hitting streak to 15 games. The string’s early stage was disrupted by a nearly month-long stay in the bigs. Despite that, he leads the team in home runs (10) and RBIs (35). During his hitting streak he has gone 21-for-62 (.339) with four home runs, 12 RBIs and eight runs scored. Almonte and Rochester’s Chris Parmelee now share one of the league’s five-best hitting streaks this season. Kevin Pillar’s 18-gamer with Buffalo is the current gold standard with Adonis Garcia‘s 17-gamer tied for second. Garcia’s was the SWB franchise’s best in half a decade.

BEST IN THE WEST: This series in Toledo wraps up a stretch of 24 straight games against non-divisional foes with the bulk of them coming against the IL West. The team is 10-12 through 22 games of this run and 13-9 against IL West teams on the year. When SWB returns home, it begins the second half of its 144-game schedule and plunges back into IL North play against Pawtucket. Two-thirds of the team’s remaining 72 contests will pit it against its Northern brothers.

OFF THE RAILS: The RailRiders have allowed a homer in a season-worst nine straight games…Jose Pirela‘s 2-for-5 performance last night lowered his June batting average from .410 to .409, which trails only Norfolk’s Steve Clevenger (.444) and Syracuse’s Tyler Moore (.421) in the league…Toledo went 3-for-3 in stolen base tries and is 7-for-7 on the series…The RailRiders own the loop’s third-worst caught-stealing efficiency (.223), better than only Indianapolis (.217) and Louisville (.207)…Toledo’s Mike Hessman, who stands one home run shy of snapping a tie with Buffalo legend Ollie Carnegie for the most home runs in IL history, has yet to face the RailRiders this season while he mends a wrist injury from a collision at home plate, oddly enough, in Buffalo…Toledo was 24-0 when leading after eight innings before Tuesday’s theatrics while the RailRiders were 1-28 when trailing after eight…The RailRiders entered the game hitting .203 with bases loaded (12-for-59, 10-1B)…Austin Romine‘s second error of the season in 329 total chances lowered his fielding percentage from .997 to .994 and cost him the catbird seat among IL catchers in that category…The RailRiders had lost their last five one-run games…Before the game, the Yankees activated Francisco Cervelli from the DL and optioned John Ryan Murphy to Triple-A…Toledo’s Tyler Collins popped out on a bunt try in the ninth inning…The Hens’ three-hole hitter does not have a successful sacrifice as a professional…He broke his bat over his knee afterwards…SWB has 13 come-from-behind wins on the season…Tuesday saw the team overcome its second-largest deficit of the year…It rallied from down five to win at Louisville on May 28.

Thunderous Rallies Lead RailRiders to 8-7 Win

Toledo, Ohio –Former Mud Hen Scott Sizemore drove in two runs, and delivered the go-ahead base knock in the ninth inning to burn his former squad as the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) claim an 8-7 win over the Toledo Mud Hens (Detroit Tigers) Tuesday night at Fifth Third Field.  SWB overcame three different deficits before notching its first lead in the ninth inning. The win marked the club’s third in 28 tries when trailing after eight innings.

Trailing 4-0, the RailRiders kicked-off the first of three roaring rallies with a run in the third as Carmen Anglini scored on a two-out double by Jose Pirela. Sizemore tripled and scored on a wild pitch that helped hang a crooked number in the fourth. A single and hit batsman followed before Russ Canzler and Austin Romine evened the tilt at 4-4 with a double and groundball RBI to center.

Toledo regained the advantage with a two-run double by James McCann that came against reliever Jim Miller, but the tenacious RailRiders’ offense had an answer, this time in the form of a majestic two-run home run by Romine that brought the spirited contest back to sea level at 6-6.

A Ben Guez home run helped Toledo recover the lead, but the clutch base hit by Sizemore in the ninth proved too much to overcome. Heath Bell (2) added theatrics to the home ninth, walking two batters before ending game with a ground ball to third to secure the win and the save.

