Sanchez Clutch in Close Win

Team Pitching, Late Offense Produce 2-1 Win

Indianapolis, Ind.Gary Sanchez’s two-out single in the ninth drove Greg Bird home for a 2-1 lead that went final as the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (New York Yankees) took down the Indianapolis Indians (Pittsburgh Pirates) on Thursday evening, 2-1. SWB (53-47) finished its road trip at 5-3 while Indianapolis (57-42) has suffered back-to-back home losses for the first time since a three-game slip from May 30-June 1.

SWB starter Diego Moreno fired four scoreless innings on three days’ rest. Jose Ramirez followed with three innings of relief that saw Hunter Morris’ two-out double drive John Bowker home for a 1-0 Indy lead in the seventh.

The RailRiders responded in the eighth as Kyle Roller doubled over first base to begin the inning. Jose Rosario entered as a pinch runner and later scored on a 6-4-3 double play bounced into by Tyler Austin for a 1-1 deadlock.

Indy starter Angel Sanchez fired eight innings of one-run ball before IL All-Star closer Blake Wood entered to start the ninth. With two outs and the bases empty, Bird worked a walk, took second on a wild pitch and scored on the timely contact from Sanchez.

The one-run lead held up as Johnny Barbato (1-0) worked around a leadoff walk with a scoreless eighth for the win in his Triple-A debut. Nick Goody whiffed two in a perfect ninth for his second save.

The RailRiders return home for a five-game homestand at PNC Field. They will give away a special copy of Yankees Magazine to the first 2,500 fans in attendance on Friday, July 24, when the team hosts the Toledo Mud Hens (Detroit Tigers) at 7:05 p.m. Right-hander Luis Severino (5-0, 1.79) is scheduled to face southpaw Mike Belfiore (4-8, 5.09). For more information please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.

OFF THE RAILS:

With a win in the regular-season rubber match, the RailRiders won four of the seven meetings with Indianapolis. Five of those seven games were decided by one run.

– SWB RailRiders –

SWB Game Notes 7-23-15

CLICK HERE for the July 23 edition of the RailRiders’ game notes. CLICK HERE to listen to the radio call live with John Sadak and Darren Headrick. Pregame coverage starts at 6:35 p.m.

LAST TIME OUT: Greg Bird homered and drove in three runs as the RailRiders doubled up Indianapolis on Wednesday afternoon, 10-5. Eight of the RailRiders’ nine men in the order had a hit while the lone exception, Ben Gamel, began the game with a walk. SWB has a chance to post a winning road trip with a win in the series finale while Indianapolis will try to avoid its first back-to-back home losses since a three-game slip from May 30-June 1.

R&R: Rob Refsnyder went 2-for-4 with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored. He has hit safely in nine straight Triple-A games and 16 of 17 going back to June 24. Over the longer stretch, he has hit .404/.532/.596/1.129 with the IL’s top OBP. His average and OPS in that window each rank second in the circuit.

BIRD IS THE WORD: Bird went 2-for-5 with a double and the home run. He drove in three runs, scored two and has reached safely in all but one of his 16 games with SWB including a hit in 14 of those affairs.

COLE HEARTED: With a double on a 2-for-5 day, Cole Figueroa has hit safely in 18 of his last 19 Triple-A games played including multiple hits in 14 of those contests. Since an 0-for-3 effort at Norfolk on May 11 dipped his average to .184, he has slashed .388/.429/.516/.945 with those numbers ranking 1st/2nd/5th/3rd in the IL. On the season, he checks in among the IL’s best in batting average (3rd, .324), hits (T-4th, 103) and plate appearance:strikeout ratio (1st, 19.61:1).

PIRELA POP: Jose Pirela went 3-for-6 with an RBI and two runs scored for his sixth multi-hit showing over his last eight SWB games played. He has snapped out of a 5-for-49 (.102) slide at Triple-A with hits in seven of those eight games. During his string, he has gone 16-for-34 (.471) with three doubles, four RBIs and 10 runs scored.

