Louisville, KY. – On a night that the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (27-24) needed a break, it came in the form of a 56-minute rain delay. The RailRiders collected 15 base hits base and loaded the bases in four different frames, but it took a grand slam by Zelous Wheeler to sink the Louisville Bats (Cincinnati Reds) 6-5 Wednesday night at Louisville Slugger Field. The RailRiders moves the RailRiders to 6-0 against the International League West division, while also extending a run of six-straight road victories.
Trailing 5-0 after the Bats hung crooked numbers in the fifth and seventh, the RailRiders stormed back, tallying six unanswered runs. With the bases loaded in the visiting eighth, Russ Canzler put the RailRiders on the board with a two-run single that cut into the deficit to three, setting up Wheeler’s heroics in the ninth.
Adonis Garcia singled off Curtis Partch to open the ninth before the right-hander drilled Kyle Roller and allowed a single to Scott Sizemore that supplied the theatrics for Wheeler. Jim Miller closed out the ballgame for the RailRiders, retiring the Bats’ offensive attack with a 1-2-3 ninth.
Dean Anna collected a pair of base hits in the ballgame, going 2-for-5 to extend his hot streak, while Canzler and Joseph each added multiple base hits in the RailRiders win. Each of the nine SWB hitters added a base hit in the ballgame while Jim Miller tossed two scoreless innings and struck out five batters to pick up the win. Curtis Partch (0-1), after allowing four runs and five hits was slated with the loss.
The RailRiders will conclude the four-game run against Louisville Thursday, May 29 at 6:35 p.m. SWB sends right-hander Zach Nuding (2-2, 6.04) to the hill while the Bats will counter with former Yankee farm hand Chien-Mind Wang (4-4, 3.90). John Sadak and Aaron Berlin will have the call on radio with the pregame beginning at 6:05 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. For season ticket information, single-game tickets or to book a ballpark group outing, call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.
OFF THE RAILS:
With the win the RailRiders secured a winning month of May, extending their monthly total to 16-11.
Zelous Wheeler’s grand slam in the ninth inning was the first of his professional career and marked a RailRiders first since Melky Mesa delivered a bases-clearing tater on August 9, 2013 against the Buffalo Bisons. Wheeler’s dinger was one of three on the Yankees’ farm as Peter O’Brian (Double-A Trenton) and Eduardo De Oleo (Low-A Charleston) each added grand slam’s of their own.
SWB has tallied 32 runs and 55 base hits in the first three games of the series against the Louisville Bats to bring the club’s team average up nearly 13 points to .264
- SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! –
BLOWN AWAY: Go figure. Play some games at Louisville Slugger Field against a team nicknamed the Bats and you find your swing. The RailRiders pounded out 16 hits with seven going for extra bases in an 11-4 thumping of Louisville on Tuesday. After scoring six runs in four games on their recent 1-3 homestand, the RailRiders have tallied 26 scores on 40 hits between the road trip’s first two affairs.
FOR COMPARISON’S SAKE: The RailRiders’ 26 runs through two games on this road trip match their total from the 10 prior contests combined. The franchise had not totaled 26 runs over consecutive games since July 25 and 26 in 2011. In those games, a 15-1 win versus Syracuse was followed by an 11-2 defeat of the Bisons in Buffalo. Those SWB Yankees had 31 combined hits between the two games. No SWB team had scored 26 or more runs in back-to-back road games since at least 2004.
TRY THIS ON FOR SIZE: Scott Sizemore fell a home run short of the cycle on a 3-for-6 night. After going 1-for-20 (.050) on the Lehigh Valley/Pawtucket road trip from May 13-20, Sizemore has gone 10-for-25 (.400).
