August 21, 2017 - International League (IL) - Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders
RailRiders Post League-Best 80th Win Magic Number to Win Division Down to Seven
Rochester, N.Y. - The SWB RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) never knew a deficit in a 4-3 series-opening victory over the host Rochester Red Wings (Minnesota Twins) at Frontier Field on Monday night. The RailRiders (80-47) cut their magic numbers down to seven to win the division and four to clinch a postseason berth. The Red Wings (73-55), who own second place in the IL North and the catbird seat in the wild-card chase, fell for the seventh time in 10 clashes with the RailRiders.
Three consecutive two-out hits produced a run for the RailRiders in the opening inning. The third and RBI blow came from Billy McKinney, one of his three hits on the night.
Byungho Park's 12th home run of the season tied the game, 1-1, in the second.
Donovan Solano doubled in a score in the third for a moment with some controversy. SWB manager Al Pedrique argued the ball cleared the center-field wall, hit railing recessed behind the fence, then bounded back onto the field. The three-man umpiring crew conferenced, but upheld the original call.
Rehabber Starlin Castro singled a run home in the sixth and Solano added a sac fly with the bases loaded for a 4-1 margin. The Red Wings responded with two runs in the home half of the frame via a throwing error by Miguel Andujar and an Anthony Recker RBI single.
SWB starter Chance Adams (10-4) became the first SWB hurler to post double-digit victories. His counterpart, southpaw David Hurlbut (8-8), took the loss. Nick Rumbelow worked around a walk while whiffing two in the ninth for his fourth save.
The four-game series continues at 7:05 p.m. on Tuesday. SWB is slated to start right-hander Brady Lail (6-4, 5.06) against right-hander Aaron Slegers (13-4, 3.18). The RailRiders return home on Friday, Aug. 25 to host the Syracuse Chiefs (Washington Nationals) at 7:05 p.m. The Glow-in-the-Park Friday will sport the RailRiders in their neon-green-and-black best. The first 2,500 fans through the gates will receive a Gary Sanchez Baby Bomber bobblehead courtesy of Dickey's Barbecue Pit. The contest will feature a LEGO Tour appearance. After the game, all in attendance will be treated to a fireworks show thanks to King's College. For tickets or more information, please call 570-969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.
OFF THE RAILS:
Greg Bird went 2-for-3 with a double, two walks and two runs scored as the first baseman. He played all nine innings. Over five games on his rehab he has gone 8-for-17 (.471) with two doubles, two homers, four RBIs, two walks and six runs scored.
Starlin Castro went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored as the second baseman. He was lifted after seven innings. Jonathan Diaz pinch hit for him in the eighth. In four games on this rehab assignment he has gone 4-for-15 (.267).
In his second career Triple-A appearance, reliever Cale Coshow allowed a two-out infield hit over two scoreless innings, striking out one.
Billy McKinney posted a 3-for-5 night with an RBI.
Rochester-area native Cito Culver's plate appearance drew audible applause from the fans at Frontier Field. He went 1-for-3 with a pair of walks in the homecoming series opener.
Catcher Eddy Rodriguez was ejected by home-plate umpire Charlie Ramos while catching starter Chance Adams in the sixth inning. The ejection came after a called ball during Niko Goodrum's inning-opening plate appearance.
Miguel Andujar finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and drew an intentional walk.
Jake Cave doubled and scored. He is hitting .335 in 59 games played at Triple-A.
The RailRiders finished with 12 hits and six walks. They left 14 men on base, going 4-for-15 with men in scoring position. The club had the bases loaded in the first, third, fourth and sixth innings.
SWB improved to an IL-best 23-9 in one-run games and 41-23 on the road.
Last year's Triple-A national championship SWB squad secured its 80th victory in its 128th game on Aug. 20, 2016 versus Pawtucket. This year's group earned its 80th triumph in its 127th game.
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