@ELGARYSANCHEZ: Gary Sanchez posted a 2-for-4 effort with a double, an RBI, a walk and a run scored. He has a pair of multi-hit showings and five RBIs in his five games played at Triple-A along with more walks (3) than strikeouts (2).

FOUR SCORE AND MANY PITCHES AGO: The RailRiders’ longest nine-inning game of the season went 3:24. It smashed the high-water mark which was set on Opening Day when an 8-3 defeat of Syracuse took 3:09. It made for the team’s longest nine-inning affair since a 9-4 win at Pawtucket on Aug. 16, 2014.

WHY SO SERIESOUS?: SWB today to log a winning record against Indianapolis. The franchise has gone 5-2-1 in the season series against the Tribe during the Yankees affiliation, going 39-30 (.565) including this year’s match-ups.

CLOSE CALLS: Four of the six meetings between the teams this season have been decided by one run. The Indians have the IL’s second-highest total of one-run wins (21-15) and the circuit’s second-best winning percentage in such affairs (.583). Only Norfolk (24-17, .585) stands taller in each category.

OFF THE RAILS: The RailRiders lead the IL in batting average (.273) and OBP (.341)…SWB must win six of its nine remaining July games to avoid a losing month…Over the first eight seasons as a Yankees affiliate, SWB logged a winning July six times and the two exceptions both saw the squad finish a game under .500…Indianapolis went 4-for-4 in stolen-base attempts…The RailRiders notched double-digit runs for the first time since a 14-2 pummeling of Pawtucket at McCoy Stadium on July 2… Indianapolis manager Dean Treanor was ejected after the eighth inning…He jogged across the diamond to argue with first-base umpire Max Guyll after a close call on a Keon Broxton inning-ending groundout…Tyler Austin reached base three times, stole a bag and scored once as the nine-hole hitter…He had never hit ninth before as a pro in 414 prior games over six seasons.

Bird Propels RailRiders in Rout

Prospect First Baseman Homers in Convincing Victory

Indianapolis, Ind.Greg Bird homered and drove in three runs as the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (New York Yankees) doubled up the Indianapolis Indians (Pittsburgh Pirates) on Wednesday afternoon, 10-5. Eight of the RailRiders’ nine men in the order had a hit while the lone exception, Ben Gamel, began the game with a walk. SWB (52-47) has a chance to post a winning road trip with a win in the series finale while Indianapolis (57-41) will try to avoid its first back-to-back home losses since a three-game slip from May 30-June 1.

Indy plated a pair in the first to take the lead with run-scoring blows by Keon Broxton and Steve Lombarsozzi against starter Esmil Rogers (1-0). Rogers would settle, firing five frames of three-run ball for his first win since May 1 against the Boston Red Sox.

Tied at three entering the fifth, the RailRiders took the lead for good on Bird’s third Triple-A home run, a solo shot to right off starter Adrian Sampson (8-8). It ignited a string of four straight run-scoring innings for the lopsided final.

The four-game series concludes at 7:05 p.m. on Thursday evening. SWB right-hander Diego Moreno (3-0, 2.36) will face fellow righty Angel Sanchez (4-1, 2.97). The team that takes Thursday’s contest will also win the season series, which sits tied at 3-3. The RailRiders will give away a special copy of Yankees Magazine to the first 2,500 fans in attendance on Friday, July 24, when the team hosts the Toledo Mud Hens (Detroit Tigers). For more information please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.

OFF THE RAILS:

Greg Bird went 2-for-5 with a double and the home run. He drove in three runs, scored two and has reached safely in all but one of his 16 games with SWB including a hit in 14 of those affairs.

Jose Pirela went 3-for-6 with an RBI and two runs scored.

Gary Sanchez posted a 2-for-4 effort with a double, an RBI, a walk and a run scored.

Cole Figueroa doubled during his 2-for-5 showing, good for his team-best 35th multi-hit game. He has hit safely in 18 of his last 19 games with SWB including multiple hits in 14 of those games.

