SWB Game Notes
NORFOLK TIDES (28-40) @ SCRANTON/WILKES-BARRE RAILRIDERS (40-28)
RHP Tom Eshelman (2-1, 4.69) vs. RHP Brody Koerner (3-1, 3.25)
| Game No. 69 | PNC Field | Moosic, PA | June 19, 2019 | First Pitch 7:05 p.m. |
MOOSIC, PA (June 17, 2019) -- The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders defeated the Norfolk Tides 8-4 Tuesday night at PNC Field in game one of a six-game homestand. Aaron Judge, with the RailRiders on an Allied Integrated Health Systems rehab assignment and making his first appearance in Moosic since August 2016, went 1-for-2 with a solo home run and a pair of walks.
After Scranton/Wilkes-Barre starting pitcher Randall Delgado worked a 1-2-3 top of the first, Mike Ford knocked a leadoff home run in the bottom of the inning. Three batters later, Mike Tauchman launched a three-run blast and Kyle Higashioka drilled his tenth home run of the season for a 5-0 advantage.
Delgado faced the minimum over the first four innings and the RailRiders kept the momentum going offensively in the bottom of the fourth with a leadoff double by Thairo Estrada and an RBI single by Logan Morrison to extend the lead. The Tides got on the board in the top of the fifth on a Christopher Bostick sac fly and a trio of doubles to cut their deficit down to three runs at 6-3.
In the home side of the fifth, Judge hit an 0-1 pitch from Norfolk starter Tyler Herb over the right-center wall to build a 7-3 edge. The RailRiders capped their outburst in the eighth when Trey Amburgey drove in Estrada with a single to left for an 8-3 lead. Norfolk's comeback attempt produced a run in the top of the ninth, but Kaleb Ort induced a fly out to Judge in right to seal the win.
POWER STEERING: INF Mike Ford has shown off a number of hitting tools this season for the RailRiders, prompting his MLB debut earlier in the year. One thing that has taken a big step forward has been his power totals. With a home run in Tuesday's win over the Norfolk Tides, Ford eclipsed his season total from all of last year, but at a much higher rate -- 2019: 45G, 164 AB, 15 HR (10.9 AB/HR) // 2018: 102G, 367 AB, 15 HR (24.5 AB/HR). As part of the three-homer first inning by the RailRiders, Ford has now hit two first-inning home runs in the past week and they've both come off Norfolk starting pitcher Tyler Herb.
MORE POWER: Kyle Higashioka homered in the first inning Tuesday night and became the fifth member of the Trenton Thunder to record double-digit homers this season. He joins Ford (16), Ryan McBroom (13), Trey Amburgey (10) and Brad Miller (10). Last year's team had only six players with 10+ homers. Up next for the 2019 RailRiders: Logan Morrison (9), Gosuke Katoh (7) and Breyvic Valera (7).
THE LAST TIME: It had been a while since OF Aaron Judge last played a game with the RailRiders at PNC Field before Tuesday's game. Dating back to the 2016 season, Judge hasn't played in Moosic since 8/11/2016, when he went 1-for-2 with a strikeout against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. The night before he helped pace a 10-0 victory for the RailRiders with his 18th homer of the year, coming off starting pitcher David Buchanan. The hulking right fielder went 2-for-4 with a walk, home run, and two RBI that night. Current RailRiders Clint Frazier and Kyle Higashioka both played in that game, with Higahsioka slated to bat fifth and catch Tuesday's series-opener against the Norfolk Tides.
RAILREHABBERS: It was announced entering last weekend that OF Giancarlo Stanton and OF Aaron Judge are both rehabbing with the RailRiders and in the lineup beginning Friday night down in Durham. In three rehab games this season with the Tampa Tarpons- including two earlier in the week- Stanton had gone 5-for-10 with 4 HR, 5 RBI and 3 K before homering in his second at-bat Friday night. Judge, recovering from a strained oblique, had not yet played in a rehab game before going 0-for-4 with 3 K Friday night in the first game on his road to recovery that overlaps with the start of the RailRiders homestand at PNC Field. Stanton and Judge join INF Didi Gregorius and OF Aaron Hicks on the list of Yankees rehabbers for the RailRiders this season. A year ago, SWB had 10 different Yankees play games with them: Greg Bird (INF), A.J. Cole (P), Brandon Drury (INF), Clint Frazier (OF), Aaron Hicks (OF), Tommy Kahnle (P), Billy McKinney (OF), Gary Sanchez (C), Masahiro Tanaka (P), Adam Warren (P).
HIGH-WATER MARK: The RailRiders knocked off the Norfolk Tides 7-6 Wednesday night to improve to 38-25 (.603) and stay percentage points ahead of the Durham Bulls (39-26, .600) for the best record in the league. The RailRiders had dropped three consecutive games since getting to the season-best 13 games above .500 before winning Sunday in Durham and Tuesday at PNC Field.
FURTHER DOWN ON THE FARM: RHP Deivi Garcia, the top pitching prospect in the Yankees system matched the Trenton Thunder (Double-A, New York Yankees) single-game record for strikeouts Tuesday night with 15 K over 6.0 IP. He matched the mark set by Adam Warren 8/18/2010, and with the 6-0 win over the Richmond Flying Squirrels he secured a playoff berth for the Thunder -- their fourth straight year making the postseason.
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