3-2-1 BLASTOFF: After leaving 13 men on base over the game’s first eight innings, the RailRiders snapped a scoreless deadlock and posted a win in one fell swoop. Dan Johnson‘s 21st home run meant a 2-0 walk-off win over Lehigh Valley. The home run came against lefty Jay Johnson (0-2) who had held lefties to an 0-for-14 showing with nine strikeouts before Dan’s southpaw swing. Jay had allowed just one home run to a lefty on his three-year pro career (164 at-bats) before surrendering Dan’s game-winning shot. The other lefty to leave the yard against Jay? Current Minnesota Twin Oswaldo Arcia who began this season as a 21-year-old Rochester Red Wing. Arcia has 10 taters in 75 big league games this season. He took Jay Johnson deep with a two-out, two-run seventh-inning blast for Double-A New Britain in an Aug. 11, 2012 win over Reading.
WALKING OFF: The RailRiders’ sixth walk-off win of the year was their third won by a home run. In game one of their day-night doubleheader against Norfolk on June 22, the RailRiders won when Casey Stevenson‘s second homer of the game, an 11th-inning two-run job off of Andy Loomis, gave SWB a 6-4 victory. The game was Stevenson’s Triple-A debut. On July 25, Randy Ruiz‘s first-pitch swing against Justin Souza left the yard as the club’s 20th hit of the game for a franchise-record 20-inning defeat of Toledo, 2-1.
C.C.: Caleb Cotham‘s late-season sizzle continued yesterday with 6.2 innings of four-hit, shutout baseball. Cotham whiffed five, walked two and posted a 9:4 groundout-to-airout ratio. He entered August 3-5 with a 6.75 ERA. In four starts since the calendar flipped to August, he is 2-0 with a 1.46 ERA.
WHO’S HOT?: Ronnier Mustelier has hit safely in seven straight games, connecting at a .360 (9-for-25) rate with three doubles, two RBIs and five walks (.467 OBP)…Dan Johnson has a five-game string of success, hitting .368 (7-for-19) with three extra-base hits, three RBIs and four walks (.478 OBP)…Over the team’s last six games, SWB starters have posted a 2.16 ERA…In 14 games since rejoining the team from the big leagues, Melky Mesa has hit .345 (20-for-58)/.371/.638/1.009 with nine extra-base hits and 17 RBIs…He has served as SWB’s three-hole hitter in seven straight games and is a .368 hitter since the All-Star break.
WHO’S NOT?: Brent Lillibridge went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and a walk yesterday…In seven games since returning from the big leagues, he has hit .154 (4-for-26) with 10 strikeouts…After connecting at a .333 clip in August, Adonis Garcia has hit just .180 in 15 games this month…Addison Maruszak is hitless since July 9, going 0-for-20 in that time with five strikeouts…Since returning from his third stint this season in the bigs, David Adams has gone 2-for-22 (.091) with seven strikeouts…The slump has lowered his overall contact clip to .280, the lowest it has been since April 17…J.R. Murphy was a .297 stick at the close of July, but has hit .176 (0-for-51) in 13 August affairs.
IRONRAIL TROPHY: On June 13, the RailRiders and IronPigs announced that they will be playing for the “IronRail Trophy”. The 16-game series between the RailRiders and IronPigs will decide the winner. The losing team’s GM will sing in a fat lady costume on the winner’s field, and a feast will be paid for by the losing team as well. The trophy will be held by the winning team, displayed for all to see. The 2013 series currently favors the ‘Pigs, 6-4. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre owns a 52-38 lead in the all-time series dating back to Lehigh Valley’s inaugural 2008 season. Lehigh Valley has only once won a season series against SWB, and did so by the slimmest of margins when it went 9-7 against NEPA’s team in 2010. The two clubs split the season series in 2012. In the event of 8-8 ties, the club that wins the final regular-season meeting will also claim the IronRail Trophy.
Moosic, Pa. – Dan Johnson provided all the offense the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) would need on Sunday afternoon, as he powered a two-run, walk-off home run in the ninth inning to beat the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Philadelphia Phillies), 2-0. Caleb Cotham started the game and was sensational for SWB.