Rob Refsnyder went 2-for-4 with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored. He has hit safely in nine straight Triple-A games and 16 of 17 going back to June 24.

Indianapolis went 4-for-4 in stolen-base attempts.

The RailRiders’ longest nine-inning game of the season went 3:24. It smashed the high-water mark which was set on Opening Day when an 8-3 defeat of Syracuse took 3:09.

Indianapolis manager Dean Treanor was ejected after the eighth inning. He jogged across the diamond to argue with first-base umpire Max Guyll after a close call on a Keon Broxton groundout ended the frame.

The RailRiders notched double-digit runs for the first time since a 14-2 pummeling of Pawtucket at McCoy Stadium on July 2.

– SWB RailRiders –

SWB Game Notes 7-22-15

CLICK HERE for the July 22 edition of the RailRiders’ game notes. CLICK HERE to listen to the radio call live with John Sadak and Darren Headrick. Pregame coverage starts at 1:05 p.m.

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: Unearned runs opened the door, while a phantom home run and an infield hit slammed it shut as the RailRiders fell to the Indianapolis Indians on Tuesday night, 3-2.

IT’S A WALK-OFF: SWB suffered its sixth walk-off loss of the season with half of them coming this month. Lehigh Valley walked it off in 10 innings on July 1 when Tyler Henson’s leadoff triple was followed by a single from former RailRider Russ Canzler. Buffalo rode a home run by former RailRider/New York Yankee Melky Mesa to a 5-4 final on July 10. The RailRiders have led by multiple runs in all six walk-off losses this season.

BACK IN TOWN: In his first Triple-A action since July 9, Rob Refsnyder posted an RBI double off the left-field wall in the third. He has hit safely in eight straight SWB contests and 15 of 16 going back to June 24. Over the longest stretch, he has hit .396/.542/.585/1.127 with the IL’s highest OBP over that time.

TOUGH DAY: Ramon Flores went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI in his first action since a bruise forced him out of the game on Friday at Louisville. He also was charged with his first two errors of the season, both fielding in left field with each miscue leading to an unearned run. He had not been charged with an error over his prior 65 games at Triple-A and his 12 contests with the Yankees entering last night. In fact, he made four total errors all of last season. Before last night, he had not made a mistake in the field since an Aug. 29, 2014 loss at Lehigh Valley.

BIRD IS THE WORD: Greg Bird walked on a 2-for-3 night. He has reached safely in 14 of his 15 Triple-A games with hits in 13 of those games.

COLE HEARTED: With a single last night, Cole Figueroa has hit safely in 17 of his last 18 Triple-A games played including multiple hits in 13 of those contests. Since an 0-for-3 effort at Norfolk on May 11 dipped his average to .184, he has slashed .388/.430/.514/.944 with those numbers ranking 1st/2nd/5th/4th in the IL. On the season, he checks in among the IL’s best in batting average (3rd, .324), hits (T-5th, 101) and plate appearance:strikeout ratio (1st, 19.33:1).

WHY SO SERIESOUS?: SWB must the series’ two remaining games to log a winning record against Indianapolis. The franchise has gone 5-2-1 in the season series against the Tribe during the Yankees affiliation, going 38-30 (.559) including this year’s match-ups.

 

CLOSE CALLS: Four of the five meetings between the teams this season have been decided by one run. The Indians have the IL’s second-highest total of one-run wins (21-15) and the circuit’s second-best winning percentage in such affairs (.583). Only Norfolk (24-17, .585) stands taller in each category.

STUCK ON SIX: Starter Kyle Davies left in line for his team-best seventh win after five frames of scoreless baseball. He has gone 5-1 in eight games (seven starts) on the road with a 3.47 ERA. In nine nods at SWB he is 1-5 with a 4.56 ERA. In four starts this month, he is 1-0 with a 1.96 ERA.

