Durham, N.C. – Antoan Richardson and Ramon Flores each connected on their first home runs of the season, but the Durham Bulls (Triple-A/Tampa Bay Rays) used a pair of three-run rallies in second and eighth inning to top the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (11-13) 6-5 Wednesday afternoon at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Richardson continued the RailRiders long-ball approach, blasting a solo home run to right in the first. The home run was the first of the season for the speedy outfielder and gave the RailRiders the edge, 1-0.
The pesky Bulls first rally of the day came in the second inning. Vince Belnome singled to open the frame and Robby Price reached on a fielder’s choice before both runs scored on a triple down the right-field line by Ray Olmedo. The big two-run triple to swung the game in Durham’s favor, 3-1.
The game remained a two-run tilt until the fifth inning. Flores, batting for the third time on the day, connected on a drive to right. The home run was the second extra-base hit of the day for the RailRiders’ leadoff man and brought the game to within a single run. SWB added another tally after Dean Anna smashed an RBI to tie the game in the fifth. Corban Joseph delivered the go-ahead run in the sixth with his eighth RBI of the campaign.
Durham mounted its second rally with a three-run eighth inning. Reliever Chase Whitley struck out the first batter of the inning before Belnome fought off an 11-pitch at-bat that resulted in a double. Durham tied the game on a extra-base hit by Mike Fontenot before Price added the exclamation point with a line drive to right that swelled the lead to 6-4.
Jose Pirela reached on a double to center to begin the ninth and Bulls’ closer Kirby Yates walked consecutive batters, but a strikeout by Anna ended the game.
Doug Mathis (2-0) earned the win, tossing two scoreless innings, while Yates gave up his first run of the season in earning his league-leading ninth save of the year.
Wednesday marks the first scheduled off day for the RailRiders before SWB opens up a four-run run against the Norfolk Tides Thursday, May 1 at 6:35 p.m. SWB sends right-hander Brian Gordon (1-1, 3.51), while Norfolk twirls right-hander Mike Wright (0-0, 2.78) to the bump. Aaron Berlin will have the call on radio with the pregame show beginning at 6:05 p.m. on NEPA Sports Radio – The GAME, Northeast PA’s largest sports radio network: 100.7 FM, 1340 WYCK-AM, 1400 WICK-AM, 1440 WCDL-AM and 106.7 FM. For season ticket information, single-game tickets or to book a ballpark group outing, call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.
OFF THE RAILS:
- The home run in the first inning by Antoan Richardson was his first since April 14, 2012 against the Erie Sea Wolves (Double-A).
- The RailRiders have lost three of their last four games.
- SWB went a combined 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
- The home run by Ramon Flores marked the first of his Triple-A career.
– SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! –