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July 20, 2019 - International League (IL) - Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders News Release


RHP Tejay Antone (2-3, 4.44) vs. RHP Deivi Garcia (1-0, 5.40)

| Game No. 99 | PNC Field | Moosic, PA | July 20, 2019 | First Pitch 6:35 p.m. |

MOOSIC, PA (July 19, 2019) -- The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders fell in the series opener against the Louisville Bats 8-6 Friday evening at PNC Field. Brody Koernerpitched 7.2 scoreless innings for the RailRiders, the longest outing of the season for a Scranton/Wilkes-Barre starter, but Louisville rallied late and plated two runs in the tenth to take the series opener.

In the top of the ninth with the RailRiders leading 6-0, the Bats rallied for six runs to tie the game, including five against Dan Jennings, who made his RailRiders debut. Lousiville hit four home runs in the inning, tying a franchise record set on June 16, 2000.

In the top of the tenth, Blake Trahan knocked a bases loaded, two-run single, giving Louisville an 8-6 lead. The RailRiders put the tying run on in the bottom half of the inning, but could not complete a rally.

The RailRiders loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh inning, and Zack Zehner launched a grand slam- the sixth of the season for SWB- to extend the lead to a comfortable 5-0 advantage.

GRAND SLAMS: In the 7th inning Friday night, Zack Zehner belted an opposite-field grand slam at PNC Field to put the RailRiders ahead 5-0. The blast was the sixth grand slam of the year for SWB, breaking the old franchise record of five set in 2005 (Shane Victorino, Chris Coste, Ryan Howard, Anthony Medrano and Jorge Padilla). Zehner joins Breyvic Valera, Trey Amburgey, Kyle Higashioka, Mike Ford and Billy Fleming with slams in 2019.

ZEHNER HIT STREAK: The aforementioned grand slam by Zack Zehner extended his hitting streak to 11 games, a few shy of the longest this season set over 14 games by Breyvic Valera from 5/23 - 6/7 (24-for-52, .462 AVG). On his current streak, Zehner is batting 15-for-42 (.357 AVG) since 7/5.

WHAT HAVE WE MISSED?: The Louisville Bats come to town Friday night for game No. 97 of the season, but it's the first time the RailRiders have faced them this season. They enter the three-game series tied with the Norfolk Tides for the worst record in the International League at 37-60 (.381). They have had some impressive offensive performers this season, but a few are not currently on the roster in OF Josh Van Meter (49G: .348 AVG, 14 HR, 43 RBI) and INF Nick Senzel (8G: .257 AVG, 2B, HR, 2 RBI) who entered the season as one of the top prospects in all of baseball. Though currently light on offensive prospects, Friday's starter Vladimir Guttierez (No. 9) and Sunday's expected starting pitch Keury Mella (No. 18) are both Top-20 in the Cincinnati Reds organization.

ALLE-GORE-ICAL OF A SPRINTING CHEETAH: The New York Yankees acquired OF Terrance Gore Thursday for cash considerations from the kansas City Royals, and he was officially placed on the SWB roster but did not appear in the game against the Columbus Clippers. In a Minor League career spanning 665G, the speedy 28-year-old has gone 293-for-325 SB (90.2%), plus is 40-for-49 SB (81.6%) in his MLB career. In 37G this year with Kansas City, Gore is 14-for-51 at the plate and has slashed .275/.362/.353 and is 13-for-18 SB, having yet to set foot on a Triple-A field. Assuming that Gore is gone September 1st when rosters expand in order to be a running specialist for NYY, this could still change the dynamic of SWB over the next 45 days: April: 23G, 22-for-25 SB (88.0%) -- 0.96 SB/G | Since: 74G, 32-for-53 (60.4%) -- 0.43 SB/G

NOT-SO-SWEET 16: The RailRiders took the first two games of the four-game series from the Columbus Clippers before splitting the last two games Wednesday/Thursday. With Thursday's win, the RailRiders were at 15 games above .500 for the fifth time this season, but have yet to break through to get to 16 games above .500 following Friday's heartbreaking loss. They first got to 15 games above .500 June 23 with a win over the Durham Bulls that made them 44-29, but have now gone just 12-13 in the 24 games since.

A QUICK PROJECTION: Friday evening featured a tough loss in extra innings by the RailRiders (56-42, .571) and a win by the team closest to them in the IL North standings, the Buffalo Bisons (52-46, .531). Scranton/Wilkes-Barre has 42 games to go in the regular season and holds a 4.0-game lead on the Bisons for first place after hitting the All-Star break with a 5.5-game lead. That means if the RailRiders were to go 21-21 (.500) the rest of the way, the Bisons would need to go 25-17 (.595) to catch them in the division. These two teams play four games over four days at PNC Field to wrap-up the regular season leading into Labor Day.

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