Robert Coello (2-1) notched win, tossing two innings and allowing a home run while Kevin Whelan (2-1) was slated with the loss after the RailRiders tagged the former SWB closer for three hits and two runs in the ninth.

The RailRiders continue the series against Toledo Wednesday, June 18 at 7:00 p.m. for the third game of the four-game set. The RailRiders will toss the right-hander Bruce Billings (4-2, 4.89) while Toledo sends the right-hander Derek Hankins (2-7, 6.06). John Sadak and Aaron Berlin will have the call on radio with the pregame show beginning at 6:30 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:

Before Tuesday night’s game the New York Yankees announced that catcher Francisco Cervelli was activated off the disabled list. The club’s corresponding move resulted in John Ryan Murphy being optioned down to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Zoilo Almonte extended a season-best 15-game hitting streak with a base knock in seventh. During the 14-game run Almonte is 19-for-58 (.328) with four home runs and 13 RBI during the stretch. The 14-game run is the best active streak in the International League.

The RailRiders’ 8-7 win is the club’s first one-run win in its last six tries. SWB improved their mark in games decided by a single tally to 12-12 on the season.

The RailRiders’ two-runs in the ninth marked the first blown save on the season for Toledo’s Kevin Whelan. The result also marked Whelan’s first loss on the campaign.

- SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! –

 

Porcupine Points: June 17 at Toledo

GAME NOTES 6-17-14

EARLY LEAD, LATE CLIMAX: All of the offense came early, but the drama apexed late.  A three-run second sported RBI hits by Antoan Richardson, Corban Joseph and Zoilo Almonte as the RailRiders grabbed a 4-2 lead in the second inning at Toledo.  No runs followed, but Toledo threatened. Starter Shane Greene (4-2) survived a bases-loaded score in the third to toss six innings of two-run, two hit ball en route to his fourth win. In the ninth, back-to-back knocks greeted a closing Preston Claiborne. Power-bat prospect Jordan Lennerton’s second career sacrifice moved his teammates up, but Claiborne struck out Danny Worth and induced a weak fly from the IL’s fifth-best hitter, Ezequiel Carrera, to secure his second save.

STREAK SNAPPED: The win snapped a season-worst five-game slide for the RailRiders. It marked the team’s longest stumble since a five gamer from July 19-23 last season. The streak halting win then also came against Toledo when the RailRiders took a 4-1 game in Moosic on July 24 and Dellin Betances got a save.

HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT: The RailRiders banged out 11 hits for their first double-digit showing since June 8, also against Toledo in Moosic.

GREENE WITH ENVY: Greene’s third quality start of the year saw him surrender just two runs on two hits over his six innings. He walked a season-worst-tying four, but won for the fourth time in six starts.

CURSES, ZOILED AGAIN: Zoilo Almonte‘s 2-for-4 night with a double and an RBI extended the league’s best active hitting streak to 14 games. The string’s early stage was disrupted by a nearly month-long stay in the bigs. Despite that, he leads the team in home runs (10) and RBIs (35). During his hitting streak he has gone 20-for-59 (.339) with four home runs, 12 RBIs and eight runs scored. If Almonte gets a hit in his next SWB game, he will share honors with Rochester’s Chris Parmalee for one of the league’s five best hitting streaks this season. Kevin Pillar’s 18-gamer with Buffalo is the current gold standard with Adonis Garcia‘s 17-gamer tied for second. Garcia’s was the SWB franchise’s best in half a decade.

FLASHING BACK: For last season’s RailRiders, the Columbus/Toledo journey was a season-changing odyssey. SWB dropped the last two of a home set against Gwinnett before heading to Toledo. The Mud Hens blew out the RailRiders in the opener, 10-2, and took three of the four games in the series. The Clippers then swept the RailRiders as the Ohio road trip made up the meat of the RailRiders’ 12 losses in a 13-game span. The team was a season-high-tying six games over .500 at the nosedive’s start (20-14), but five under (21-26) at the close. The 2013 RailRiders would not own a winning record again.