The game had little offense to speak of until the bottom of the ninth. The inning began harmlessly for the IronPigs, as David Adams flew out to right field. Melky Mesa then hit a sinking liner to center field, which prompted an unsuccessful diving attempt from Cesar Hernandez. Mesa ended up at second on the play, which setup Johnson. On a 2-1 pitch, Johnson slammed his 21st home run of the season to right-center field to end the ballgame.
Cotham was stuck with the no-decision, but provided another outstanding start. He went six and two-thirds innings, and allowed just four hits. He struck out five while only issuing two walks. In his four starts in the month of August, Cotham is 2-0 with a 1.46 earned run average. He’s posted a 2.18 ERA since the Triple-A All-Star break.
Yoshinori Tateyama (2-1) relieved Cotham and inherited two base runners. He stranded them both, and pitched the final two and one-third innings to get the win. He allowed just one hit, and lowered his season ERA with the RailRiders to 1.95.
Jay Johnson (0-2) was brought into the game to start the ninth inning for Lehigh Valley, and he received the loss. He retired one batter, but allowed the double to Mesa and the walk-off homer to Johnson.
The win moves SWB back within two games in the IronRail series with Lehigh Valley, as they now trail, 6-4. The series shifts south to Allentown, Pa. on Monday night as the IronPigs and RailRiders will open a short two-game series at Coca-Cola Park. Chris Bootcheck (9-6, 3.67) threw seven shutout innings his last time out, but earned a no-decision. He’ll get the start on Monday as he searches for win number 10. He’ll be opposed by Tyler Cloyd (5-9, 4.89).
First pitch on Monday night is set for 7:05 p.m., which means pre-game coverage will get underway at 6:35 p.m. on NEPA Sports Radio – The GAME, Northeast PA’s largest sports radio network: 100.7 FM, 1340 WYCK-AM, 1400 WICK-AM, 1440 WCDL-AM and 106.7 FM.
- SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! -
Moosic, Pa. – The Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Triple-A/Philadelphia Phillies) received an 11th inning home run from Cameron Rupp, and they held on to the 4-3 win over the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (New York Yankees) on Saturday night. With the RailRider bullpen thin, manager Dave Miley was forced to call upon Corey Patterson to pitch the 11th inning.
The game got off to a good start for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, as they scored the game’s first run in the third. With one out, Brendan Harris singled through the left side, and then moved to second on single by Adonis Garcia. He advanced to third on a fly out, and then scored when Melky Mesa reached on an infield single.
The lead was quickly erased with two runs by Lehigh Valley in the fourth. Steve Susdorf led off with a double to right-center field, and moved up to third on a single by Josh Fields. Tyler Henson then doubled to right field to drive home Susdorf. Fields scored when Cesar Hernandez hit a sacrifice fly to right field.
The RailRiders leveled the game in the fifth. With one out, Garcia drew a walk, and then moved to second on an infield single by J.R. Murphy. He followed with a steal of third base, and scored on a sacrifice fly to right field by Mesa.
Lehigh Valley poked back in front with a run in the seventh. Hernandez reached on a bunt single to start the inning, moved to second on a walk to Rupp, advanced to third when Tyson Gillies was hit by a pitch, and then scored on Pete Orr’s infield single.
The RailRiders destined the game for extras with a run in the eighth. Mesa was hit by a pitch to start the inning, and proceeded to steal second base. He moved up to third on a wild pitch, and then scored on a base hit by Randy Ruiz. The game was tied at three after eight innings of play.
The game remained tied at three until the top of the 11th. Out of pitching, the RailRiders turned to Patterson. He conceded a lead-off home run to Rupp, who sent it over the left-field fence. Patterson did allow two more hits, but he stranded both base runners to keep it a one-run game.
SWB put the first two batters of the bottom of the 11th on base, and loaded the bases with one out, but could not score.
J.C Ramirez (4-2) threw two scoreless innings of relief with two strikeouts to earn the win. Mauricio Robles walked three men in the 11th, but he survived for his sixth save.
