SWB Game Notes
LOUISVILLE BATS (38-61) @ SCRANTON/WILKES-BARRE RAILRIDERS (57-42)
RHP Keury Mella (5-10, 4.88) vs. LHP Daniel Camarena (4-4, 5.56)
| Game No. 100 | PNC Field | Moosic, PA | July 21, 2019 | First Pitch 1:05 p.m. |
MOOSIC, PA (July 20, 2019) -- The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders were victorious in the second game of the series against the Louisville Bats, 5-4 Saturday evening at PNC Field. Kyle Higashioka homered twice and the RailRiders held off a late charge by the Bats to even the series.
The RailRiders got on the board first in the bottom of the second when Kyle Higashioka knocked his first homer of the night on a line drive to centerfield; a solo home run off of Louisville starter Tejay Antone. The Bats responded in the top of the third when Nick Longhi drove in a run on an RBI single to tie the game at one.
Deivi Garcia, the Yankees fourth-best prospect, made his second Triple-A start, but only worked three innings. Garcia allowed one run on three hits with four walks and four strikeouts.
Louisville held a temporary lead in the top of the fourth inning when Blake Trahan plated a run on a sac fly but the RailRiders quickly answered with a nine-batter home half of the inning. Clint Frazier walked and Tyler Wade doubled. Thairo Estrada drilled a two-run double, pushing Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in front 3-2. Higashioka nailed his second home run of the evening, his 16thof the season, extending the lead to 5-2.
After allowing the run in the fourth, Domingo Acevedo settled in retiring eight-in-a-row heading into the seventh inning. Blake Trahan homered off of Acevedo in the inning, cutting the RailRiders lead down to two.
In the ninth, Scott Schebler hit a leadoff home run off of David Sosebee before the RailRiders reliever retired the next three batters to close the door.
Acevedo (1-0) pitched 3.2 innings for the win, while Antone (2-4) took the loss after surrendering all five runs. Sosebee earned his sixth save as the RailRiders clinched a winning homestand with one game left to go.
A QUICK PROJECTION: Friday evening featured a tough loss in extra innings by the RailRiders (57-42, .576), but a bounceback win has improved their lead over the team closest to them in the IL North standings, the Buffalo Bisons (52-47, .525). Scranton/Wilkes-Barre has 41 games to go in the regular season and holds a 5.0-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 21-20 (.512) the rest of the way, the Bisons would need to go 26-15 (.634) 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.
NOT-SO-SWEET 16: The RailRiders have split the first two games of their three-game series against the Louisville Bats before going for the series victory Sunday afternoon. With Saturday's win, the RailRiders are at 15 games above .500 for the sixth time this season, but have yet to break through to get to 16 games above .500. 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 13-13 in the 26 games since.
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 and is expected to play Sunday after receiving a night off Saturday.
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
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