MOOSIC, PA – The SWB RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) dropped a heartbreaking 7-5 decision to the Columbus Clippers on Saturday evening at PNC Field. All seven runs for the Clippers (31-24) came with two outs. The RailRIders (31-25) have dropped 19 of the last 24 meetings with Columbus.
James Pazos (2-2) was a strike away from the victory, but Erik Gonzalez poked an 0-2 pitch into right field to score the tying and go-ahead runs. After a Ronny Rodriguez single, Giovanny Urshela plated two more with a double to the left field wall. In all, Pazos allowed four runs on three hits with two walks and a strikeout in an inning of work.
Will Roberts (5-2) took home the win after holding the RailRiders to a run on two hits over 4.2 innings. Ben Heller recorded the final out for his second save.
Roberts piggybacked starter Mike Clevinger who allowed four runs on five hits in just 3.2 innings. Ben Gamel and Aaron Judge welcomed Clevinger to PNC Field with back-to-back doubles in the first inning. Donovan Solano gave the RailRiders a 2-0 advantage with a sacrifice fly to left that scored Judge.
Tyler Austin announced his return to SWB by thundering a home run out to right in his first at-bat. The second-inning shot put SWB up 3-0. Kyle Higashioka pushed the lead to 4-0 on a solo shot wrapped around the left-field foul pole in the fourth. It was his second with SWB.
Brady Lail cruised through the first five innings, allowing two hits. But the right-hander ran into trouble against the Clippers in the sixth. Jordan Smith worked a leadoff walk and Rodriguez singled. With two away, Jesus Aguilar doubled in Smith with a line drive to left. Yandy Diaz followed with an infield hit to third, scoring Rodriguez. Columbus made it 4-3 on Adam Moore’s double to left before escaped the inning.
The RailRiders go for a split of the four-game series with Columbus on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. Left-hander Phil Coke (3-0, 0.51) battles fellow southpaw Ryan Merritt (3-4, 2.94). It’s Sunday Family Funday at PNC Field with a post-game base run and kids eat free (voucher on entry). For tickets or more information, please call 570-969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.