BEST IN THE WEST: This series in Toledo wraps up a stretch of 24 straight games against non-divisional foes with the bulk of them coming against the IL West. The team is 8-13 through 21 games of this run and 12-9 against IL West teams on the year. When SWB returns home, it begins the second half of its 144-game schedule and plunges back into IL North play against Pawtucket. Two-thirds of the team’s remaining 72 contests will pit it against its Northern brothers.

OFF THE RAILS: The RailRiders have allowed a homer in a season-worst eight straight games…Former Mud Hen Scott Sizemore has gone 1-for15 against his old club this season…The one hit was a home run off Kyle Lobstein on June 9…Jose Pirela is the lone active IL player with more than 80 hits after his 2-for-5 performance last night…The effort lowered his June batting average from .411 to 410, which trails only Norfolk’s Steve Clevenger (.460) in the league…Rob Refsnyder singled, scored, got hit by a pitch and stole his first base at Triple-A…After beginning the road trip in an 0-for-14 funk with seven strikeouts, he has gone 3-for-5 with a triple…Toledo went 4-for-4 in stolen base tries including a delayed double steal in the third by Danny Worth and Ezequiel Carrera…The RailRiders own the loop’s second-worst caught-stealing efficiency (.231), better than only Louisville (.207)…Toledo’s Mike Hessman, who stands one home run shy of snapping a tie with Buffalo legend Ollie Carnegie for the most home runs in IL history, did not play.

Porcupine Points: June 16 at Toledo

Game Notes 6-16-14

UP THE DOWN STAIRCASE: The downward spiral continues. A one-run game changed with a single swing when Carlos Moncrief connected on a three-run, opposite-way homer in the seventh off three-time NL All-Star Heath Bell. The floodgates remained open as a four-spot in the eighth rounded out the scoring and the RailRiders lost in Columbus Sunday evening, 11-3.

TOUGH TIMES: The RailRiders have lost a season-worst five straight to sit a season-worst four games below .500. The team’s second sweep defeat of the year has it in dead last by itself for the first time in three weeks, 7.5 games out of first. SWB also sits 6.5 games out in the wild-card race with eight teams in front of it.

SO CLOSE, YET SO FAR: The RailRiders have lost 11 straight clashes with Columbus going back to last season. However, 12 of the last 21 meetings have been one-run games. That includes seven of the last 12 and two of this year’s four.

FLASHING BACK: For last season’s RailRiders, the Columbus/Toledo journey was a season-changing odyssey. SWB dropped the last two of a home set against Gwinnett before heading to Toledo. The Mud Hens blew out the RailRiders in the opener, 10-2, and took three of the four games in the series. The Clippers then swept the RailRiders as the Ohio road trip made up the meat of the RailRiders’ 12 losses in a 13-game span. The team was a season-high-tying six games over .500 at the nosedive’s start (20-14), but five under (21-26) at the close. The 2013 RailRiders would not own a winning record again.

BEST IN THE WEST: This series in Toledo wraps up a stretch of 24 straight games against non-divisional foes with the bulk of them coming against the IL West. The team is 8-12 through 20 games of this run and 11-9 against IL West teams on the year. When SWB returns home, it begins the second half of its 144-game schedule and plunges back into IL North play against Pawtucket. Two-thirds of the team’s remaining 72 contests will pit it against its Northern brothers.

CURSES, ZOILED AGAIN: Zoilo Almonte‘s 1-for-4 night extended the league’s best active hitting streak to 13 games. The string’s early stage was disrupted by a nearly month-long stay in the bigs. Despite that, he leads the team in home runs (10) and RBIs (34). During his hitting streak he has gone 18-for-55 (.327) with four home runs, 11 RBIs and eight runs scored.

LUCKY NO. 13: While Almonte has hit safely in 13 straight, No. 13 Rob Refsnyder tripled and singled for his first hits of the road trip. He had been in an 0-for-14 funk on the journey with seven strikeouts and had grounded into two double plays.

