Pitching Dominates in Second Straight Shutout
Rochester, N.Y. - They started 1-6. The pitching struggled mightily. One day it was a starter, the next day the bullpen. The offense could not come through, leaving masses of men on base. That seems like a long time ago. On Wednesday night at Frontier Field, the red-hot Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) dominated the Rochester Red Wings, 7-0. The RailRiders' fourth straight win was their second straight shutout and lifted the squad to 5-6. The Red Wings' seventh straight loss lowered the International League's worst record to 2-11.
Graham Stoneburner (1-1) got his first Triple-A win with six shutout frames, while Sam Demel and Juan Cedeno polished off the franchise's first back-to-back shutout wins since sweeping a twinbill in shutout fashion at Pawtucket on July 2, 2011.
Single scores in each of the game's first three innings set an early tone. Zoilo Almonte doubled Adams home in the first. Bobby Wilson earned his first of four RBIs with a fielder's choice in the second that scored Melky Mesa. And Luke Murton's sacrifice fly plated Adams for an unearned tally against starter Liam Hendriks in the third thanks in part to a Chris Colabello error.
Four hits including three bloopers set the stage for a two-run sixth. Wilson's sac fly sent Murton home while Corban Joseph poked a soft two-out single to left-center that pushed Thomas Neal home for a 5-0 margin. Hendriks (0-1), who was making his first Triple-A start of the year after getting optioned down from Minnesota on Saturday, allowed five runs (four earned) on nine hits over six innings.
Neal sparked the eighth with a single and Wilson followed with a homer down the left-field line against former big leaguer Shairon Martis to make it 7-0.
Rochester's lone true threat to spoil the shutout came in the final frame. Colabello, Jeff Clement and Brandon Boggs reached in succession with one out on back-to-back singles and a four-pitch walk against Cedeno. But the veteran southpaw rallied by whiffing Joe Benson and inducing a weak grounder to short from Mark Sobolewski to end it.
The four-game set concludes at 7:05 p.m. on Thursday with right-hander Dellin Betances (0-1, 15.43) taking on fellow righty Virgil Vasquez (1-1, 6.30). Pregame coverage gets 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.
OFF THE RAILS:
SWB pitching has not allowed a run in 20 consecutive innings. On Wednesday, Graham Stoneburner and Sam Demel combined to retire 11 straight batters from the end of the fourth inning until Ray Olmedo singled with one out in the eighth.
On the series, the RailRiders have outscored the Red Wings, 18-1.
Stoneburner, known for his sinking fastball, recorded 10 groundball outs against five in the air. In addition to logging his first Triple-A triumph, the 25-year-old won as a starter for the first time since an April 15, 2011 victory with Double-A Trenton versus Harrisburg.
David Adams went 3-for-4 with a walk and scored twice. After starting the season 2-for-12 (.167), the third baseman has gone 7-for-15 (.467) to lift his season-long contact clip to .333.
Catcher Bobby Wilson has caught each of the team's consecutive shutouts. He also recorded four RBIs in a game for the second time on the road trip.
Zoilo Almonte earned his league-leading 13th walk in addition to his RBI double.
Twenty of Rochester's 22 hits on the series have been singles.
The Red Wings went 0-for-4 with men in scoring position on Wednesday. They have gone 1-for-29 (.034) with men in prime real estate on the series.
SWB notched its first back-to-back shutouts in nine inning games since blanking the Iron Pigs at Lehigh Valley from April 20-21, 2011. The then-Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees led the IL that season with 13 shutouts, but failed to qualify for the playoffs.
The RailRiders put their leadoff man on base five times in the game. Four times that man came around to score.
In addition to guaranteeing a series victory, the RailRiders also secured a winning road trip.
On Thursday night, SWB will seek its first sweep of a four-game set since a June 26-29, 2012 series against Gwinnett. It hasn't turned the trick in a road four-game series at Rochester since July 4-7, 2010.
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International League Stories from April 17, 2013
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