OFF THE SCHNEID: Dean Anna snapped an 0-for-23 funk with hits in each of his last three at-bats. In his first game in over a week, Corban Joseph slammed two extra-base hits and drove in four runs. He joined current New York Yankee Zoilo Almonte as the lone RailRiders to enjoy a four-RBI game this season. Joseph last drove in four runs on Aug. 19, 2012 at Rochester. He registered a career-best five RBIs on May 30, 2010. The then-Tampa Yankee went 4-for-5 with two home runs at Bradenton. Austin Romine entered the game hitting .198 with a .274 OBP. He reached base safely four times. The catcher went 2-for-3, doubled once, walked twice (once intentionally) and scored a pair of runs.
LET’S GET HIM ON: Antoan Richardson was the lone man in the nine that failed to hit. But he reached on a walk, a bruise and a squeeze bunt/sacrifice that scored Joseph from third in the seventh. He also stole two bases to lift his season-high total to a team-best 15. He has not been caught stealing in 38 attempts since May 28, 2013 against Lehigh Valley when he was a Rochester Red Wing. Richardson ranks second in the IL in steals and fourth in OBP (.402).
HEATING UP: Jose Pirela has hit safely in 10 of 11, going 19-for-46 (.413). More than half of that run has come on the road where he is a .326 hitter. Ramon Flores has hit safely in 12 of his last 13 and leads SWB with 26 walks and 15 doubles.
ON A ROLL: Kyle Roller blasted an opposite-way two-run homer on a two-hit night. With his Double-A time, he leads the Yankees’ farm with his composite .348 average. He also ranks second in homers (12) and is tied for third in RBIs (31).
OFF THE RAILS: The RailRiders had nearly as many extra-base hits (7) and hits with men in scoring position (6) as Louisville had in the game (8)…The RailRiders have won a season-best five straight road games…SWB has gone 6-0 against IL West teams…It is two games into playing 20 of 24 against IL West squads…The RailRiders’ season-long team batting average has shot up 10 points (.255-.265) based on their 49th and 50th games of the season…Before the game, the New York Yankees announced that SWB southpaw Matt Tracy was sent to Double-A Trenton…He started for the Thunder on Tuesday and allowed one run on six hits in 6.2 innings for his fifth Double-A win at Reading…Two Yankees prospects won weekly league honors on Tuesday…Dante Bichette, Jr. was named the Florida State League Hitter of the Week with Adv.-A Tampa…He hit .357/.406/.714 on a 10-for-28 week with three home runs and 13 RBIs…Trenton’s Jeremy Bleich claimed Eastern League Pitcher of the Week accolades…The 2008 first-round pick out of Stanford struck out a career-best 10 against Richmond in seven scoreless innings…Louisville fell to 6-16 (.273) against the IL North…The Bats are 18-11 (.621) against teams in the West and South…Position player Kristopher Negron played shortstop and center field in the game for the Bats before making his pro pitching debut with a scoreless ninth inning.
TOUCHDOWN RAILRIDERS: Coming off a 1-3 homestand that saw them score six runs, the RailRiders pounded out 24 hits in a 15-8 record-setting rout of the Louisville Bats on Memorial Day. The RailRiders posted their biggest come-from-behind win of the season and assembled the highest hit total ever allowed by Louisville. It made for the SWB franchise’s highest hit total in the Yankees’ era and third-highest of all-time. All nine men in the RailRiders lineup finished with a hit and eight enjoyed multi-hit showings.
TRY THIS ON FOR SIZE: Scott Sizemore posted a pair of hits as he continues to climb out of the depths carved out by a recent slump. After he went 1-for-20 (.050) on the Lehigh Valley/Pawtucket road trip from May 13-20, Sizemore has gone 7-for-19 (.368) with his first home run since 2011 and three walks.
UNDER MY PIRELA: Jose Pirela went 3-for-7 with a steal and a run scored. He has hit safely in nine of 10, going 18-for-41 (.439) with two doubles, one homer and four RBIs. More than half of the run has come on the road where he is a .333 hitter.