Patterson (0-1) allowed the Rupp homer in the 11th to pick-up the loss for SWB. It was his first professional pitching appearance.
With the loss, SWB now trails 6-3 in the IronRail series. The RailRiders and IronPigs will play the finale of a short two-game series at PNC Field on Sunday afternoon. It’s the final NEPA Honda Dealers Family FUNday, and gates open at Noon for a 1:05 p.m. first pitch. Caleb Cotham (5-5, 5.63) has been outstanding since the All-Star break, and he will take the mound for SWB. Following the game, kids will be able to run the bases just like the RailRiders.
- SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! -
Moosic, Pa. – A five-run fifth inning helped the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) overcome an early deficit and defeat the Charlotte Knights (Chicago White Sox) on Friday night, 6-5. The RailRiders went in front 6-3 after five innings, and held off a late Charlotte rally to claim the series.
Things did not get off to a good start for SWB, as two runs came across for the Knights in the second. Travis Ishikawa led off with a single to left field, and was able to score from first base when Mike McDade immediately followed with a double to left-center field. Andy Wilkins’ base hit moved McDade to third, and Steve Tolleson then hit a sacrifice fly to center field to drive him home.
Charlotte added another run in the third when Marcus Semien hit a one-out home run to left field. The solo blast extended the Knights’ lead to 3-0.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre got on the board in the bottom of the third. Brendan Harris led off the inning with a solo homer of his own to left field. It was Harris’ first as a RailRider, and it trimmed the deficit to 3-1.
Ten RailRiders batted in the fifth inning as they broke through with five runs. Randy Ruiz drew a walk to start the rally, and then moved to third on a double by Ronnier Mustelier. Harris hit a groundball to the shortstop Semien, but he bobbled and everybody was safe as Ruiz scored. That setup a three-run home run by Bobby Wilson, who sent the ball of the fair pole in left to provide the inning its biggest punch. The inning was capped later when Melky Mesa doubled home Adonis Garcia. The RailRiders led 6-3 after five innings of play.
Two runs came across in the seventh as Charlotte tried to rally. With McDade and Tolleson aboard, Bryan Anderson doubled to right-center field to plate both runners and slice the deficit to just one run. The Knights put the tying run on base in the ninth, but were unable to score.
Brett Marshall (7-9) pitched better than his final line indicated, and he received the win. He went six and two-thirds innings, allowing five runs on eight hits with six strikeouts. Matt Daley struck out two batters in the ninth, and stranded the tying run at second base to earn his first save of the season.
Charlotte starter Nick McCully (2-3) allowed all six runs, four of them earned, over his four and two-thirds innings to get the loss.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre took the season-series with Charlotte by a wide margin, 7-1. They’ll resume the IronRail series at PNC Field on Saturday night when Lehigh Valley (Philadelphia Phillies) travels in for a two-game series at home. The first 2,500 fans through the gates will receive a RailRiders replica jersey. Graham Stoneburner (3-4, 4.84) will take the mound for the RailRiders, who trail the IronPigs 5-3 in the series with eight games still left to play. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
- SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! -
Moosic, Pa. – For the 11th time this season, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) shutout their opponent. On Thursday night, it was the Charlotte Knights (Chicago White Sox) who fell victim to a 4-0 defeat. The 11 shutouts ties SWB with Lehigh Valley for the most in the International League.
It was a scheduled bullpen day for the RailRiders, as Chase Whitley received the spot-start. He went four innings, and allowed just two hits and one walk. He struck out three, but did not go long enough to factor into the decision. Jim Miller (3-5) worked the fifth and sixth frames to get the win, as he added four more strikeouts. Yoshinori Tateyama picked up his first save as a RailRider by tossing the final two and one-third innings.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre built what proved to be an insurmountable lead with two runs in the first. With one out, J.R. Murphy drew a walk. Melky Mesa, the International League’s reigning Player of the Week, and then deposited a home run to left field. It was Mesa’s 13th round tripper of the season, and it gave SWB the 2-0 lead.
