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Gleyber Torres went 2-for-3 with a home run and a double in the first minor league spring training game of the year for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Robert M. Pimpsner/Pinstriped Prospects)

Gleyber Homers, Rogers Solid in RailRiders’ 4-3 Loss to Chiefs

Less than 24 hours from a walk-off victory and the New York Yankees raiding their roster due to injury, the Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders failed to repeat their previous magic in the ninth inning losing 4-3 to the Syracuse Chiefs.

The highlight for the RailRiders’ was a solid Triple-A debut from southpaw Josh Rogers and a two-run blast out of the Yankees top prospect Gleyber Torres.

Rogers thought he would be starting the year in the bullpen the night prior, but when he woke up, he found out he was starting today’s game due to Luis Cessa, the originally scheduled starter, getting a call-up to New York.

“Tommy called me about 1:15 and let me know I was starting,” Rogers said. “It felt way better to be back in a routine.”

Rogers started his outing a little rocky throwing 34 pitches in the first inning and giving up two runs, but he would settle down the very next inning. He located his pitches well for the most part, but it was his changeup and slider that made the difference for him. He was able to induce soft contact throughout the outing which resulted in quick innings.

“He settled down,” RailRiders’ manager Bobby Mitchell said. “When he’s got a good tempo and throws strikes he gets tougher and tougher and tougher.”

The first score of the game came with one out in the first inning and, like yesterday, it was Syracuse to draw first blood. Top Nationals’ prospect Victor Robles led off with a single and took second on an error. Two batters later Jose Marmolejos singled to center field scoring the run. They would tack on a second run on a sac fly gave them a 2-0 lead.

The RailRiders would not waste any time answering the Chiefs. Back-to-back singles by Mike Ford and Kyle Higashioka started the inning; then Ford moved to third on a double play. That brought up Billy Fleming who placed a line drive nicely to left field that rolled to the wall. That scored Ford and cut the lead to 2-1 Chiefs.

Brady Lail entered the game for Scranton Wilkes-Barre in the sixth inning, and Syracuse quickly took advantage. A Bengie Gonzalez walk and stolen base paid dividends when Robles singled to left field. Gonzalez came around to score for the 3-1 Chiefs’ lead.

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The RailRiders’ found some excitement Torres stepped in with Shane Robinson on first base. He quickly tagged a ball that carried deep into the RailRiders’ bullpen for his first hit and home run of the season. That tied the game up at three after six innings.

“[It felt] pretty good, I mean first pitch of the year was a home run,” Torres said. “I stay focused, stay with my approach, and help my team.”

The action was nonexistent from that moment until the top of the ninth inning. Robles walked with one out and attempted to steal second base. Due to the defensive shift, Abiatal Avelino came to the bag late. The ball ended up in left-center field and Robles round the bases all the way to home plate. Scoring what would end up to be the game-winning run.

Game Notes:

  • Victor Robles, the #5 overall prospect according to Baseball America, was 4-4 with an RBI on the day.
  • Ryan McBroom collected two hits on the day.
  • Anyelo Gomez pitched two solid innings but was charged with an unearned run and the loss.


Up Next:

The RailRiders take on the Syracuse Chiefs in the final game and rubber match of the series. Aaron Hicks, according to YES Network’s Meredith Marakovits, will be starting his rehab in Scranton Wilkes-Barre and will be playing five innings. David Hale is on the mound for the RailRiders.

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