IN BLOOM: Ramon Flores homered twice, walked once and scored four runs on a 3-for-6 day. It marked his second career multi-homer game. The last came on June 26, 2012 at Fort Myers (Minnesota Twins) while with Advanced-A Tampa. He has hit safely in 11 of his last 12 and leads SWB with 26 walks and 14 doubles. He became the second RailRider to homer twice in a game this season. Current Yankee Zoilo Almonte did so at Buffalo in game two of an April 17 twinbill.
ON A ROLL: Kyle Roller reached safely in each of his six plate appearances. He went 4-for-4 with two doubles, two walks, two runs scored and an RBI. With his time at Double-A Trenton, Roller leads the Yankees’ farm with his composite .346 average. He also ranks second in home runs (11) and is tied for fourth in RBIs (29).
BACK ON TRACK: Adonis Garcia snapped an 0-for-18 slide with two hits. He also drove in a pair of runs, scored twice and stole a bag. His funk came after he assembled the franchise’s longest hitting streak in half a decade, a 17-game string from May 3-20.
CANZLER CAN: Russ Canzler went 3-for-4 with a double, two RBIs, two walks and two runs scored. He has an extra-base hit in three straight games for the first time this season.
FOR THE RECORD: The SWB franchise record for hits in a game is 27, delivered by the Red Barons at Toledo on May 31, 1998. The second-highest total also came at Toledo with 26 on June 19, 1993. Louisville’s prior record for hits allowed in a game was 23, set by the Knights at Charlotte on June 7, 2005.
OFF THE RAILS: The RailRiders’ season-long team batting average shot up seven points (.255-.262) based on their 49th game of the season…Before the game, the Yankees announced that SWB right-hander Branden Pinder was placed on the DL…The RailRiders have won a season-best four straight road games…SWB went 11-for-24 (.458) with runners in scoring position and walked a season-high-tying seven times…Louisville fell to 6-15 against the IL North…The Bats are 18-11 (.621) against teams in the West and South…The 15 runs scored fell a tally short of the squad’s most explosive game this season…The high-water mark came in a 16-2 annihilation of the Tides at Norfolk on May 4…The RailRiders’ pitching staff allowed a season-high 16 hits…Shane Greene (2-2) survived a five-run, six-hit first inning to pick up his second straight Triple-A triumph.
Moosic, Pa. – After shutting out Rochester Red Wings (Minnesota Twins) potent attack Saturday night, the Red Wings’ offense pounded out 10 base hits in a 6-2 loss Sunday afternoon at PNC Field. Three different Rochester batters added extra base hits, including two doubles by Dan Rohlfing, while the former Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) farm hand Doug Bernier went 3-for-4 with two RBI in the loss.
SWB tagged Rochester starter Kris Johnson for two early runs. Jose Pirela and Ramon Flores each hit singles in the first inning before Pedro Florimon’s errant throw on a double play ball allowed Pirela to score for the early 1-0 lead.
SWB added another tally in the second after Russ Canzler doubled for the second time in as many days and scored on an RBI base knock by Francisco Arcia. The run by Canzler pushed the RailRiders lead to 2-0 before Rochester’s bats heated up.
From there, Johnson settled in. The 2006 first-round selection retired his next 17 batters faced, scattering five strikeouts before issuing a walk to Pirela in the seventh.
With SWB leading 2-0, Rochester plated six unanswered runs to end the game. Rochester’s three through seven batters carried the load offensively, as all four batters either doubled or scored a run in the game. The big turning point occurred in the fifth and sixth as the Red Wings plated five runs against RailRiders starter, Joel De La Cruz.
Four-straight batters added productive at-bats to begin the fifth, including a double by Dan Rohfling that gave Rochester runners at second and third. Bernier drove in his first run on a base hit before a sacrifice fly and a throwing error led to two more runs that pushed the lead to 4-2 for Rochester.
Two more runs crossed in the visiting sixth after Wilkin Ramirez doubled and scored on an extra base hit by Rohfling before Bernier brought the final tally across on his second RBI of the day for the 6-2 lead.