Another home run in the third stretched the lead further. Adonis Garcia led off the inning with a solo home run to the left-field bullpen. It was Garcia’s third homer of the season.
The RailRider offense would add one more run, and it came across in the sixth. Randy Ruiz led off with a double to the right-center field gap. One out later, Ronnier Mustelier hit a ball to almost straightaway center field, it sailed over Jim Gallagher’s head and allowed Ruiz to score to extend the SWB advantage to 4-0.
Charlotte starter Charlie Leesman (3-2) made his first start since his big league debut, and he was handed the loss. He allowed four runs on seven hits, but did strike out seven while only issuing two walks.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre has already clinched a season-series victory over Charlotte, but they’ll go for the series victory as well on Friday night. Prospect right-hander Brett Marshall (6-9, 5.18) is coming off of a strong performance against the Buffalo Bisons, and he’ll take the mound for SWB. Zach Stewart (5-13, 4.78) will get the ball for the Knights. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. on a Fireworks Friday presented by Jack Williams Tire & Auto. It’s also Scranton night at PNC Field, and tickets are available by calling (570) 969-BALL, by logging onto swbrailriders.com, or by visiting the PNC Field box office.
- SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! -
OPPORTUNITY LOST: On a surprisingly cool August evening at PNC Field, everything was there for victory. All-Star starter Chris Bootcheck composed a symphonic start of seven scoreless innings. The offense grabbed the lead in the very first inning. And a capable bullpen bridged the way to one of the RailRiders’ top relievers in the ninth. But Mike Zagurski was tagged with a pair of runs in that ninth, one with two outs despite a play at the plate, and two more in the 10th as the Charlotte Knights roared back to defeat the RailRiders, 4-2.
FALLING FROM AHEAD: The RailRiders’ 12th loss in 16 games was just their second of the season when leading after eight innings. Only first-place Rochester (54-0) and last-place Syracuse (36-1) have fewer losses in such circumstances in the IL. SWB has led at some point in 29 of its 66 setbacks on the season.
UNLUCKY NO. 13: The RailRiders’ 13th extra-inning game of the season saw them fall to 6-7 in free baseball. Seven of those longer-than-scheduled affairs have come since July 12 over a span of 31 games.
ROSTER MOVES: Earlier today, the New York Yankees purchased David Huff‘s contract and optioned Dellin Betances back to the RailRiders. Huff is expected to join the Yankees bullpen after starting all but one of his 13 outings with SWB. He departs with losses in three straight starts, but has endured a tough-luck campaign. He went 1-6-1 despite a 3.84 ERA. He pitched once in relief for the Yankees back on May 26 at Tampa Bay. Betances made his lone appearance for the big club on Tuesday night against the Angels, logging a pair of outs in the Yanks’ 14-7 win. He threw one pitch before a 26-minute rain delay disrupted his appearance. Since shifting to SWB’s bullpen in May, Betances owns a 1.48 Triple-A ERA and a .169 batting average against. He departed SWB without allowing a run since June 16 against Lehigh Valley, a span of 17 outings and 30 innings.
BACK ON TRACK: Dan Johnson delivered two hits last night and an RBI. He entered the game in an 0-for-10 funk on the homestand and 3-for-19 over his prior six games. Despite the rough go of late, the former Charlotte Knight has enjoyed his best month of the season, hitting .319/.418/.617/1.035.
PITCHING POINTS: Bootcheck fired seven innings for the fourth time this season, tying him with now-Buffalo Bisons right-hander Chien-Ming Wang for the most such starts on the season. He fell short of securing his team-leading 10th win, but continued his shutout string against the Knights. He has tossed 13 scoreless innings against Charlotte, allowing just five hits (.116 BAA). Matt Daley maintained the donut with a perfect eighth inning for his fourth hold. He has only allowed an earned run in four of his 23 appearances with the RailRiders and has not allowed one in eight outings and 9.2 innings since taking his lone loss against Louisville on July 20.