OFF THE RAILS: The RailRiders lead the IL in batting average (.272) and on-base percentage (.340)…SWB must win seven of its 10 remaining July games to avoid a losing month…Over the first eight seasons as a Yankees affiliate, SWB logged a winning July six times and the two exceptions both saw the squad finish a game under .500…Dave Miley called upon Gary Sanchez as a pinch hitter in the ninth…He struck out swinging in place of Juan Graterol…Sanchez is 0-for-3 on his pro career as a pinch hitter…SWB has employed a pinch hitter nine times this season with six different players combining to go 2-for-7 in that role with two walks.

Indians Post Comeback Win, 3-2

Refsnyder Doubles in Return

Indianapolis, Ind. – Unearned runs opened the door, while a phantom home run and an infield hit slammed it shut as the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (New York Yankees) fell to the Indianapolis Indians (Pittsburgh Pirates) on Tuesday night, 3-2. Four of the five clashes between the RailRiders (51-47) and Indians (57-40) have been decided by one run.

The RailRiders led 2-0 thanks to run-scoring hits by Ramon Flores and Rob Refsnyder in the first and third innings respectively. However, errors by Flores pursuing hits in the sixth and eighth led to unearned runs that tied it up. Tony Sanchez used a groundout for the sixth-inning score while the eighth-inning RBI came on a Keon Broxton single.

In the ninth, Willy Garcia seemed to end the game with a leadoff homer to left field. But after third-base umpire Max Guyll twirled his index finger, Garcia stopped at third base and the ball eventually came in from the outfield. After a conference, the three-man umpiring crew awarded Garcia third base.

SWB manager Dave Miley called right fielder Jose Pirela in as a fifth infielder, but Steve Lombardozzi singled off the glove of first baseman Kyle Roller to send Garcia home for the walk-off winner.

Nick Goody (0-1) suffered his first blown save and loss at Triple-A while IL All-Star Blake Wood (1-2) got the win.

The four-game series continues at 1:35 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon. SWB right-hander Esmil Rogers (0-0, 2.96) will face fellow righty Adrian Sampson (8-7, 3.75). The RailRiders will give away a special copy of Yankees Magazine to the first 2,500 fans in attendance on Friday, July 24, when the team hosts the Toledo Mud Hens (Detroit Tigers). For more information please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.

– SWB RailRiders –

SWB Game Notes 7-21-15

CLICK HERE for the July 21 edition of the RailRiders’ game notes. CLICK HERE to listen to the radio call live with John Sadak and Darren Headrick. Pregame coverage starts at 6:35 p.m.

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: Facing a fill-in starter, A.J. Morris (4-1), the RailRiders struggled offensively as the host Indianapolis Indians posted a 5-0 shutout at Victory Field on Monday night.

DONUT DITTIES: The RailRiders suffered their fourth shutout loss of the season and their first on the road. It marked the team’s first scoreless setback since a 2-0 defeat against Buffalo on June 26 and their first donut dinner on the road since July 19, 2014 in a 7-0 loss at Charlotte. Even with last night’s loss, the RailRiders still have the league’s lowest total of shutout setbacks (4). Indianapolis became the IL’s fourth team with double-digit shutout wins.

BAD DAY: In his first Triple-A start of the season and the second of his career, Eric Ruth (0-1) was charged with four earned runs on Monday night. He had allowed just six earned runs in his last five Double-A starts, a span of 29.1 innings.

THAT WAS EASY: At 2:01, the RailRiders played their third-fastest nine-inning game of the season. The June 14 loss versus Rochester, a 2-1 game that took 1:56, set the gold standard. The second-fastest action also came against Indianapolis in a 2-1 loss at PNC Field on May 10 in 1:58.

COLE HEARTED: With a single last night, Cole Figueroa became the IL’s fourth man to reach the century mark in base hits this season. He has hit safely in 16 of his last 17 Triple-A games played including multiple hits in 13 of those contests. Since an 0-for-3 effort at Norfolk on May 11 dipped his average to .184, he has slashed .390/.433/.519/.952 with those numbers ranking 1st/2nd/4th/4th in the IL. On the season, he checks in among the IL’s best in batting average (3rd, .325), hits (4th, 100) and plate appearance:strikeout ratio (1st, 20.2:1).