De La Cruz (1-2) was tagged for the loss, while Kris Johnson (1-2) tossed eight complete innings, scattering four hits in the win.
The RailRiders will hit the road for an eight-game road trip, beginning a four-game series against the Louisville Bats (Cincinnati Reds) Monday, May 26 at 4:05 p.m. SWB sends righty Shane Green (1-2, 4.56) to the hill while the Bats will counter with left-hander Matt Maloney (2-1, 2.79). John Sadak and Aaron Berlin will have the call on radio with the pregame beginning at 3:35 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. For season ticket information, single-game tickets or to book a ballpark group outing, call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.
OFF THE RAILS:
Dean Anna went 0-for-3 in Sunday’s game and is now just 1-for-33 in games played at PNC Field.
Adonis Garcia went 0-for-4 with a strikeout in Sunday’s game. Since his 17-game hitting streak came to close, Garcia finished off the RailRiders homestand 0-for-16 with four strikeouts.
Ramon Flores’ outfield assist in the assist in the third was his team-leading seventh of the year.
- SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! –
Moosic, Pa. – On Star Wars night at PNC Field, the force was strong with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) starter Zach Nuding (2-2). The big right-hander spun eight shutout innings, facing just one batter over the minimum in the RailRiders’ (24-23) 2-0 win over the Rochester Red Wings (Minnesota Twins) Saturday night.
Facing a Rochester lineup that hung seven runs the night before, Nuding gave way to a leadoff base hit by James Beresford before getting a double play and a strikeout to end the first. From there Nuding settled in, retiring his next 17 batters faced before giving up a hit in the seventh.
The RailRiders provided the right-hander with some support in the home third. Austin Romine reached on a walk and scored on a double down the left-field line by Jose Pirela, his seventh of the season.
With the 1-0 lead, Scott Sizemore added to the lead with a two-out solo home run in sixth. The home run by Sizemore marked his first of the season for the infielder and pushed the RailRiders advantage to 2-0.
The only Rochester scoring threat occurred in the visiting seventh. Beresford added his second hit on a double to begin the frame and moved to third on a single by Oswaldo Arcia. With runners at first and third, Nuding retired Deibinson Romero on a fly out to left before finishing off Josh Willingham on a 5-4-3 double play.
The two-run lead proved to be enough as Jose Ramirez wobbled through the ninth inning, allowing two base hits and loaded the bases before finishing the game with weak fly ball to center for his first save. Nuding picked up his second win at PNC Field after facing 25 batters, while Logan Darnell (1-2) was slated with the tough-luck loss.
The RailRiders will look to close out the four-game series against the Red Wings Sunday, May 25 at 1:05 p.m. at PNC Field. SWB sends righty Joel De La Cruz (1-1, 1.90) to the hill while the Red Wings counter with left-hander Kris Johnson (3-2, 2.08). John Sadak and Aaron Berlin will have the call on MyNetwork TV as Jim Riley fills in on raid. Pregame begins at 12:35 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. For season ticket information, single-game tickets or to book a ballpark group outing, call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.
OFF THE RAILS:
Scott Sizemore’s home run in sixth was his first since September 27, 2011 against the Seattle Mariners off Blake Beavan.
SWB picked up its first win against Rochester this season, snapping an eight-game losing streak that dated back to July of 2013.
Zach Nuding’s eight shutout innings marked the longest appearance of his professional career. The right-hander had spun seven innings three different times with the last coming May 21, 2012 against the Palm Beach Cardinals (Advanced-A/St. Louis Cardinals) of the Florida State League.
- SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! –
Moosic, Pa. – With two Major League rehabbers on the roster, the Rochester Red Wings (Minnesota Twins) took advantage. Rehabbing Mike Pelfrey got the ball, spinning five scoreless frames en route to his his first win, but the Red Wings’ (25-21) offense was the bigger issue in a 7-1 thumping of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees).