THE MELK MAN: Melky Mesa led the International League last week with 12 hits, three homers, 11 RBIs and seven runs scored en route to Batter of the Week honors on Monday. He also finished second in the loop with both a .429 batting average and a .857 slugging percentage. He collected multiple hits five times in the week, including each game from Thursday through Sunday. It marked his first assembly of four straight multi-hit performances since a Sept. 2-4, 2011 run that included a doubleheader with Double-A Trenton. Last night, he enjoyed another multi-hit performance as he went 2-for-5. In 10 games since rejoining the team earlier this month, Mesa has hit .333 (14-for-42)/.364/.619/.983 with six extra-base hits and 12 RBIs in just 10 games.
GOING GONZO: Alberto Gonzalez hit his first Triple-A home run of the season, a fifth-inning solo shot off of Jason Berken. He already had one in the bigs, an April 14 solo job for the Cubs against the Giants.
Moosic, Pa. – The Charlotte Knights (Triple-A/Chicago White Sox) rallied from a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (New York Yankees) on Wednesday night in 10 innings, 4-2. The Knights scored two in the top of the ninth to tie the contest, and two more in the top of the 10th to take the lead.
The loss spoiled a superb starting performance from Chris Bootcheck, as he shutout the Knights over seven innings of work. Bootcheck held Charlotte to just three hits, and issued four strikeouts while setting down the side in order in four of his seven frames.
The RailRiders went in front in the bottom of the first inning. Adonis Garcia led off the frame by reaching on an error by shortstop Leury Garcia. An infield single by Melky Mesa advanced him to second base, and Dan Johnson then singled through the right side to drive home Garcia.
Alberto Gonzalez doubled the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre lead in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs, Gonzalez hit a home run off the top of the wall in left field. It was Gonzalez’s first home run as a RailRider, and extended the SWB lead to 2-0.
The lead remained slim at just two, and the Knights rallied to tie the game in the top of the ninth. Travis Ishikawa began the rally with a single. One out later, Steve Tolleson drew a walk. The bases were loaded after Jim Gallagher’s base hit. Michael Earley then singled to right field to drive home Ishikawa, and Miguel Gonzalez then tied the game with a sacrifice fly to right field that plated Tolleson.
After the RailRiders did not score in the bottom of the ninth, Charlotte pushed across two runs to take the lead in the 10th. Marcus Semien led off the inning with a home run to left field, his third at the Triple-A level gave the Knights their first lead. Brent Morel then walked, stole second base, and moved to third on a throwing error by catcher J.R. Murphy. He then scored when Andy Wilkins hit a sacrifice fly to right field.
Leyson Septimo (2-0) worked the final two innings for Charlotte to get the win. He didn’t allow a run, and struck out four opposing batters.
Mike Zagurski (6-3) entered the game in the ninth, and took the loss after allowing four runs in two innings.
Game three of four-game set between SWB and Charlotte is set for Thursday night at PNC Field. For the first two hours after gates open at 6 p.m., Pepsi products and Bud Light will be just one dollar on a Budweiser Thirsty Thursday. It’s also Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day, and first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m., and Chase Whitley (2-2, 3.70) will ascend the mound for SWB and he’ll be opposed by left-hander Charlie Leesman (3-1, 3.47).
- SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! -
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: On the day he turned 34, veteran outfielder Corey Patterson proved fairly giving. The birthday boy delivered a solo homer on a three-hit day with two runs scored, and managed to swipe a base in the process as the RailRiders beat the Knights, 7-1.
BACK-TO-BACK JACKS: Patterson’s seventh-inning blast off Simon Castro was promptly followed by catcher J.R. Murphy‘s fourth home run of the season and his first since July 3. It made for the RailRiders’ fourth set of back-to-back home runs on the season. Addison Maruszak had been involved during each of SWB’s first three consecutive clouts. On June 4 against Syracuse’s Jeff Mandel, Melky Mesa went yard before Maruszak did the same. Josh Bell set the stage for Maruszak against Brandon Workman at Pawtucket on June 30. Most recently, it was Maruszak first and Patterson second off Lehigh Valley’s Tom Cochran on July 7. Despite a 50-66 home-road split of taters on the season, the three of the RailRiders’ four back-to-back performances have come at PNC Field.