PIRELA POP: Jose Pirela went 2-for-4 for his fifth multi-hit showing in six SWB games played. He has snapped out of a 5-for-49 (.102) slide at Triple-A with a six-game hit streak. During his string, he has gone 13-for-25 (.520) with three doubles and three RBIs.

BACK ON TRACK: The RailRiders’ only other multi-hit performance came from Tyler Austin who went 2-for-3 with the team’s only extra-base hit, a seventh-inning double The outfielder entered Sunday in a 3-for-24 (.125) slump with nine whiffs in his modest six games played since June 25. He has exceeded that hit total in these last two games, going 4-for-8 with his first RBI since June 10.

GETTING SERIESOUS: SWB must win two of the series’ three remaining games to log a winning record against Indianapolis. The franchise has gone 5-2-1 in the season series against the Tribe during the Yankees affiliation, going 38-29 (.567) including this year’s match-ups.

QUALITY OVER QUANTITY: Starter Kyle Davies left in line for his team-best seventh win after posting his fourth straight quality start last time out on Thursday at Louisville. He has gone 5-1 in eight games (seven starts) on the road with a 3.89 ERA. In nine nods at SWB he is 1-5 with a 4.56 ERA. In three starts this month, he is 1-0 with a 2.50 ERA.

OFF THE RAILS: The RailRiders lead the IL in batting average (.273) and on-base percentage (.341)…Last night marked the first SWB-Indy clash of the season that was not decided by one run…The RailRiders became the IL’s third team to turn 100 double plays this season…Morris logged his longest outing since a nine-inning shutout of Durham on June 12, 2014 at Victory Field…Six of the RailRiders’ seven hits were singles…SWB went 0-for-7 with men in scoring position…SWB must win seven of its 11 remaining games this month to avoid a losing month…Over the first eight seasons as a Yankees affiliate, SWB logged a winning July six times and the two exceptions both saw the squad finish a game under .500.

Indians Blank RailRiders, 5-0

SWB Held to Seven Hits, Two Apiece for Pirela & Austin

Indianapolis, Ind. – Facing a fill-in starter, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (New York Yankees) struggled offensively as the host Indianapolis Indians (Pittsburgh Pirates) posted a 5-0 shutout at Victory Field on Monday night.

In his first start of the season, A.J. Morris (4-1) set the tone with six scoreless frames for the Indians before handing the baton to Jeff Inman and Bobby LaFromboise.

The RailRiders pushed a man to third base just once all evening, but saw Ben Gamel tagged out at the plate when he tried to score on a pitch in the dirt by Inman in the eighth.

SWB starter Eric Ruth (0-1) took the loss in his first Triple-A outing of the season and the second of his career. He gave up five runs (four earned) on seven hits over six frames. The major damage came in a three-run third with a sac fly from Alen Hanson and a two-run double by Keon Broxton. Jose Tabata posted a two-out single for a fifth inning RBI while Pedro Florimon’s two-out double in the sixth plated Elias Diaz to round out the scoring.

Southpaw James Pazos fired two scoreless innings out of the RailRiders bullpen.

The four-game series continues at 7:05 p.m. on Tuesday evening. SWB right-hander Kyle Davies (6-6, 4.25) will face fellow righty Chris Volstad (6-4, 3.59). The RailRiders will give away a special copy of Yankees Magazine to the first 2,500 fans in attendance on Friday, July 24, when the team hosts the Toledo Mud Hens (Detroit Tigers). For more information please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.

OFF THE RAILS:

The RailRiders suffered their fourth shutout loss of the season and their first on the road. It marked the team’s first scoreless setback since a 2-0 defeat against Buffalo on June 26.

Six of the RailRiders’ seven hits were singles.

