WIN SOME, YOU LOSE SOME: The RailRiders split a unique “doubleheader” last night with the Syracuse Chiefs, but the win is actually attributed to July. The first game was the completion of a suspended game from July 12, and the contest was resumed in the top of the 12th with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre as the home team. The game did not last much longer, as the RailRiders walked off with the win on visiting soil thanks to a bloop single by Alberto Gonzalez that plated Melky Mesa.
THE NIGHT CAP: That winning feeling did not last long for SWB, as they dropped the regularly scheduled game, 3-2. After trailing 1-0, the RailRiders went in front thanks to a two-run home run from Mesa in the top of the third inning. The Chiefs then plated two runs in the bottom of the fourth, and the pitching staffs tossed zeros on the board the rest of the way. Following his loss, David Huff dropped to 0-2 against Syracuse with a 5.68 ERA. Huff picked up the loss after throwing five frames and allowing three earned runs.
DOMINANT DEMEL: A disabled list stint disrupted the stellar season that was being put together by Sam Demel, but he seems to have not missed a beat since returning on July 23. Demel has allowed just one run in six and two-thirds innings since his return from the DL. His strikeout and opponent hit numbers are impressive, but one can only imagine what they’d be like had he not missed over a month. Entering tonight, Demel has struck out 46 batters in 38.2 innings, and he’s held opposing batters to a .184 average.
YOSHI SAYS NO: Despite his reputation as being a right-handed specialist, Yoshinori Tateyama has been most effective against left-handers. He’s held lefties to a .125 average, while righties have hit .327 against him. He was equally dominant last night however, as Tateyama allowed just one hit over two scoreless innings. Yoshi is averaging one strikeout per inning, and has walked just three batters.
LONG TIME, NO GONE: Mesa has had a few disruptions to his tenure with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season. He hit the disabled list after hitting a wall on
June 11, but he returned to the lineup on July 12. He was then called up by the New York Yankees, where he went 5-13 with two doubles and an RBI. His home run last night was his first since the game he was injured in on June 11 at PNC Field. Despite the time away, Mesa still ranks third on the club in round trippers.
GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN: The July 12 game was also the last time super utility man Addison Maruszak played in a game. Maruszak left after just one at-bat in the contest and was placed on the disabled list after the ballgame. Maruszak was activated off the DL prior to last night’s regularly scheduled game, but did not play. He takes the place of David Adams, who was recalled by the Yankees after Derek Jeter was placed on the 15-day DL with a right calf strain. Adams started at first base last night in Chicago, and went 0-3 against the White Sox.
SMALL POWER OUTAGE: The start to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre career of Randy Ruiz was powerful, as the big right-handed bat hit nine home runs in the month of August, averaging one per three games. His power numbers have slowed down, as Ruiz has not homered since July 28 in Louisville, but is still second on the team with 14. Ruiz hasn’t let the recent power outage hurt him, as he’s batting .375 (12-32) since his last home run.
SO LONG FRIEND: Tonight marks the last time the Chiefs and RailRiders will play in the 2013 regular season. The RailRiders clinched the season series with the win in the suspended game last night, and will try to beat the Chiefs for a tenth time tonight.
Syracuse, N.Y. – The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) added to their July win total by completing a suspended game from July 12 with the Syracuse Chiefs (Washington Nationals). The RailRiders completed the suspended game with a 7-6 walk-off win, but SWB fell in the regularly scheduled contest, 3-2.
The two squads picked up the July 12 suspended game in the top of the 12th inning. The RailRiders played as the home team since the game was suspended at PNC Field. Neither team scored in the 12th, but SWB walked off in the 13th. Melky Mesa began the rally when he drew a one-out walk. Mesa then stole second base, and moved to third on an infield single by Brendan Harris. That setup Alberto Gonzalez, who blooped a single to left field to plate Mesa, and give SWB the suspended game win.
The victory was short-lived, as the RailRiders dropped the regularly scheduled game later on, 3-2. The game got off to a fast start for Syracuse, as Eury Perez led off the bottom of the first with a double. He moved to third base on a single by Jeff Kobernus, and scored when Tyler Moore hit a sacrifice fly to right field.