LET’S GET HIM ON: Murphy reached base five times in five plate appearances. In addition to his homer, he hustled to beat out a throw from Marcus Semien after the Charlotte shortstop errantly bobbled his fielding attempt. Starter Erik Johnson (2-1) hit Murphy with his first pitch of the third inning. In the fourth, Murphy delivered a two-out RBI single that scored Brent Lillibridge. After his homer in the seventh, Murphy rallied from down 0-2 in the count to work a walk that loaded the bases against Tony Pena, Jr. in the eighth. After dipping down below .270 for the first time since his first week at Triple-A, Murphy has hit safely in four straight games, going 6-for-14 (.429) with three extra-base hits, three RBIs, two walks and three runs scored. The spurt has lifted his season-long contact clip by 13 points (.268-.281). The RailRiders’ primary catcher caught Steve Tolleson stealing. Murphy cut down Charlotte’s second-leading steals man during his first-inning try at second base. Tolleson had not been nabbed since June 21 at Indianapolis.
C.C.: Caleb Cotham (5-5) leveled his record with five innings of five-hit, one-run ball for his second win in as many starts and his third straight winning decision. After failing to post a monthly ERA below 5.71 between May, June or July, Cotham is off to a fantastic start this month. In three starts, he is 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA. While he only has five strikeouts over 18 innings on the month, he has also issued just three walks (1.5/9 IP) and has seen his groundout-to-airout ratio improve to 1.69 on the month. The team now has a winning record when Cotham gets the nod (7-6). His ERA, which peaked at 11.34 after a May 25 home loss to Durham, was at 7.49 following a tough loss at Pawtucket on July 3. Last night’s effort lowered it to 5.63 on the year, the best it has been since he suffered a rough setback in his second Triple-A start at Toledo on May 14.
NEW TO THE FOLD: Former Philadelphia Phillies hurler David Herndon made his RailRiders debut with 1.1 innings of scoreless and hitless relief. A fifth-rounder by the Angels in 2006, he was a Rule 5 pick by the Phillies in 2009. He made 92 appearances for the Phils from 2010-11, but needed Tommy John in 2012. Last night marked just his ninth career Triple-A appearance.
PLAYER PARADE: Herndon became the 69th different man to play for the RailRiders this season. There have been 35 position players and 34 pitchers in the RailRiders colors in 2013. Last season, Norfolk set the IL record by using 75 different players, surpassing the 74 players used by the 2003 Louisville Bats. The Tides also tied an IL record by using 25 different starting pitchers, and 15 different pitchers registered a save. Norfolk made 228 roster moves during the course of its 144-game season, and the Tides had just two players – outfielder Jamie Hoffmann and reliever Oscar Villarreal – remain active with the club throughout the year. By comparison, the RailRiders have seen 168 roster moves thus far, 20 different starting pitchers, and 12 different pitchers have registered a save. That does not include any moves that might be made today after press time of these notes. Only three men – Dan Johnson, Jim Miller and Bobby Wilson have been active RailRiders from Opening Day to date without interruption.
Moosic, Pa. – Corey Patterson celebrated his birthday in style as he helped lead the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) to a 7-1 rout of the Charlotte Knights (Chicago White Sox) on Tuesday night. Patterson recorded three hits, including his fourth home run of the season. He added two singles, a stolen base, and two runs scored on the day he turned 34.
It was Charlotte who took an early lead, as they scored one run in the first. Marcus Semien drew a walk to start the inning, and moved to third on a single by Steve Tolleson. Tolleson was thrown out at second base trying to steal, and SWB starter Caleb Cotham got Brent Morel to groundout. With two down, and Travis Ishikawa down to just one strike, Cotham was called for a balk which allowed Semien to score. Cotham struck out Ishikawa on the very next pitch to end the frame.
