MOOSIC, Pa. – The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders snapped a four-game losing skid to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in a 5-3 win thanks to a complete performance by right fielder Aaron Judge. The RailRiders (57-48) finish their homestand 4-1. The IronPigs (47-57) lead the “IronRail Series” 6-5.
Judge led the RailRiders comeback by recording two outfield assists and sparked a three-run rally in the sixth inning with the first of two doubles.
Joel De La Cruz made the spot start for SWB and allowed three runs on eight hits over five innings in a no decision. Wilking Rodriguez (2-0) got the win after fanning six hitters over a dominant 2.2 innings. Johnny Barbato retired the final four hitters, with some help from Judge, to notch his first Triple-A save.
The game had an erratic start with both sides taking advantage of multiple walks to score a run in the opening frame. Tied 1-1 in the fourth, the IronPigs put to aboard with an error and a single. Logan Moore screamed a liner into the left-center gap, but Judge made the diving catch. Cord Phelps was caught off second base for the double play.
SWB took the lead in the bottom of the inning. Ramon Flores and Jose Pirela worked a consecutive, two-out walks and Austin Romine snuck a ball fair down the right-field line to plate Flores.
The 2-1 lead did not last as Lehigh Valley put together three straight hits in the top of the fifth before a double play grounder to go up 3-2.
Cesar Jimenez (2-4) replaced starter Jesse Biddle in the sixth and surrendered a double to left-center off Judge. Gary Sanchez drew a walk and Flores’ single loaded the bases. Pirela rolled an infield single to third, scoring Judge. After a strikeout, Cole Figueroa singled through the right side to push Sanchez across for a 4-3 lead. Ben Gamel capped the inning with a sacrifice fly to center.
Judge recorded his second assist in the eighth, throwing out Chris McGuiness at second on a single to right.
The RailRiders and Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Philadelphia Phillies) move their series to Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, Pa. The two-game series begins Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. Right-hander Luis Severino (6-0, 2.11) is expected to face right-hander Sean O’Sullivan (0-0, 3.46). The RailRiders return home Friday, July 28, to host the Columbus Clippers (Cleveland Indians) for Princess and Pirate Night. For more information please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.