Jose Pirela (2-for-4) and Tyler Austin (2-for-3) delivered the team’s lone multi-hit showings.

SWB went 0-for-7 with men in scoring position.

Eric Ruth was charged with four earned runs on Monday night. He had allowed just six earned runs in his last five Double-A starts, a span of 29.1 innings.

At 2:01, the RailRiders played their third-fastest nine-inning game of the season. The June 14 loss versus Rochester, a 2-1 game that took 1:56, set the gold standard. The second-fastest action also came against Indianapolis in a 2-1 loss at PNC Field on May 10 in 1:58.

Even with Monday’s donut, the RailRiders still have the league’s lowest total of shutout losses (4).

Indianapolis became the IL’s fourth team with double-digit shutout wins.

A.J. Morris logged his longest outing since a nine-inning shutout of Durham on June 12, 2014 at Victory Field.

– SWB RailRiders –

SWB Game Notes 7-20-15

CLICK HERE for the July 20 edition of the RailRiders’ game notes. CLICK HERE to listen to the radio call live with John Sadak and Darren Headrick. Pregame coverage starts at 6:35 p.m.

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: A five-run third partnered with potent pitching as the RailRiders crushed the Louisville Bats (Cincinnati Reds) on Sunday night, 7-1. The RailRiders have won four of five. The Bats (46-50) avoided a shutout with a run in the ninth.

THAT’S A START: Spot starter Diego Moreno faced the minimum over four scoreless and hitless innings. He posted a 7:1 groundout-to-airout ratio in the game. He has allowed just two earned runs over 11.1 innings (1.59 ERA) during his three starts this season. As a starter, Moreno has held the IL to a .162 average while posting a 0.88 WHIP. His Louisville counterpart on Sunday, Keyvius Sampson (1-4), allowed six runs on five hits and four walks over 2.1 innings to shoulder the loss. In two starts against the RailRiders this season, Sampson allowed 10 runs in 5.1 innings (16.88 ERA). The RailRiders hit .400 against him with 10 hits and nine walks allowed (3.56 WHIP).

THE BIG INNING: Gary Sanchez got SWB on the board with a first-inning sac fly for his fourth RBI in just two Triple-A games, but the major noise came in the third. The RailRiders sent a man to the plate 10 times and chased Sampson thanks to two-run hits by Greg Bird and Gregorio Petit.

BIRDMAN: The third-inning blow was part of a career-high-tying four-hit night for Bird. He has posted four hits in a game six times as a pro. Before last night, it last occurred on Aug. 6, 2014 versus Altoona (Pittsburgh Pirates) while Bird was with Double-A Trenton.

MAKING AN ENTRANCE: Sanchez went 2-for-4 in his Triple-A debut on Saturday with a home run in his first plate appearance. He has 13 home runs including his Double-A time, tying him with Kyle Roller for second on the farm. Only another current RailRider, outfielder Aaron Judge (14), has more total taters in 2015. Sanchez left the Eastern League pacing the circuit in HR/AB ratio (1:19.4) and fifth among catchers in caught-stealing percentage at .367 (22 of 60). He also posted the highest error total among EL catchers (8).

LET’S GET SERIESOUS: The RailRiders took three of four on the series at Louisville Slugger Field and cemented the season set against the Bats for the first time since 2011 by taking five of the eight meetings. In the Yankees era, the franchise has gone 35-37 against the Gateway to the South’s squad.

GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT: After going 2-5 last homestand, the RailRiders stand eight games below .500 at PNC Field (21-29) and 14 games over on the road (30-16). The team has hit .284 on the road compared to a .262 mark at home. On the road, SWB has scored 245 runs in 46 games (5.3/game). At home, the squad has plated 182 runs in 50 games (3.6/game). The pitching has performed worse on the road (3.59 ERA) than at home (3.44 ERA). No IL team has a better road win percentage than the RailRiders (.652), who have won 23 of 32 away from Moosic.