FA SO DE LA: Sunday’s starter Joel De La Cruz (2-5) has allowed four or more runs in five straight appearances. His one win in that time was his lone relief appearance when he followed rehabbing big leaguer Shawn Kelley who tossed just the game’s first inning against Toledo a week ago. In the five-outing span, De La Cruz is 1-4 with a 6.53 ERA. The latter number would be higher, but nine of the 24 runs against him in that time have been unearned.

TRY HIM ON FOR SIZE: Scott Sizemore doubled on a 2-for-4 night. His six hits over his last two games have lifted his contact clip by 24 points (.248-.272).

OFF THE RAILS: The RailRiders have allowed a homer in a season-worst seven straight games…Before Sunday’s contest, the Yankees announced the release of the team’s innings leader, right-hander Brian Gordon…In the four-game Columbus series, SWB’s starters allowed 17 earned runs over 20 innings (7.65 ERA)…Columbus homered in each game of the set, hitting seven in total…The Clippers have homered in 11 straight games with 20 total taters in that time…The spurt has lifted the team’s total to 58, a sum that trails just Charlotte (75) and Toledo (60) in the IL.

Columbus Earns Series Sweep

Columbus, Ohio. – Sunday’s game had it all. The Columbus Clippers (Cleveland Indians) and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) combined for four home runs, including the first inside the park home run in Huntington Park’s history. SWB’s Zoilo Almonte cut down a runner trying to take an extra-base, but all night Columbus had answer in an 11-3 win Sunday night.

Columbus (36-33) chased starter Joel De La Cruz after four complete frames, adding a run in each of the first four innings. The Clippers tagged the right-hander for seven hits, before a run-scoring double by Tim Fedroff in the fourth sent De La Cruz packing after the inning.

The two teams exchanged a run early, Audy Ciriaco blasted a ball off the centerfield wall that led to an inside the park home run, but Corban Joseph brought the tilt back to sea level at 2-2 with a majestic home run to right, his second of the season.

Back-to-back one-out walks for Columbus led to the go-ahead run, as Roberto Perez delivered a run-scoring base hit that plated Elliot Johnson. Two extra-base hits by Justin Sellers and Tim Fedroff in the fourth pushed the Columbus lead to 4-2.

A three-run shot by Carlos Moncrief made it a four-run deficit and Elliot Johnson added salt to the wound with a two-run double of his own eighth. De La Cruz (2-5) took the loss, as the RailRiders were forced to trot out a series of bullpen arms to finish off the day. Danny Salazar (1-3) twirled five efficient innings and combined with three other pitchers to pick up the win.

The RailRiders begin the second leg of the road trip with the series opener against the Toledo Mud Hens (Detroit Tigers) Monday, June 15 at 7:00 p.m. The RailRiders will toss the right-hander Shane Greene (3-2, 6.17) while Toledo sends the right-hander Drew VerHagen (3-6, 4.08). John Sadak and Aaron Berlin will have the call on radio with the pregame show beginning at 6:30 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:

Robert Refsnyder picked snapped a 0-for-14 skid with a triple in the seventh. The extra-base hit by Refsnyder marked his first at the Triple-A level.

Zoilo Almonte extended a season-best 13-game hitting streak with a base knock in seventh. During the 13-game run Almonte is 18-for-55 (.327) with four home runs and 11 RBI during the stretch.

Columbus’ four-game run marked the second time this season the RailRiders have been swept, with the last such occurrence coming via a rain-shortened series against the Rochester Red Wings April 7-9.

SWB has dropped a season-high five-straight games, while also falling a season-worst four-games under .500 at 32-36

- SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! -

 

Porcupine Points: June 15 at Columbus

GAME NOTE 6-15-14

SHUTOUT SILENCE: Four Columbus pitchers combined to allow just seven hits (six singles) in a 7-0 blanking of the RailRiders Saturday night. SWB’s fifth shutout loss of the season ran its losing streak to a season-long-tying four games. The squad sits a season-worst-tying three games below .500.