With runners at first and third, Brian Gordon found himself in trouble. The converted pitcher induced two infield flies before his command eluded him. Gordon walked Pedro Florimon on four-straight pitches to load the bases before a walk to Dan Rohfling brought in the game’s first run.
With the score at 1-0 in favor of Rochester, Willingham made his presence known in the third, blasting a two-run home run that pushed the lead to 3-0 at the end of the third.
Arcia joined the fun in the fourth. With two runners on, the slugging outfielder clubbed a three-run tater that pushed the game out of reach to 6-0.
The Red Wings tagged Mark Montgomery for a run in the sixth before Ramon Flores put the RailRiders (23-23) on the board in the home sixth with a solo dinger that cleared the right-field wall, his third of the season.
Gordon (2-5) lasted just four frames as the Red Wings tagged the RailRiders starter for two home runs and six runs in the loss while Pelfrey (1-0) twirled five scoreless frames to earn the win. The RailRiders bullpen combined for seven strikeouts on the night, including four-straight punch-outs from the sixth to the seventh.
The RailRiders will continue the short four-game run at PNC Field Saturday, May 24 with a 7:05 p.m. tilt against the Rochester Red Wings. SWB sends right-hander Zach Nuding (1-2, 8.83) while the Red Wings call upon Logan Darnell (1-1, 2.32). 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 sports 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 swbrailriders.com.
OFF THE RAILS:
Brian Gordon’s four inning start was his shortest of the season. The right-hander has now lost three of his last four decisions.
Ramon Flores went 2-for-4 in the game, including a double and home run.
SWB has now lost eight-straight games to Rochester dating back to July of 2013.
SWB went a combined 0-for-6 with RISP. For the series SWB is a combined 1-for-17 with runners in scoring position.
TOUGH-LUCK LOSS: Matt Tracy fired a career-best eight innings but left on the wrong side of a 2-1 score that went final as the RailRiders fell to the Red Wings in last night’s series opener.
WITHOUT A TRACY: Tracy became the first RailRider to last eight innings this season and did so on 96 pitches (62 strikes). He was perfect through four until Deibinson Romero doubled down the third-base line to begin the fifth.
FUN FACT: Tracy once faced last night’s Rochester starter, top-ranked Twins’ pitching prospect Alex Meyer, in college. Tracy was a two-way player for Ole Miss and stood in the batter’s box against Meyer, a Kentucky Wildcat.
LEAVING ‘EM ON: The RailRiders stranded a season-high-tying 12 men on the bases last night. A 1-for-11 showing with men in scoring position hurt the team’s run-scoring chances. The team had a run in with the bases loaded and one out in the sixth and later put the first two men on in the seventh and eighth.
ALL GOOD THINGS…: Adonis Garcia went 0-for-5 with a strikeout as the IL’s top active hitting streak came to a close at 17 games. His streak started May 3 and saw him go 32-for-71, slashing to the tune of .451/.480/.676/1.156 as his season-long average leapt 103 points (.237-.340). Garcia, who now ranks third in the IL in batting average on the season, posted the team’s best hitting streak since Todd Linden‘s 19-game run from April 14-May 4, 2009.
SMOKIN': Jose Pirela posted a pair of hits last night to extend his torrid stretch. In his brief six-game hit streak, Pirela has gone 13-for-24 (.542) in lifting his average to by 45 points to a season-best .305.
ON A ROLL: Kyle Roller logged two hits and drove in the RailRiders’ only run. After going 0-for-6 in his first two Triple-A games, Roller has hit .305 (11-for-36) over his last 10 contests. That includes five extra-base hits and five RBIs. Factoring in his time with Double-A Trenton, Roller leads the Yankees’ farm in composite average (.342), ranks second in home runs (11) and third in RBIs (28).