COLE HEARTED: Cole Figueroa got aboard three times, going 1-for-3 with two walks and a run scored. He has posted multiple knocks in 13 of his last 16 Triple-A games. Since an 0-for-3 effort at Norfolk on May 11 lowered his average to .184, Figueroa has slashed .393/.436/.524/.960 with those numbers ranking 1st/2nd/4th/4th in the IL. On the season, he checks in among the IL’s best in batting average (2nd, .326), hits (4th, 99), OBP (T-4th, .381) and plate appearance:strikeout ratio (1st, 20:1).

PIRELA POP: Jose Pirela went 2-for-4 with a double, a walk and three runs scored. He entered the series in a 2-for-12 (.167) funk since rejoining the team from the bigs and in a 10-for-54 (.185) slide at Triple-A overall. He has gone 9-for-16 (.563) on the road trip with three doubles and three RBIs.

OFF THE RAILS: Tyler Austin entered the game in a 3-for-24 (.125) slump with nine whiffs in his modest six games played since June 25…He busted out of his funk with two hits and an RBI…The RailRiders lead the IL in batting average (.273) and on-base percentage (.342).

Bird Ties Career-High Mark in Rout

Prospect Posts Four Hits, Moreno Logs Impressive Spot Start 

Louisville, Ky. – A five-run third partnered with potent pitching as the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (New York Yankees) crushed the Louisville Bats (Cincinnati Reds) on Sunday night, 7-1. The RailRiders (51-45) took three of four on the series and cemented the season set against the Bats for the first time since 2011. The Bats (46-50) avoided a shutout with a run in the ninth.

Gary Sanchez got SWB on the board with a first-inning sac fly to score Jose Pirela, but the major noise came in the third. The RailRiders sent a man to the plate 10 times and chased Louisville starter Keyvius Sampson (1-4) thanks to two-run hits by Greg Bird and Gregorio Petit. It was part of a career-high-tying four-hit night for Bird.

Spot starter Diego Moreno faced the minimum over four scoreless and hitless innings. He has allowed just two earned runs over 11.1 innings (1.59 ERA) during his three starts this season. Sampson allowed six runs on five hits and four walks over 2.1 innings to shoulder the loss. In two starts against the RailRiders this season, Sampson allowed 10 runs in 5.1 innings (16.88 ERA).

Kyle Roller connected on a sixth-inning sac fly to round out SWB’s scoring.

Jose Ramirez (3-0) earned the win with three innings of scoreless baseball. He left the bases loaded in the fifth and enjoyed double plays behind him in the sixth and seventh. Caleb Cotham allowed a just-fair RBI double to Ramon Cabrera with one out in the night to spoil the shutout as Jermaine Curtis scored from first.

The RailRiders’ road trip shifts to Indianapolis for a four-game series against the Indians (Pittsburgh Pirates). It will get underway at 7:05 p.m. on Monday night from Victory Field. SWB is expected to add right-hander Eric Ruth from Double-A Trenton to start against a TBA Indy starter. The RailRiders will give away a special copy of Yankees Magazine to the first 2,500 fans in attendance on Friday, July 24, when the team hosts the Toledo Mud Hens (Detroit Tigers). For more information please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.

OFF THE RAILS:

Greg Bird has recorded four hits in a game six times as a pro. Tonight marked his first four-hit showing since Aug. 6, 2014 against Altoona (Pittsburgh Pirates) while with Double-A Trenton.

Diego Moreno posted a 7:1 groundout-to-airout ratio in the game.

– SWB RailRiders –

SWB Game Notes 7-19-15

CLICK HERE for the July 19 edition of the RailRiders’ game notes. CLICK HERE to listen to the radio call live with John Sadak and Darren Headrick. Pregame coverage starts at 5:35 p.m.

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: Prized catching prospect Gary Sanchez bashed a three-run homer in his first Triple-A plate appearance, but his RailRiders fell to the Louisville Bats on Saturday night, 6-3.