The RailRiders grabbed the lead in the top of the third. With one out, Harris smacked a single to right field. Mesa followed with a two-run blast to left-center field that gave SWB the 2-1 advantage. It was Mesa’s 10th home run of the season, and his first in a RailRider uniform since June 11.
The lead would not last long, as the Chiefs went in front for good with a pair of runs in the fourth. With two outs, Corey Brown began the rally with a base hit. Zach Walters then singled up the middle to move Brown to third. Jhonatan Solano followed with a base hit to right field that plated Brown, and advanced Walters to second base. Josh Johnson capped the inning with a single that scored Walters, but Solano was thrown out at home to end the inning.
The out at home would not matter, as Yunesky Maya (7-7) turned in a gem. He went eight innings, and allowed just two runs on five hits. He did not walk a batter, and struck out five. Erik Davis worked a routine ninth inning to earn his 12th save of the season.
SWB starter David Huff (1-5) allowed three runs over five innings of work, and picked up the loss. He struck out six without walking a batter, as Yoshinori Tateyama and Sam Demel combined to throw three scoreless innings in relief.
The RailRiders will wrap-up their season series with the Chiefs on Wednesday night. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m., as Caleb Cotham (3-5, 6.26) will take the mound for SWB. Cotham is looking to build upon his last outing when he worked into the seventh inning against Indianapolis. Pre-game coverage will get underway at 6:30 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! -
HOME AND AWAY: Tonight the RailRiders and Chiefs will play a unique “doubleheader” at NBT Bank Stadium. The first game is the completion of a suspended game from July 12 played at PNC Field. That means Scranton/Wilkes-Barre will be the home team on the scoreboard, and the game will be picked up in the top of the 12th inning. Following the conclusion of that game, the RailRiders and Chiefs will play the regularly scheduled contest, and the RailRiders will go back to batting in the top half of each inning.
NOT SO FUN SUNDAY: SWB had the day off on Monday, but they took a 7-3 loss on Sunday afternoon to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Things started out well for SWB, who led 2-1 after two innings of play and had their recent ace on the mound in Brett Marshall. Things changed in the sixth, when the Lehigh Valley offense broke through against Marshall and plated six runs in the frame to take a 7-2 lead. The RailRiders would add a run in the eighth, but it was not enough.
OFF-DAY SLIP: While the RailRiders took a much needed day off from play on Monday, the first-place Rochester Red Wings picked up a half-game on SWB by defeating the Durham Bulls. Pat Dean, a 2010 third-rounder from Boston College, shutdown the International League’s best team in his first career Triple-A start. Dean tossed seven shutout frames in the win. The RailRiders also lost ground in the Wildcard chase, as Pawtucket bested Buffalo thanks to Dan Butler, 5-4.
GARCIA GOING GOOD: With his 2-3 performance on Sunday, Adonis Garcia has now hit safely in 21 of his 24 games played with the RailRiders. An unknown talent when he was signed out of Cuba in May of last season, Garcia has provided a steady contact bat in a RailRider lineup that lacked one upon his arrival. He is just one at-bat shy of 100, and has knocked 32 base hits in his 99 at-bats so far. While only eight of his hits have gone for extra-bases, his speed and base running ability makes him a dangerous weapon when he’s aboard.
NOT YOU AGAIN: While it is unclear who will be on the mound for each side when the suspended game resumes on Tuesday evening, the starters for the regularly scheduled game are set. Coincidentally, it will be SWB’s David Huff and Syracuse’s Yunesky Maya, who each started the suspended game on July 12. Huff allowed six runs over five and one-third innings in that start, and Maya was on cruise control until he gave up four runs in the sixth.
PUT ME IN COACH: The RailRiders will be a bit short when it comes to eligible players during the suspended game. Of the 10 position players to take part in the July 12 game, only four are eligible to play. Dave Miley’s options in the bullpen are a bit less as well, because Jim Miller, Mike Zagurski, and Matt Daley have already pitched and been taken out of the game.
BIG FAN OF THE CHIEFS: Since he joined the team on June 17, Randy Ruiz has flourished against Syracuse pitching. In his seven contests, Ruiz has posted a .407 (11-27) average with three home runs, five RBIs, and eight runs scored. As a team, the RailRiders are hitting .284 against Chiefs pitching with 14 home runs. SWB needs just one win to secure a winning season in the series.