SO CLOSE, YET SO FAR: The RailRiders have lost 10 straight clashes with Columbus going back to last season. However, 12 of the last 20 meetings have been one-run games. That includes seven of the last 11 and two of this year’s three.

FLASHING BACK: For last season’s RailRiders, the Columbus/Toledo journey was a season-changing odyssey. SWB dropped the last two of a home set against Gwinnett before heading to Toledo. The Mud Hens blew out the RailRiders in the opener, 10-2, and took three of the four games in the series. The Clippers then swept the RailRiders as the Ohio road trip made up the meat of the RailRiders’ 12 losses in a 13-game span. The team was a season-high tying six games over .500 at the nosedive’s start (20-14), but five under (21-26) at the close. The 2013 RailRiders would not own a winning record again.

BEST IN THE WEST: The RailRiders kicked off an eight-game road trip Thursday night. The journey wraps up a stretch of 24 straight games against non-divisional foes with the bulk of those contests coming against the IL West. The team is 8-11 through the first 19 games of this spurt, but 11-8 against IL West teams on the year. When SWB returns home, it begins the second half of its 144-game schedule and plunges back into IL North play against Pawtucket. Two-thirds of the team’s remaining 72 contests will pit it against its Northern brothers.

CURSES, ZOILED AGAIN: Zoilo Almonte’s 1-for-4 night extended the league’s best active hitting streak to 12 games. The string’s early stage was disrupted by a nearly month-long stay in the bigs. Despite that, he leads the team in home runs (10) and RBIs (34). During his hitting streak he has gone 17-for-51 (.346) with four home runs, 11 RBIs and eight runs scored.

BASES-LOADED WOES: The RailRiders loaded the bases with nobody out in the fourth, but three outs followed. The team has hit just .203 with the bases juiced, but that’s not nearly the worst mark in the circuit. Five teams have fared worse in Indianapolis (.125), Durham (.138), Charlotte (.149), Syracuse (.192) and Toledo (.196). The IL’s best bases-loaded contact clip belongs to Columbus (.471).

TRY HIM ON FOR SIZE: Scott Sizemore doubled on a 4-for-4 night and lifted his season-long contact clip by 18 points (.248-.266). He had last enjoyed a four-hit game on Aug. 24, 2011 at Yankee Stadium when he was with Oakland. Three of those hits, two of them doubles, came against starter CC Sabathia. Sizemore has only had more than four hits in a game once in his pro career. In his first pro season with SS-A Oneonta, Sizemore had five hits…in 10 at-bats. The longest game in New York-Penn League history had his Tigers winning at Brooklyn in 26 innings, 6-1. The teams combined for 34 hits, seven errors, 15 pitchers and 43 men left on base. The contest took 6:40. Brooklyn outfielder Mark Wright tossed a scoreless 25th but gave up five runs in the 26th when the Cyclones ran out of pitchers. Brooklyn lost its manager, George Greer, in the opening inning due to an ejection for arguing a force play at second base. The putout went to the covering shortstop, Scott Sizemore. Greer was Buffalo’s hitting coach in 2012.

OFF THE RAILS: The RailRiders lost a season-best nine-game homer streak…They have allowed a homer in a season-worst six straight games…Russ Canzler committed his first outfield error of 2014…Almonte started in center field for the second time this season (last April 18 versus Lehigh Valley)…He saw time in center in 14 games with last year’s RailRiders…Through three games on the trip, Rob Refsnyder has gone 0-for-12 with five strikeouts while bouncing into two double plays…Outside of Sizemore, the rest of the team went 3-for-29 (.103)…SWB sits in a tie for last place in the IL North…The team stands 6.5 games out of both first in the division and in pursuit of a wild-card spot…Nine* teams are either tied with or standing in front of the RailRiders in the wild-card standings…*That includes the two IL North teams tied atop the division in Rochester and Syracuse.

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