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.

Offense Silenced as RailRiders Drop Fourth-Straight

Columbus, Ohio. –  Armed with the right arm of big league rehabber Zach McCallister, the Columbus Clippers (Cleveland Indians) belted their way to a 7-0 drilling of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) Saturday night at Huntington Park.  Jesus Aguilar treated the home crowd of 12, 202 to a show, blasting a three-run home run and driving in four runs in the lopsided tilt.

Brian Gordon worked two perfect frames before the Columbus bats caught up in the third. A leadoff walk to Roberto Perez ignited the four-run frame as Tm Fedroff put the Clippers on the board with a base hit as Jesus Aguilar followed suit with a three-run tater that pushed the ledger to 4-0.

Columbus added to the lead with three runs in the middle frames. Aguilar drove in his fourth run of the night on a double in the left-field corner before a missed catch by Russ Canzler hung the crooked number. The final shot came courtesy of a leadoff blast in the sixth by Roberto Perez that made the game 7-0.

Scott Sizemore was the lone bright spot for SWB, tallying four hits on the evening, including a double. Gordon (4-6) was tagged with the loss in the five-inning effort, while Gabriel Arias (2-2) worked three scoreless frames to pick up the win.

The RailRiders continue the road trip with the series finale against the Columbus Clippers Sunday, June 15 at 6:05 p.m.  The RailRiders will toss the right-hander Joel De La Cruz (2-4, 3.57) while Columbus is still TBA. John Sadak and Aaron Berlin will have the call on radio with the pregame show beginning at 5:35 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 went 4-for-4 with a double. The perfect night at the plate marked the first time this season Sizemore has totaled four hits. The four-hit night raised his season-long average 18 points to .266.

SWB failed to mash a home run, ending it’s season-best total of nine-straight games with a home run.

Zoilo Almonte collected a base hit in the fourth, extending a 12-game hitting streak for the RailRiders’ slugger. During the 12-game run Almonte has gone 14-for-42 with four home runs and 10 RBI.

- SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! –

 

Billings Stumbles as RailRiders Rally Falls Short

Columbus, Ohio. – Zoilo Almonte collected his team-leading 10th home run of the season and drove in a pair, but a wave of home runs by the Columbus Clippers (Cleveland Indians led to four early tallies that proved too much in 4-3 loss Friday night at Huntington Park.  The one-run loss by the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) marked the second-straight for SWB and the third consecutive loss for the RailRiders.

All four Columbus runs scored with two outs in a frame, the first three courtesy of two-out three-run tater by Audy Ciriaco in the second that leapt the Clippers out to the early 3-0 lead. Travis Banwart settled until a rhythm, spinning four scoreless frames until Antoan Richardson laced a triple to center and scored on a two-run home run by Almonte, his second in as many days. The home run by Almonte brought the game to within one at 3-2.

A Tyler Holt homer in the fifth pushed the lead to 4-2, but the resilient RailRiders responded with a run on an infield hit by Austin Romine in the seventh that plated Zelous Wheeler to make the score 4-3.

Alfredo Aceves and Heath Bell spun three scoreless innings in relief, but five shaky frames from starter Bruce Billings (4-2) doomed the RailRiders in the loss. Banwart (4-2) picked up the win, tossing 6.2 innings and tying a single-high strikeout total with eight, while Vinnie Pestano (5) notched the save for the second-straight night.

The RailRiders continue an eight-game road trip with the second game of the odyssey occurring against the Columbus Clippers Friday, June 12 at 7:15 p.m.  Scranton/Wilkes-Barre sends right-hander Brian Gordon (4-5, 4.46) to the hill, while Columbus counters with righty Zach McCallister.  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:

Zoilo Almonte homered for the second-straight evening. The RaiRiders outfielder mashed his team-leading 10th home run of the season while also collecting RBI’s 33 and 34, both good team leads. Since his return from the Big Leagues, Almonte is 14-for-40 with four home runs and 10 RBI.

Almonte’s home run marked the ninth-straight ballgame the RailRiders’ offense has clubbed a long ball, a season-best.

