A dominant outing by pitcher Taylor Jordan silenced the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders and lifted the Syracuse Chiefs to a 6-0 victory in Game 2 of the season-opening series at PNC Field.
Jordan stifled the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre batters all evening. He pitched six scoreless innings for Syracuse, allowing just two hits while striking out five. His control was impeccable, throwing 53 of his 75 pitches for strikes.
After all the offense the RailRiders produced in the first game of the series, they managed just three lonely singles Friday night. RailRiders batters struck out eight times, struggling to muster much of anything against a stalwart effort from the Chiefs’ pitching staff.
“[Jordan] had real good off-speed pitches, pounded the strike zones. He pitched very well,” RailRiders manager Dave Miley said. “You have to give their pitchers credit…They did what they needed to do.”
As Miley pointed out, going for 0-for-1 with runners in scoring position did not work in the RailRiders’ favor either. They had just five baserunners all evening and three came with two outs.
RailRiders starting pitcher Jaron Long was less successful in his Triple-A debut. After coasting through the first inning, the Chiefs took a new approach at the plate and attacked the first fastball they saw from the 23-year-old pitcher with much success.
He lasted five innings, allowing six runs, three earned, on eight hits with three strikeouts.
“I would’ve liked the pitch back in the second inning,” Long said. “I had a base open and two outs and [Caleb Ramsey] jumped on a first-pitch fastball. You can sit here and second guess it, but at the end of the day, you have to tip your cap to a nice piece of hitting, and [it’s] something to learn from.”
That two-out two-run single was just one of three hits for Ramsey on the night. He drove in another run on a sixth-inning sacrifice fly after a missed catch error by RailRiders shortstop Nick Noonan allowed the Chiefs’ Jason Martinson to advance to third and Mark Minicozzi to second.
Ramon Flores hit for the cycle in the RailRiders’ opener on Thursday, but he could not connect the bat with the ball Friday night. He was one of just five RailRiders to get on base, however, drawing a walk in the bottom of the 8th inning.
An error by second baseman Rob Refsnyder in the third inning broke open what had been a 3-0 lead for the Chiefs at the time. The Chiefs added two runs later in the inning to extend the lead and put the game far out of reach for the RailRiders.
“I just came up early on it,” Refsnyder said.
While the RailRiders’ defensive performance did not help the team’s cause, their inability to hit balls out of the infield against the Chiefs’ pitchers kept them clear of the basepaths and off the scoreboard.
“The only way you get hits is if you have pitches to hit,” Refsnyder said. “He had his sinker working really well tonight and there were a lot of ground balls so that’s indicative of him. Sometimes pitchers are better than hitters and that’s what happened tonight.”
Diego Moreno came on in relief for Long in the sixth inning and dazzled the Chiefs hitters. In three innings, he allowed just one hit and a walk. He struck out the final six batters he faced.
The RailRiders and Chiefs meet in the third game of a four-game series Saturday afternoon at PNC Field. Matt Tracy is set to take the mound for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre against Syracuse’s Taylor Hill.