SCORELESS STRETCH: Oswaldo Arcia‘s run-scoring single in the sixth snapped SWB’s season-long 17-inning scoreless streak going back to the extra-inning Monday win at Pawtucket.
ARE YOU TOO GOOD FOR YOUR HOME?: The RailRiders have lost consecutive home games for the second time this season. The team has not dropped three straight at PNC Field since a four-game slide from Aug. 3-11, 2013 against Lehigh Valley and Buffalo. The RailRiders’ loss was the Red Wings’ first road win since April 24 at Pawtucket, snapping a nine-game skid away from Frontier Field.
OFF THE RAILS: The loss knocked the RailRiders into last place in the six-team IL North, but the nip-and-tuck divisional race has all six teams within 2.0 games of each other…Tracy became the first RailRider to last eight innings since Brett Marshall went eight exactly versus Toledo on July 24, 2013…Manager Dave Miley has called upon a pinch hitter twice this season…Both times, the name called off the bench has been NEPA’s own Russ Canzler…Last night Canzler bounced out to short, stranding men at second and third in the eighth…He walked on May 7 in a left-right switch while batting for Corban Joseph against Andy Oliver and loaded the bases…The RailRiders have lost seven straight match-ups with Rochester…The last SWB triumph was an 8-7 walk-off finish on July 9.
Pawtucket, R. I. –Shane Greene pitched six shutout innings and combined with two other RailRiders relievers to shutout the Pawtucket Red Sox (Boston Red Sox) 3-0 Tuesday at McCoy Stadium. Adonis Garcia added tallied four-hits for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Triple-A/New York Yankees), including a double and a home run. The win is the third-straight for SWB and finished the road trip at an even 4-4.
Garcia led off the RailRiders (23-21) third with a first-pitch home run that snuck over the right field wall for the early 1-0 lead. The home run by Garcia was his second of the season.
Scoreless middle frames followed as Pawtucket starter Anthony Ranaudo settled in, retiring six-straight hitters before issuing a walk and a single in the fifth. Greene was equally as impressive, retiring seven of his first eight before allowing his a base hit to Mike McCoy in the third.
One of the few Pawtucket scoring opportunities took place in the fourth. With Daniel Nava standing at first base, Brandon Snyder doubled down the left-field line. Nava hustled around third, but a relayed throw from Garcia cut down Nava sliding into home to preserve the 1-0 the SWB lead.
The lead swelled with a two-run seventh that sent six RailRiders o the plate. Antoan Richardson reached on a walk and moved to second on a single by Jose Gil. A ground ball by Jose Pirela cut down Gil advancing to second for the first out before Garcia added insurance with a run-scoring single to left. Flores followed with an RBI of his own that pushed the lead to 3-0.
Greene (1-2) had his longest outing of the season, twirling six scoreless inning of four-hit ball in the win while Ranaudo (4-3) tossed 5.1 innings, needing 106 pitches to work his way through the RailRiders line up in the loss. Robert Coello pitched the final 1.2 innings to pick up his second save of the season, striking out four batters in the process.
The RailRiders will take a break from the road when the club returns home to PNC Field Wednesday, May 22 for a 6:35 p.m. tilt against the Rochester Red Wings. SWB tossed left-hander Matt Tracy (0-0, 5.40) while the Red Wings call upon righty Alex Meyer (2-1, 3.79). John Sadak and Aaron Berlin will have the call on MyNetwork TV as Jim Riley fills in on radio with the pregame show beginning at 6:05 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. For season ticket information, single-game tickets or to book a ballpark group outing, call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.
OFF THE RAILS:
The combined shutout is the third of the seasons for the RailRiders and first since a 5-0 win over Buffalo on April 23.
Adonis Garcia collected his fourth outfield assist of the season, trailing only Ramon Flores (5) on the RailRiders active roster in the category.
With his base hit in the first, Adonis Garcia extended his team-best 17-game winning streak with a four-for-five day. During the 17-game run Garcia is 32-for-70 (.457).