SWB has now lost nine-straight clashes with Columbus dating back to the 2013 campaign, with 12 of the last 19 meetings between the two clubs decided by a single run.

- SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! –

 

Porcupine Points 6-13-14

GAME NOTES 6-13-14

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: It was all going so well. Scott Sizemore had ignited two tough double plays and launched a home run. The RailRiders had jumped out to a 3-0 lead. Jeremy Bleich had dazzled in his Triple-A debut, allowing just one run through six. Then came the seventh. Five straight Clippers reached base, four scored (three on Bleich’s line) and the Clippers posted a 5-4 win.

SO CLOSE, YET SO FAR: The RailRiders have lost eight straight clashes with the Clippers going back to last season. However, 11 of the last 18 meetings have been decided by one run.

FALLING FROM AHEAD: For the second time in as many games, the RailRiders blew a three-run lead. The team had not lost once all season in a game that included a lead of three or more runs before these successive stumbles. The RailRiders have held a lead in 14 of their 33 losses (42%) this season.

INHERITANCE TAX: Danny Burawa allowed two inherited runners to cross and blew his first save, which also meant a loss for Bleich (0-1). Five of Burawa’s six hand-me-down me this season have eventually crossed the plate. The team’s relief corps has allowed 31 of its 78 (40%) total inherited runners to score.

CURSES, ZOILED AGAIN: Zoilo Almonte went 2-for-4 with a home run and has hit safely in 10 straight games as a RailRider. In eight games since coming back from New York, he has gone 12-for-34 (.353) with three home runs, eight RBIs and seven runs scored. Despite missing nearly a month while with the big league team, Almonte leads the squad in homers (9) and RBIs (32).

CARLOS THE CANNON: Carlos Moncrief gunned down Zoilo Almonte trying to leg out a first-inning double. The Clippers usual right fielder leads the IL with 13 outfield assists.

ON A ROLL: Kyle Roller enjoyed a 2-for-4 night with a double and a run scored. Between his time at Double-A Trenton and SWB, Roller ranks among the best both on the Yankees’ farm and in all of MiLB. His 15 home runs place him just outside of the top 10 in the minors (T-11th) and only behind the man who essentially replaced him at Trenton, Pete O’Brien. O’Brien’s 22 home runs slate him in a tie for second in the minors. Roller ranks among the farm’s best in batting average (1st, .342) and RBIs (T-2nd, 41).

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 8-9 through the first 17 games of this spurt, but 11-6 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 homered in a season-best eight straight contests…It’s the franchise’s best run in the RailRiders era…Last year’s RailRiders led the IL with 133 homers…This year’s unit leads the IL in batting average (.275) and slugging percentage (.412)…The team’s 125 doubles (T-3rd) and 19 triples (2nd) help buoy the slugging number…Its league-low walk total (186/2.9/g) has its OBP at .336 (6th)…The RailRiders struck out 11 times on Thursday…They have struck out double-digit times in 11 games this season…Only five RailRiders have been on the team and active every day from Opening Day through today: Russ Canzler, Jim Miller, Mark Montgomery, Jose Pirela and Antoan Richardson…The team has had 52 players listed on its roster this season.

Wave of Home Runs Help Wash Away Dirty Birds

Moosic, Pa. –Armed with a battery of big league rehabbers, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) rode the wave of home runs and solid relief to a 7-4 win over the Toledo Mud Hens (Detroit Tigers) Monday night at PNC Field.

Shawn Kelley received the start and by design spun a single frame. Kelley was tagged for an infield hit in the first and did not allow a run before giving way to originally scheduled starter Joel De La Cruz in the second.

Zoilo Almonte put the RailRiders (32-31) ahead with a ground ball RBI, before Zelous Wheeler hung a crooked number in the first with a run-scoring base hit of his own.

A one-run game in the third after Toledo’s Hernan Perez tripled home Ezequiel Carrera, Scott Sizemore changed the ominous tone swiftly with an opposite-way three-run shot that made the game 6-1 in favor of the local nine. The Mud Hens climbed to within two, plating three runs against De La Cruz after a botched-ground ball led to a two-run home run by Wade Gaynor in the fifth.