ALUMNI UPDATE: While the New York Yankees lost on Sunday in San Diego, it was a big day for former SWB catcher Austin Romine. He hit his first career Major League home run in the eighth inning off of San Diego’s Dale Thayer. The solo blast went to left-center field, and cut the lead to 6-3. Romine is batting .435 (10-23) over the last 10 games he has played…Former RailRider closer Preston Claiborne tossed an inning and one-third of scoreless relief on Monday, and has now thrown 38.0 innings with the Yankees. He has held big league opponents to a .218 average, and has a 3-1 strikeout to walk ratio (30K/10BB).
Moosic, Pa. – A six-run sixth inning helped propel the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Triple-A/Philadelphia Phillies) to a 7-3 victory over the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (New York Yankees) on Sunday afternoon. The IronPigs now hold a 5-3 lead in the IronRail series with eight more games to be played between the two squads.
A run in the top of the first helped Lehigh Valley grab an early lead. Freddy Galvis doubled to center field with one out, and would later score on a single by cleanup man Josh Fields.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre leveled the game with a run in the bottom of the first. Adonis Garcia started the rally with a single, and moved to second when Dan Johnson drew a walk. Randy Ruiz then sent a single to left field to drive home Garcia and knot the game at one.
A mammoth home run gave the RailRiders the lead in the bottom of the second. Ronnier Mustelier led off the frame with a home run to straightaway center field. It was Mustelier’s fifth home run of the season and it gave SWB the 2-1 advantage.
That lead lasted until the sixth, when it was erased by the six-run sixth inning for the IronPigs. Steve Susdorf led off with a single, and then scored when Fields doubled him home. Cody Overbeck followed with a two-run home run to right field. Tyler Henson then singled, stole second base, and moved to third on a throwing error. With the infield in, Cameron Rupp hit a hard single through the left side to plate Henson. After Tyson Gillies doubled, Leandro Castro capped the inning with a two-run double to push the Lehigh Valley lead to 7-2.
SWB would add a run in the eighth to trim the deficit. David Adams reached on an infield single with one out, and moved up to second on a walk to Garcia. Johnson then hit a single to right field to score Adams, but that was the game’s final score.
David Buchanan (1-0) made his first Triple-A start for Lehigh Valley and got the win. He allowed two runs on six hits over seven innings of work.
SWB starter Brett Marshall (5-9) looked impressive in his first five innings before struggling in the sixth. He ended up conceding seven runs in five and one-third frames in the loss.
The RailRiders will take the day off on Monday before returning to action on the road on Tuesday. They’ll make the trip to Syracuse, N.Y., and will resume a suspended game from July 12 at 6 p.m. Following the conclusion of that contest, the RailRiders and Chiefs (Washington Nationals) will play the regularly schedule nine-inning contest. SWB returns home to PNC Field on Saturday, August 10 to face the Buffalo Bisons (Toronto Blue Jays).
- SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! -
PICKET FENCE: Single scores in five of the game’s first six innings let Lehigh Valley leap out to a 5-0 lead en route to a 5-1 loss for the RailRiders last night.
DAN THE MAN: The lone SWB score came courtesy of a Dan Johnson home run, his team-leading 18th of the year. It came on a 3-for-3 night with a walk to boot. Johnson suffered through a 6-for-57 (.105) slump from July 9-26 that lowered his average by 23 points (.253-.232). Since then, he has gone 13-for-32 (.406) over his last eight games with six extra-base hits and six RBIs. He has hit safely in six straight including homers in each of his last two. The team’s leader in taters and RBIs (58) has the IL’s second-highest walk total (74), one that places him in the top 10 of all the minors (T-9th).
FALLING BEHIND: With Rochester’s stunning surprise of Syracuse last night, the RailRiders have lost more ground. The Red Wings answered a five-spot with the same in the 10th thanks to a Chris Clement two-out game-tying grand slam en route to a 7-6 win in 12 innings. SWB stands 7.0 games out in the IL North and in fifth place. The club has not been more than 7.0 games back since it turned a 14.5-game deficit on June 28 into a 5.0-game hole on July 14. Three of the five teams in front of the RailRiders in the wild-card chase claimed victory last night, as did the two teams just 1.0 and 2.0 games back of them.