Pawtucket, R.I. – On a night they hit into a triple play, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) found the resolve to rally and defeat the Pawtucket Red Sox (Boston Red Sox) at McCoy Stadium in 10 innings, 5-3. The RailRiders (22-21) posted their third win in four games while the PawSox (25-21) lost for the fifth time in seven games.
Dean Anna gave his team a 1-0 lead with a run-scoring groundout in the second inning. That seemed to be enough with the way starter Joel De La Cruz was tossing. At one point, he retired 11 straight PawSox from the close of the first until Corey Brown singled with one out in the fifth. The next hitter, Dan Butler, bounced into a double play.
But in the sixth, Mike McCoy worked a one-out walk and Ryan Roberts followed with a single that sent McCoy to third. Daniel Nava subsequently sent McCoy home with a sacrifice fly for a 1-1 draw. De La Cruz allowed just that one run on four hits over 5.2 innings. He walked two and struck out a season-best six.
Mark Montgomery, who stranded two inherited runners in the sixth, ran into trouble an inning later. The first three men reached base in Garin Cecchini, Corey Brown and Dan Butler with Cecchini scoring on a wild pitch. Roberts singled Brown home for a 3-1 margin and Nava then walked to load the bases. But Montgomery got a fly-out to right from clean-up hitter Ryan Lavarnway to leave ‘em loaded.
In the eighth, Adonis Garcia connected on a two-run homer to left-center that tied the game against Drake Britton. Consecutive walks to Ramon Flores and Kyle Roller extended the threat before Zelous Wheeler bounced into a history-making series of outs. He had shown bunt multiple times with the infield in, but ultimately chopped a bouncer to the drawn-in Cecchini at third. Cecchini retreated, hit third for one and ignited an around-the-horn triple play.
Jim Miller (3-1) struck out three men over two perfect innings in providing a bridge to free baseball. Chris Hernandez (1-4) fired a 1-2-3 ninth but had trouble in the 10th. Jose Pirela reached for the fifth time in as many plate appearances with a high-bouncing single to Lavarnway at first. He hustled hard down the line and just reached the bag ahead of the choppy steps of Hernandez covering. Garcia then walked and Flores snapped the deadlock with a single to right. Nava’s throw in was late as Pirela scored, Garcia took third and Flores advanced to second on the throw.
Roller then skied a ball to left that allowed Garcia to tag up and score, but Flores got caught in a rundown for a 7-5-6-4 sacrifice-fly double play that ended the inning. In the bottom half of the inning, Diego Moreno struck out two and allowed just a two-out Lavarnway single for his first save.
The RailRiders conclude their eight-game homestand Tuesday, May 20 at 12:05 p.m. SWB will toss right-hander Shane Greene (0-2, 6.11) against PawSox right-hander Anthony Ranaudo (4-2, 3.47). John Sadak and Aaron Berlin will have the call on radio with the pregame show beginning at 11:35 a.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. For season ticket information, single-game tickets or to book a ballpark group outing, call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.
OFF THE RAILS:
The IL’s first triple play of 2014 was Pawtucket’s first since June 26, 2009 against the Norfolk Tides. The only SWB triple play turned occurred June 5, 1997 at Norfolk. In game two of a doubleheader, singles by two SWB alumni then with the Tides, Wes Chamberlain and Phil Geisler, put runners on first and second. Chris Saunders then hit a soft liner to shortstop Desi Relaford who stepped on second to double-up Chamberlain and threw to Mike Robertson at first to complete the trifecta.
On the season, the RailRiders have now been no-hit (April 26 at Durham) and have seen an opponent turn a triple play against them.
Adonis Garcia added another multi-hit effort, going 2-for-4 with his game-tying homer and stretched his hitting streak to 16 games. His streak has lifted his season-long average by 87 points (.237-.324). Garcia owns the team’s best hitting streak since Todd Linden‘s 19-game run from April 14-May 4, 2009.
