SWB RailRiders Game Notes
PAWTUCKET RED SOX (45-32) vs. SCRANTON/WILKES-BARRE RAILRIDERS (37-39)
LHP Jalen Beeks (5-4, 2.40) vs. RHP Chance Adams (2-3, 5.21)
| Game No. 78 | Friday June 29, 2018 | PNC Field | Moosic, PA |
| First Pitch 7:05 p.m. | Pregame Show 6:35 p.m. |
LAST TIME OUT: The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders got a dazzling performance from starting pitcher Nestor Cortes, and the offense scored a flurry of early runs to jump out to a lead off Tom Eshelman in a 6-3 win over the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
Cortes had gone seven innings three times in his career entering Thursday night, but never in a game above High-A Tampa, and not since the 2016 season. He ran into trouble only once in the fourth inning. With a 4-0 lead for the RailRiders and one out and the bases empty, Mitch Walding reached on an error. The next man up was Joey Meneses who launched an opposite-field homer to cut the deficit in half, 4-2.
That would be it off Cortes, who scattered only two more hits throughout the outing. Over his last five starts, Cortes has gone 26.1 innings, allowing 17 hits (17-for-92, .185 BAA), 3 ER (1.03 ERA), lowering his season ERA with the RailRiders from 6.75 to 3.83.
The RailRiders began the scoring with Billy McKinney's 11th home run of the season leading off the 2nd inning, and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre never looked back. His homer was his 11th since May 29- over his last 106 at-bats (9.6 AB/HR)- which is tied for the most in Minor League Baseball since that date. McKinney (2-for-4) was one of four RailRiders with multi-hit nights, including Rey Navarro (3-for-4), Zack Zehner (2-for-4) and Clint Frazier (2-for-5) who had an RBI double as part of a three-run 2nd inning to open up that early 4-0 lead.
GETTING SOME LENGTH: LHP Josh Rogers is the one pitcher who has consistently given SWB starts that save the bullpen this season. This season, Rogers has gone 6.0+ innings in 10-of-15GS (66.7%), while the rest of the team has just 12 such starts in the other 62G (19.4%). LHP Nestor Cortes matched his career-high with 7.0 IP Thursday night against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, marking the 10th time this season a RailRiders has gone 7.0+ innings (Rogers, 6x).
PUTTING OUT FIRES: The RailRiders continue to get a strong performance out of its bullpen over the last week-plus. In 9G since June 17, the bullpen arms not named Giovanny Gallegos have combined for 30.2 IP, 16 H, 4R/4ER (1.17 ERA), 7 BB, 28 K (8.2 K/9). Gallegos had struggled over his last three appearances with the RailRiders, allowing runs in all 3G: 4.2 IP, 7 H (7-for-21, .333 BAA), 4R/4ER, 0 BB, 8 K. However, upon arriving in the big leagues, earlier this week he went 3.0 IP without allowing a run and striking out 6 batters. In two appearances with the New York Yankees this season, the righty has tossed five scoreless innings with 7 K and 0 BB.
WORKING BACK: Wednesday night, RHP A.J. Cole faced five batters, didn't record an out and allowed three runs. Cole joins RHP Tommy Kahnle and RHP Adam Warren as three pitchers who have appeared with the RailRiders in 2018 on rehab. In their three rehab appearances: 1.2 IP, 6 H (6-for-10, .600 BAA), 8R/8ER (43.20 ERA), 4 BB, 2 HBP (7.20 WHIP), K
CAN'T QUITE GET THERE: Over the last 17 games, the RailRiders own an 11-6 record to bring them up to as high as 4th place in the International League North standings. The RailRiders left Coca-Cola Park Thursday night, having not lost any of their last five series (3-0-2). The RailRiders enter their series against Pawtucket trying to draw themselves back to .500 for the first time since being 19-19 May 17 (Game No. 38). They are 0-5 in five chances to get back to .500 since May 17.
POWERING UP: In the blink of an eye, the SWB RailRiders are the leading HR-hitting team in the International League. At the end of April, the team had 15 HR in 23G (0.65 HR/G) which was good for 6th in the 14-team I.L. Since then, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre has 62 HR in its last 53G (1.17 HR/G) including 30 in 25G so far in June (1.20 HR/G).
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