MOOSIC, PA – The SWB RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) bid for a second straight comeback win fell just short on Mother’s Day Sunday. The Lehigh Valley IronPigs escaped PNC Field with a 5-4 victory. The RailRiders (16-15) and IronPigs (15-15) split the two-game weekend set.
Luis Cessa (0-1) shouldered his first losing decision of 2016. The right-hander yielded five runs on six hits over 5.2 innings. He walked three and struck out three. David Buchanan (1-2) came away with the victor despite allowing four runs on four hits across five frames. Edward Mujica tossed a scoreless ninth for his eighth save.
Lehigh Valley’s Tommy Joseph got the scoring started with a two-run homer off Cessa in the first inning. Aaron Judge countered, however, for the RailRiders with a two-run blast to center field in the bottom of the frame.
Squared 2-2, the IronPigs plated two more in a controversial third inning. Angelys Nina and Darnell Sweeney collected consecutive hits to open the frame. Taylor Featherston then lined sharply to the first baseman Chris Parmelee, catching Sweeney off the bag. Sweeney was ruled safe on a close play at the base, prompting argument from the RailRiders. The call was upheld and Nick Williams followed with a double that scored both runners for a 4-2 lead.
Nina opened the fifth inning with a home run inside the right field pole for a 5-2 IronPigs advantage.
The RailRiders pulled within a run thanks to a pair of tallies in the last of the fifth. Parmelee singled and Pete Kozma reached on a fielder’s choice.Donovan Solano doubled home Parmelee, narrowly missing a home run off the walk in right. After a walk to Judge, Gary Sanchez reached on a fielding error by Featherston at short. The miscue allowed Kozma to score. With the lead trimmed to 5-4, Buchanan settled in to strike out the final two batters.
SWB loaded the bases again in the eighth, but were turned away on a pair of fly outs to center.
The RailRiders open a four-game series with the Pawtucket Red Sox at 6:35 p.m. on Monday night at PNC Field. Right-hander Chad Green (1-3, 1.45) challenges left-hander Brian Johnson (1-2, 3.00). “Dollar Dog Night” features $1 hot dogs, walk-up lawn seats and fans can bring their dog to the park for $1. For tickets or more information, please call 570-969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.