Jose Pirela posted his fourth straight multi-hit performance (3-for-3, 2BB) and lifted his season-long average to a season-high .303. He has gone 10-for-15 over those three affairs, raising his contact clip by 43 points.
Pawtucket suffered its first extra-inning loss of the year while the RailRiders tied the PawSox for the league’s best record in free baseball (5-1).
The RailRiders have won consecutive road games for the second time this season. The only other occasion came on April 17 when they swept the Bisons in a doubleheader at Buffalo. The franchise has not won three straight road games since July 26-28, 2013, all at Louisville.
BOUNCING BACK: The RailRiders never trailed in posting a 3-2 Sunday victory over the PawSox at McCoy Stadium.
JOSE CAN YOU SEE: In his third game as a RailRider, Jose Gil came through. The back-up backstop bounced a two-out, two-strike pitch up the middle to plate a pair of second-inning runs. Gil is now 1-for-8 as a RailRider.
TRIPLE THREAT: Kyle Roller notched his first triple of the season at the start of the second inning. Roller’s 10th career three-base hit was his first in more than a year. He last logged one on April 27, 2013 while with Double-A Trenton against Portland, the Eastern League affiliate of the Red Sox. Zach Nuding, who started yesterday’s game for SWB, got the nod that day as well.
FOLLOW THE LEADER: While the RailRiders failed to plate leadoff runners in the first, second, third, fourth, fifth and seventh innings, they did get a run-scoring groundout from Jose Pirela in the eighth for the decisive tally. It scored Roller who began the inning by taking a bruise from Rich Hill (1-2).
LEAVING ‘EM ON: The RailRiders stranded 10 men on base and saw several baserunning gambles fall short as they went 2-for-18 with men in scoring position. On the road trip.
5-FOR-5: Switch pitcher Pat Venditte (1-0) struck out all five men he faced in his first Triple-A appearance since 2012 and got the win. Counting his time at Double-A, on the season Venditte has whiffed 35 men while walking five over 23.2 innings (13.3 K/9IP). He has held his foes to a .134 batting average and owns a composite 0.68 WHIP.
OH DANNY BOY: Danny Burawa survived a pair of ninth-inning walks and posted a five-out save, his first at the Triple-A level and the 10th on his pro career. He is the sixth different RailRider to log a save this season.’
HOT HITTER: Adonis Garcia added another multi-hit effort, going 2-for-5 with a double that stretched his hitting streak to 15 games. His current surge of success began May 3 and since that time he owns the IL’s best second-best contact clip. His 26-for-62 performance makes for slashes of .419/.446/.565/1.072 as his season-long average has leapt 82 points (.237-.319). Garcia owns the team’s best hitting streak since Brent Lillibridge composed a 15-gamer from June 27-July 13 last season. With a hit in his next game, Garcia would boast SWB’s longest hitting streak since Todd Linden‘s 19-game run from April 14-May 4, 2009.
WHO’S HOT: Pirela posted his third straight multi-hit performance (2-for-4, 2B, RBI, R) and lifted his season-long average to a season-high .288. He has gone 7-for-12 over those three affairs, raising his contact clip by 28 points.
WHO’S NOT: Scott Sizemore went 0-for-5 with four strikeouts. He leads the team with 43 whiffs in 98 at-bats. Over his last five games, he has gone 1-for-18 with eight strikeouts as his average has dipped by 43 points to a season-low .245.
OFF THE RAILS: While Pawtucket remains in first place in the IL North, the nip-and-tuck divisional race has all six games within 3.0 games of each other…Zach Nuding‘s 5.2 innings tied for his longest career Triple-A appearance, deadlocking with his June 21, 2013 debut at the level against Norfolk…Tonight, SWB bids for its second set of consecutive road wins this season…The only other turn of the trick came in a doubleheader sweep at Buffalo on April 17.