Much like the recent tale of days past, the resolute RailRiders had an answer of their own, a solo homer by Austin Romine that pushed the lead to the final line of 7-4. De La Cruz (2-4) picked up the win, his first since his Triple-A debut on May 4 against the Norfolk Tides (Baltimore Orioles) while SWB marched out three relievers to finish the game. Francisco Rondon, Danny Burawa and Robert Coello combined on four scoreless frames and tallied four strikeouts, while Coello (3) picked up the save. Kyle Lobsteain twirled six tough innings, allowing two home runs in the loss.

The RailRiders conclude the eight-game homestand with the final game of the series against the Toledo Mud Hens Tuesday, June 10 at 7:05 p.m.  Scranton/Wilkes-Barre will send right-hander Shane Greene (3-2, 6.57) to the hill while Toledo counters with righty Drew Verhagen (3-6, 4.04) 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:

Adonis Garcia collected two base hits in his only two plate appearances. Through the first seven games of the homestand Garcia is 8-for-21 (.380) with five extra-base hits. The two-hit evening helped push his season-long average to .312, just behind teammate Jose Pirela.

Zoilo Almonte drove in his team-leading 31st RBI of the season with a groundball in the first. Almonte, who missed three-weeks of the season due to a Major League promotion, leads Adonis Garcia (27) for the most on the team.

- SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! –

 

RailRiders Turn the Tides to Avoid Sweep

Moosic, Pa. – Sometimes all you need to do is to pay homage to those that have come before you to regain your swagger. On 90’s night at PNC Field, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) did just that, while letting out a bit of frustration in a 12-6 demolition of the Norfolk Tides (Baltimore Orioles) Friday night. SWB combined for 19 base hits, 11 of which went for extra bases to avoid the series sweep. As four different RailRiders (30-30) clubbed home runs on the evening, including two doubles and a home run by Adonis Garcia.

The thrashing began with run-scoring knocks by Garcia and Kyle Roller in the third before Zelous Wheeler plated two more runs with the RailRiders’ first big fly of the night to put SWB up 4-0. The RailRiders added runs in each of the next four frames, including solo taters by Garcia, Roller and Jose Pirela to extend the lead. The four home runs tied for the most by the RailRiders this season. Runs came in bunches as SWB pushed across two more in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Pirela and a solo home run, courtesy of Garcia. Crooked numbers followed in the sixth on RBI hits by Pirela, Garcia and Zoilo Almonte.

Eight of the nine RailRiders in the lineup reached safely as Roller and Garcia led the charge offensively combining for eight hits in 10 plate appearances. Pirela chipped in with a 3-for-3 night, including three RBI’s and three runs scored, while Wheeler and Austin Romine each hung multiple hits.

Bruce Billings (4-1) spun five innings and combined with three other SWB relievers to earn his first win since April 14, while Mike Wright (1-4) was tagged for seven hits and four home runs in his fourth loss in his last five appearances.

The RailRiders continue the eight-game homestand with the series opener against the Toledo Mud Hen (Detroit Tigers) Saturday, June 7 at 7:05 p.m.  Scranton/Wilkes-Barre will send right-hander Brian Gordon (3-5, 4.73) while Toledo counters with righty Derek Hankins (2-6, 6.47) John Sadak and Aaron Berlin  have the call on MyNetwork TV while 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 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 collected three more base knocks Friday night. The reigning International League hitter of the week has now reached safely in his last 13 ballgames dating back to May 24 against the Rochester Red Wings (Minnesota Twins).

Bruce Billings (4-1) picked up his first win since April 19. Billings now and co-leads the team with four wins, tying right-handed reliever Jim Miller.

Kyle Roller blasted his 14th home run of the year between the Double-A and Triple-A ranks. The home run came against his former teammate at ECU Mike Wright. Entering the day the 14th home run put Roller at No. 11 overall in the minor league ranks.

- SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! –

 

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