INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The SWB RailRiders sit on the brink. They never led on Thursday night as the host Indianapolis Indians (Pittsburgh Pirates) posted a 6-1 triumph at Victory Field in Game 2 of their opening-round Governors’ Cup playoff series. The RailRiders now must win three straight games at home against the Tribe, or their season will be over.
Walks proved problematic for southpaw starter Eric Wooten (0-1). Willy Garcia began the home second with a walk, took second on a wild pitch and third on a subsequently errant throw from catcher Gary Sanchez. The next hitter, Josh Bell, singled to right to plate Garcia. An inning later, Steve Lombardozzi walked with the bases loaded to make it 2-0.
SWB got on the board in the fourth. With Ali Castillo on base and one out, IL Rookie of the Year Ben Gamel doubled to right and Sanchez followed with an RBI groundout to second to score Castillo.
The one-run margin would not last long. Indy sent eight men to the plate in a four-run fifth to grab firm command of the game. Bell got the scoring going with a bases-loaded groundout to reliever Cesar Vargas. Keon Broxton followed with a two-run single lined off Gregorio Petit’s leaping glove at shortstop. Tony Sanchez then singled through the left-side hole to drive in the fourth tally for the 6-1 margin that would go final.
That stood up thanks to a combination of spectacular defense from the Indians and the pitching of Vance Worley. Gorkys Hernandez robbed Aaron Judge with impressive catches of crushed baseballs in the second and fifth innings. Petit was robbed by third baseman Dan Gamache’s backhanded spear in the third. And Gary Sanchez cracked into a broken-bat line-drive double play with the bases loaded to end the visiting sixth.
Worley (1-0) allowed one unearned run over eight innings for the win. He scattered six hits, walked one and whiffed three. Wooten walked a career-high five men over 4.1 innings. He allowed four runs, six hits and struck out two.
The best-of-five series continues with Game 3 at 6:35 p.m. on Friday night at PNC Field. SWB’s 2015 wins leader, veteran right-hander Kyle Davies (11-8, 3.30), will face the top-ranked prospect for the Pittsburgh Pirates, fellow righty Tyler Glasnow (2-1, 2.20). The first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive an American flag giveaway. Military members and first responders will receive free access to the game by presenting ID at the PNC Field box office. For tickets or more information, please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.
OFF THE RAILS:
Through two games on the series, SWB has gone 3-for-12 with men in scoring position while Indy has gone 9-for-16. SWB starters have allowed 10 runs (all earned) on 11 hits and seven walks over 5.1 innings. The two Indians starters have surrendered two runs (none earned) on 13 hits and three walks over 15 innings.
The Indians have scored 10 runs on the series with just one total extra-base hit. Nineteen of their 20 knocks have been singles.
Vance Worley has tossed eight innings in three straight starts including the end of the regular season. In that time he has allowed five total runs. He has walked one man or less in 12 of his 13 career outings with Indy.
Ben Gamel and Ali Castillo each went 2-for-4. Gamel doubled for the RailRiders’ only extra-base hit.
Leadoff man Slade Heathcott went 1-for-3 with a walk.