GREEK GOD: Adonis Garcia went 0-for-4 with a strikeout and a groundball double play as the team’s three-hole hitter last night, snapping the team’s then-longest active hitting streak at nine games. It marks just the third time in 23 games with SWB that the Cuban defector has gone hitless.
C.C.: Southpaw Cesar Cabral joined the team from Double-A Trenton yesterday and enjoyed a sensational Triple-A debut. He retired all four batters he faced, whiffing three of them, and delivering strikes with 10 of his 15 pitches. An international free agent signee by Boston in July 2005, he was twice taken in the Rule 5 draft (Tampa Bay, 2010; Kansas City, 2011). The Royals traded him to the Yankees for cash, but after challenging for a bullpen spot with the Yanks, he missed last season with injury (stress fracture/left elbow). Cabral had hurled at two levels this season, working in relief for Advanced-A Tampa (5G, 0-0-0/0, 2.75) and Double-A Trenton (15G, 1-0-0/1, 5.49).
DEMEL DOMINATION: Before Cabral closed things out, Sam Demel bridged the way with one of his better showings of the season. Demel struck out the first four he faced during 1.2 innings of his own perfect baseball. He was also in the zone exceedingly often, firing 13 of his 17 pitches for a strike.
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 loser 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. Last night tipped the 2013 series to the ‘Pigs, 4-3. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre owns a 51-36 lead in the all-time series dating back to Lehigh Valley’s inaugural 2008 season. The two clubs split the season series in 2012. In the event of future 8-8 ties, the club that wins the final regular-season meeting will also claim the IronRail Trophy.
THE MELK MAN: Earlier today, Melky Mesa reported to SWB after being optioned down by the Yankees. He saw time in five games during his recent stay with the Bombers, he hit .385 (5-for-13) with two doubles, an RBI and two runs scored. He has not played for the RailRiders since July 19 versus Louisville. Today, he is set to lead off for the sixth time this season. He has an OBP of .304 as the leadoff man, but just .277 overall thanks to seven total walks.
Moosic, Pa. – The Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Triple-A/Philadelphia Phillies) scored in five of the first six innings to defeat the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (New York Yankees) on Saturday night, 5-1. The RailRiders got superb pitching from their bullpen, who struck out seven of the nine batters they faced.
Early on it was the home run that cost SWB. With one out in the top of the first, Freddy Galvis slammed a home run over the Budweiser RailHouse in right field to give the IronPigs an early 1-0 lead. It was Galvis’ third home run of the season with Lehigh Valley. The IronPigs hit another solo homer in the third; it was a lead-off homer from Tyson Gillies. Gillies’ third as an IronPig made it 2-0.
Josh Fields led off the fourth inning with a base hit. Cody Overbeck then hit a ground-rule double over the left-center field fence to move Fields to third base. Pete Orr delivered with a run-scoring single through the left side.
The IronPigs continued to score in small sizes in the fifth. Derrick Mitchell drew a walk, moved to second on a single by Galvis, and then to third on a fielder’s choice. He scored on a passed ball to stretch the Lehigh Valley advantage to 4-0. That was extended to five as the IronPigs scored their final run in the sixth. Tyler Henson reached on an error and later scored on a double by Steve Lerud.
The lone RailRider run came in the bottom of the sixth. With two outs, Dan Johnson clubbed a home run to right field to cut the lead to 5-1. It was Johnson’s team-leading 18th home run of the season, as Johnson stretched his current hitting streak to six games.
IronPigs starter Tyler Cloyd (4-8) worked efficiently and tossed seven innings. He allowed just one run on six hits, and struck out seven in the win. B.J. Rosenberg pitched the final two innings out of the Lehigh Valley bullpen.
Chris Bootcheck (9-5) started the contest for SWB and took the loss. He allowed five runs, only three of them earned, on nine hits over six frames. Sam Demel and Cesar Cabral worked the final three innings, and combined to strikeout seven of the nine batters they faced.