That would be it for Charlotte’s offense, and the RailRiders grabbed the lead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first. Patterson led off with a single to center field, and proceeded to steal second base. J.R. Murphy reached on an error that moved Patterson to third, and he scored when Melky Mesa legged out a fielder’s choice. After Dan Johnson reached on a fielder’s choice, Randy Ruiz doubled him home from first base.
SWB added another run in the fourth. With one out, Brent Lillibridge was hit by a pitch. Brendan Harris then knocked a base hit to move him to second, and he later scored on Murphy’s single to left field. Lillibridge would leave the game following the inning.
Two more runs were tacked on for the RailRiders in the seventh. Patterson hit a one-out home run, his fourth of the year, to start the scoring. Murphy followed with a home run of his own to make it 5-1 in favor of SWB. It was the fourth time SWB had gone back-to-back this season, and the first since July 7 when Patterson and Addison Maruszak combined for the feat.
The game’s scoring was capped in the eighth. Ruiz led off with a ground-rule double to left-center field, and scored when David Adams followed with a double down the right-field line. Adams scored on a single by Ronnier Mustelier, which gave the game its final margin of 7-1.
Cotham (5-5) worked five innings, and allowed just the one run that scored on the balk. It was Cotham’s sixth straight outing where he did not allow more than three runs. It also marks his second consecutive win, as the RailRiders improved to 7-6 when Cotham starts. Sam Demel recorded the final five outs to pick-up his third save of the season.
Charlotte starter Erik Johnson (2-1) started the game for Charlotte and allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits in six innings. The bullpen allowed four runs over just two innings.
The RailRiders and Knights will play game two of their four-game set Wednesday night at PNC Field. Chris Bootcheck (9-6, 3.90) will go for win number 10, and will be opposed by right-hander Jason Berken (10-11, 4.04). As always on Wednesday night games, kids 12 and under eat free. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m., and gates will open at 6 p.m. at PNC Field.
- SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! -
Moosic, Pa. – For a second consecutive game, the Buffalo Bisons (Triple-A/Toronto Blue Jays) built an early lead and survived a late rally by the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (New York Yankees) to win, 8-5. The RailRiders scored three runs in the seventh and two in the ninth, but fell three runs short on Sunday afternoon at PNC Field.
Buffalo raced out to a 2-0 lead in the third. Mike McCoy led off with a walk, and moved to third on a base hit by Anthony Gose. Following a stolen base by Gose, Kevin Pillar hit a triple to right field to clear the bases and put the Bisons in front.
A four-run fourth inning gave the Bisons a bit of breathing room. With one out, Andy LaRoche singled to left field, Following a base hit by Jim Negrych, Sean Ochinko walked to load the bases. Ryan Goins then knocked a base hit to move each runner up 90-feet and plate LaRoche. McCoy drew a walk to advance home Negrych, and Pillar capped the frame with a double down the left-field line to score both Ochinko and Goins. Buffalo led 6-0 after four innings.
A big swing put the RailRiders on the board in the seventh. Brendan Harris led off with a single, and J.R. Murphy later walked. Melky Mesa followed with a home run to left-center field, and it cut the lead in half.
Buffalo would pull two of those runs back in the eighth and ninth. Doubles by Moises Sierra and Ochinko plated a run in the eighth and ninth innings respectively.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre made things interesting with two runs in the ninth. Mesa began the rally with a single, and two outs later, moved to second on a base hit by Ronnier Mustelier. A balk put both runners in scoring position, and Brent Lillibridge delivered a two-run single to center field. The two-out rally was not enough in the 8-5 loss.
Former RailRider Chien-Ming Wang (7-7) tossed six shutout innings to earn the win. He struck out five, and issued three walks while lowering his season earned run average to 2.71.
David Huff (4-7) allowed six runs on nine hits over five and one-third innings to get the loss.
The RailRiders will take Monday off, but will return to action at PNC Field on Tuesday night. They’ll open a four-game series with the Charlotte Knights (Chicago White Sox). The game is just the third of an eight-game homestand that lasts through Sunday, Aug. 18. Tickets for all games can be purchased by calling (570)969-BALL (2255), by visiting swbrailriders.com, or by visiting the box office at PNC Field.
- SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! -