LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A five-run third partnered with potent pitching as the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders crushed the Louisville Bats (Cincinnati Reds) on Sunday night, 7-1. The RailRiders (51-45) took three of four on the series and cemented the season set against the Bats for the first time since 2011. The Bats (46-50) avoided a shutout with a run in the ninth.
Gary Sanchez got SWB on the board with a first-inning sac fly to score Jose Pirela, but the major noise came in the third. The RailRiders sent a man to the plate 10 times and chased Louisville starter Keyvius Sampson (1-4) thanks to two-run hits by Greg Bird and Gregorio Petit. It was part of a career-high-tying four-hit night for Bird.
Spot starter Diego Moreno faced the minimum over four scoreless and hitless innings. He has allowed just two earned runs over 11.1 innings (1.59 ERA) during his three starts this season. Sampson allowed six runs on five hits and four walks over 2.1 innings to shoulder the loss. In two starts against the RailRiders this season, Sampson allowed 10 runs in 5.1 innings (16.88 ERA).
Kyle Roller connected on a sixth-inning sac fly to round out SWB’s scoring.
Jose Ramirez (3-0) earned the win with three innings of scoreless baseball. He left the bases loaded in the fifth and enjoyed double plays behind him in the sixth and seventh. Caleb Cotham allowed a just-fair RBI double to Ramon Cabrera with one out in the night to spoil the shutout as Jermaine Curtis scored from first.
The RailRiders’ road trip shifts to Indianapolis for a four-game series against the Indians (Pittsburgh Pirates). It will get underway at 7:05 p.m. on Monday night from Victory Field. SWB is expected to add right-hander Eric Ruth from Double-A Trenton to start against a TBA Indy starter. The RailRiders will give away a special copy of Yankees Magazine to the first 2,500 fans in attendance on Friday, July 24, when the team hosts the Toledo Mud Hens (Detroit Tigers). For more information please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.
OFF THE RAILS:
Greg Bird has recorded four hits in a game six times as a pro. Tonight marked his first four-hit showing since Aug. 16, 2014 against Altoona (Pittsburgh Pirates) while with Double-A Trenton.
Diego Moreno posted a 7:1 groundout-to-airout ratio in the game.