The RailRiders and IronPigs will wrap-up their short two-game series at PNC Field on Sunday afternoon. It’s Family Funday presented by NEPA Honda, and gates will open up at Noon for a 1:05 p.m. first pitch. Prospect right-hander Brett Marshall (5-8, 5.13) will take the mound for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre as he looks to build on his great month of July. He’ll be opposed by David Buchanan, who will make his first start for Lehigh Valley since being promoted from Double-A.
- SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! -
Indianapolis, Ind. – A two-run double by Darren Ford in the fifth inning erased an advantage by the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) as the Indianapolis Indians (Pittsburgh Pirates) defeated SWB on Friday night, 3-2. The RailRiders won the first three games of their eight-game road trip, but finished the trip with a 4-4 record.
Things did not get off to a good start for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, as Indianapolis took an early lead in the third. Ivan DeJesus Jr. led off with a base hit, and then moved to second on a wild pitch. Ford then laid down a bunt single, and Chase d’Arnaud grounded out to drive home DeJesus Jr.
A big swing of the bat tied the game for the RailRiders in the fourth. Dan Johnson led off the frame with a solo homer to right-center field, as it bounced halfway up the lawn area at Victory Field. It was Johnson’s team-leading 17th home run of the season, and it tied the contest at one.
SWB took a 2-1 lead in the fifth. With one out, Alberto Gonzalez blooped a single to right field. A balk by David Bromberg moved him to second, and David Adams later singled to center field to drive Gonzalez home. It was the second consecutive game Adams had plated Gonzalez.
The lead would not last long, as the Indians took the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth. With one out, Ali Solis singled to right field. DeJesus. Jr. then doubled down the left-field line, as it moved Solis to third base. Ford followed with a double off the wall in left, and it drove home both Solis and DeJesus Jr.
Bromberg (1-1) allowed just two runs in five and two-thirds innings en route to the win. He walked one batter, and struck out four. Ryan Reid worked the final two innings to earn his second save of the season.
SWB starter Michael Pineda only went two innings, and did not factor into the decision. Chase Whitley (2-2) relieved him, and picked up the loss. He allowed three runs in two and one-third innings.
The RailRiders will now return home to PNC Field to renew their rivalry with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Philadelphia Phillies) in the IronRail series. The first 2,500 fans through the gates on Saturday will receive a RailRider aluminum water bottle. Gates will open up at 6 p.m., and first pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. Chris Bootcheck (9-4, 3.65) will take the mound for SWB, and the game will be broadcast live on television on MyNetwork TV, and on radio on NEPA Sports Radio – The GAME.
- SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! -
DIRTY DOZEN: Blanked through eight, the RailRiders plated a tying tally in the ninth on a wild pitch and pushed ahead for a 2-1 defeat of Indianapolis in the 12th last night. The win snapped a three-game losing streak and gave SWB a chance at a winning road trip should it triumph tonight.
RALLY ‘RIDERS: Entering last night, 13 of the IL’s 14 teams had won at least once when trailing after both seven and eight innings. The lone exception was SWB which was 0-43 when down following seven frames and 0-44 when behind after eight.
UP & ADAM: David Adams was 1-for-11 on the road trip before he posted three base hits on Thursday. That included the eventual game-winning blow when his single in the 12th scored Alberto Gonzalez from second base.
SENT FROM ABOVE: Since coming back from the bigs, All-Star outfielder Thomas Neal has gone 11-for-26 (.423). Before this modest surge, Neal had not logged a hit since July 12. He was 0-for-9 in games before and after the All-Star break and spent a week in the big leagues without seeing game action thereafter. Neal’s night sported a bunt single in the ninth. It moved J.R. Murphy, who had doubled to begin the inning, to third with nobody out. Duke Welker then issued a wild pitch, enabling Murphy to race home and tie the game.
ON THE LAMB: Murphy’s double came on one of the plays of the year when Indians right fielder Andrew Lambo crashed through the right-field wall in pursuit. Despite the violent crash, Lambo stayed in the game.
MULTIPLICITY: Adams was far from the only RailRider to enjoy a solid night at the plate. Ronnier Mustelier, Dan Johnson and Neal all posted multi-hit performances. Mustelier had been 1-for-23 against the Indians before his 2-for-6 evening.