MAKING AN ENTRANCE: Sanchez went 2-for-4 in his debut. He has 13 home runs including his time with Double-A Trenton, tying him with Kyle Roller for second on the farm. Only another current RailRider, outfielder Aaron Judge (14), has more total taters in 2015. Sanchez left the Eastern League pacing the circuit in HR/AB ratio (1:19.4) and fifth among catchers in caught-stealing percentage at .367 (22 of 60). He also posted the highest error total among EL catchers (8).

REVERSE COURSE: The RailRiders’ best winning streak in over a month halted at three. The team had won back-to-back games three other times since June 13. The Bats posted their first win since the All-Star break.

DINGO & THE BABY: Bryan Mitchell struggled in his first start and Triple-A outing since June 14. He left a 3-3 draw after 2.1 innings (4H, 2BB). He allowed his first homer of 2015 at any level and failed to record a strikeout for the first time all year. He entered the game with 20 outings and 77 innings between the minors and bigs. He had not allowed a home run since an Aug. 20, 2014 loss at Syracuse and had not failed to record a strikeout since a May 25, 2014 setback at Richmond with Double-A Trenton. Mitchell has posted some wide home-road splits. In nine nods at home, he has gone 3-4 with a 1.72 ERA, .189 batting average against, and a 1.15 WHIP. Over his five road starts, he has gone 1-1, 7.13, .324, 1.92.

LET’S GET SERIESOUS: The RailRiders must win today to claim the season series from Louisville. SWB has not won the season series against the Bats since the 2011 squad went 5-3. In the Yankees era, the franchise has gone 34-37 against the Gateway to the South’s squad. Louisville finishes its run against IL North teams today and has not lost a season series to any team yet this season.

GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT: After going 2-5 last homestand, the RailRiders stand eight games below .500 at PNC Field (21-29) and 13 games over on the road (29-16). The team has hit .283 on the road compared to a .262 mark at home. On the road, SWB has scored 238 runs in 45 games (5.3/game). At home, the squad has plated 182 runs in 50 games (3.6/game). The pitching has performed worse on the road (3.65 ERA) than at home (3.44 ERA). No IL team has a better road win percentage than the RailRiders (.644), who have won 22 of 31 away from Moosic.

COLE HEARTED: Cole Figueroa delivered his team-best 34th multi-hit game, going 2-for-4. He has posted multiple knocks in 13 of his last 15 Triple-A games. Since an 0-for-3 effort at Norfolk on May 11 lowered his average to .184, Figueroa has slashed .394/.432/.527/.960 with those numbers ranking 1st/2nd/4th/3rd in the IL. On the season, he checks in among the IL’s best in batting average (2nd, .326), hits (T-4th, 98) and plate appearance:strikeout ratio (1st, 19.71:1).

PIRELA POP: Jose Pirela went 1-for-3 with a walk, a stolen base and a run scored. He entered the series in a 2-for-12 (.167) funk since rejoining the team from the bigs and in a 10-for-54 (.185) slide at Triple-A overall. He has gone 7-for-12 (.583) on the series with two doubles and three RBIs.

UP AND DOWN: Kyle Roller received his team-high seventh bruise on an 0-for-3 night. While his home run on Thursday proved the difference-making run in the 11th, Roller has had a tough July overall. The IL All-Star has hit .197 in 15 games this month and has bounced into as many double plays over that span (6) has he did in the season’s first three months and his first 73 contests.

OFF THE RAILS: Tyler Austin went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and a groundball double play…He sits in a 3-for-24 (.125) slump with nine whiffs in his modest six games played since June 25…Louisville pitching retired 14 of the final 15 SWB hitters…Danny Burawa (1-3) faced 13 men and delivered just five first-pitch strikes…Only 24 of his 53 pitches (45%) went for strikes…The RailRiders and Bats rank first and second in the IL in batting average (.272/.265) and on-base percentage (.341/.334)…Louisville has the IL’s second-worst fielding percentage (.977) and error total (82) including four errors on this series and two unearned runs allowed…The Bats also by far lead the loop in double plays turned (116).

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