EXTRA, EXTRA!: The RailRiders’ 11th extra-inning game of the season was their fifth such win. It came a week to the day from SWB’s franchise-record 20-inning triumph over Toledo that took five hours and 26 minutes to complete. Five of the RailRiders’ last 13 games since July 20 have required bonus baseball. During that time, the team has played 19 extra innings.
BULLISH ‘PEN: Since Yoshinori Tateyama allowed three runs in the 10th inning in a 4-1 loss to Toledo on July 23, the RailRiders’ bullpen has dominated. Over a stretch of 10 games and 43.2 innings, SWB’s relievers have allowed just 26 hits and four runs (0.82 ERA). They have also collected 53 strikeouts (10.9/9 IP) against 17 walks (3.12:1 K:BB ratio). Last night, Josh Spence, Dellin Betances, Mike Zagurski and Jim Miller combined on six scoreless innings of two-hit ball. They also allowed just one of five inherited runners to score.
OFF THE RAILS: SWB starter Caleb Cotham needed just 57 pitches (43 strikes) to navigate six-plus innings of one-run, two-hit baseball…In two starts against the Indians this season, Cotham has posted a 1.69 ERA…Betances logged 2.1 scoreless innings…He has not allowed a run in 27.1 innings and 15 appearances since suffering a walk-off setback at Lehigh Valley on June 16…Zagurski did not allow a run or a hit for the fifth straight outing, a span of seven frames…Adonis Garcia ran the team’s best active hitting streak to eight games…He has hit safely in all but two of his 21 games as a RailRider…The RailRiders have hit just .193 against the Indians this season, scoring nine runs in their seven meetings…Indianapolis has posted a 0.94 ERA in the season series with no home runs allowed over 67 innings…The RailRiders have hit more homers (104) than any IL squad other than Buffalo (107).
Indianapolis, Ind. – A dominant start from Caleb Cotham wasn’t enough to keep the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) from going into extra innings on Thursday night, but they did prevail with a 2-1 win over the Indianapolis Indians (Pittsburgh Pirates) in 12 innings. Cotham pitched into the seventh as David Adams drove home the go-ahead run.
The 12th inning began when Alberto Gonzalez hit a slow groundball up the middle. Second baseman Chase d’Arnaud got to it, but wasn’t able to make a throw to first base. Adonis Garcia laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Gonzalez to second base, and Adams followed with a base hit to right field that scored Gonzalez and put the RailRiders in front, 2-1.
Cotham needed just 57 pitches to work into the seventh, as he completed six innings but allowed to base hits to start the seventh, and then was taken out. He conceded just one run on four hits, and struck out three without issuing a free pass. His lone run scored after he exited the ballgame.
Indianapolis scored that single run off Cotham in the seventh. The inning began with singles by d’Arnaud and Matt Hague. Cotham was relieved in favor of Josh Spence, who then struck out Andrew Lambo. Dellin Betances was brought into the ballgame with runners on the corners, and Russ Canzler hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score d’Arnaud and put the Indians in front, 1-0.
The RailRiders would tie the game in the top of the ninth. J.R. Murphy led off with a fly ball to right field. Lambo sprinted after it, and crashed through the wall. The play resulted in Murphy being awarded second base on the ground-rule double. He advanced to third base when Thomas Neal laid down a bunt single, and then scored on a wild pitch from Duke Welker.
The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre bullpen did allow an inherited runner to score, but they were solid over six frames in support of Cotham. Jim Miller (2-5) entered the game in the 11th and earned the win. He struck out Canzler to end the game.
Indianapolis starter Kris Johnson entered Thursday with the best earned run average in the International League, and did not allow a run over seven frames. Atahualpa Severino (0-3) tossed three innings out of the Indians bullpen, but was handed the loss.
The RailRiders will go for a winning road trip when they wrap-up the journey and their series with Indianapolis on Friday night. A unique first pitch time of 7:15 p.m. awaits them, as Michael Pineda (1-1, 4.22) will take the mound for SWB. Pre-game coverage gets underway at 6:45 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! -
LAST TIME OUT: For the third time in as many days, the RailRiders outhit their foes, but fell by a narrow margin. On Wednesday afternoon, home runs carried the host Indianapolis Indians to a 3-1 defeat of SWB. The RailRiders have lost three in a row for a .500 showing through six games on their eight-game road trip.
ON SCHEDULE: Today, the RailRiders announced their 2014 regular-season schedule. The season begins on Thursday, April 3 when the club kicks off a seven-game road trip at Syracuse against the Chiefs (Washington Nationals). The home slate commences a week later on Thursday, April 10 when the Chiefs visit PNC Field for a four-game series and homestand. Rivalry games fill a big portion of the 2014 schedule as Scranton/Wilkes-Barre will play a total of 16 games against its two biggest rivals. The RailRiders will host the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Philadelphia Phillies) for year two of the IronRail Series at PNC Field with games from April 18-21, June 30-July 1 and Aug. 31-Sept. 1. The Pawtucket Red Sox (Boston Red Sox) will come to PNC Field twice for series from June 20-23 and July 25-28. The RailRiders will release the full promotional calendar including giveaway dates, theme nights and more for the 2014 season at PNC Field at a later date.
SIMPSON SIR, SECTOR 7G: Home runs were a rarity in several ways for the pieces involved in yesterday’s round-tripper puzzle. Starter David Huff suffered the loss thanks to just three runs allowed in seven innings of work. All three came courtesy of the long ball. Huff, who had allowed two homers on the season, surrendered a pair on the day. The first was bashed by Lucas May, who was hitting .200 even with just one home run in 39 games played on the season entering play. Conversely, Indianapolis starter Graham Godfrey began the day with a 1-2 record and a 7.29 ERA in five home appearances (four starts). In just 21 innings at Victory Field, he had allowed eight home runs while the league hit .318 against him. He fired six scoreless innings of four-hit ball to earn his eighth win. SWB had not surrendered a dinger in a season-high seven straight games until May and Andrew Lambo went yard yesterday. The last homer had come when Toledo’s Nick Castellanos took Chris Bootcheck deep on July 23 in a doubleheader nightcap.
BULLISH ‘PEN: Since Yoshinori Tateyama allowed three runs in the 10th inning in a 4-1 loss to Toledo on July 23, the RailRiders’ bullpen has dominated. Over a stretch of nine games and 37.2 innings, SWB’s relievers have allowed just 24 hits and four runs (0.96 ERA). They have also collected 49 strikeouts (11.7/9 IP) against 16 walks (3.06:1 K:BB ratio).
JUMPING JULY: The RailRiders, for now, own a 15-13 record in July. A suspended game from July 12 against Syracuse will be completed on Tuesday. No matter how that 2-2 draw through 11 innings plays out, SWB is still guaranteed a winning record in July. Only five other IL teams can join in that claim. Only Columbus (2.54) and Durham (2.73) posted a better ERA on the month than SWB (2.92). The RailRiders led the league with 30 homers on the month. Half of the league failed to hit 20.
RANDY DANDY: Randy Ruiz singled to spark his team’s run-scoring rally in the ninth that stalled Indianapolis’ bid for a shutout. The single extended Ruiz’s hitting streak to eight games. His 14 homers have him within two of the team’s leader in that category, Dan Johnson. Johnson has hit his 16 blasts in 107 games and 369 at-bats. Ruiz has amassed his gaudy total in just 43 games and 170 at-bats. If he had enough plate appearances to qualify, Ruiz would lead the league in home run to at-bat ratio (1:12.14). The league’s overall home run leader with 28, Buffalo’s Mauro Gomez, the reigning IL MVP, paces the loop with his 1:12.57 ratio. Ruiz has three of his homers during his hitting streak in which he is connecting at a .410 rate (16-for-39) with seven extra-base hits in total. He has excelled against left-handed pitching (.348/.388/.761/1.149) and on the road (.373/.388/.639/1.027).
SENT FROM ABOVE: Since coming back from the bigs, All-Star outfielder Thomas Neal has gone 8-for-21 (.381). Before this modest surge, Neal had not logged a hit since July 12. He was 0-for-9 in games before and after the All-Star break and spent a week in the big leagues without seeing game action thereafter.