Moosic, PA – On a night when former Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons manager Marc Bombard was inducted into the International League Hall of Fame, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders defeated the Rochester Red Wings 5-1.
The RailRiders (37-27) earned their sixth straight victory and have won 11 of 12. The Red Wings (31-30) suffered their sixth straight loss and fell into a second place tie with Pawtucket, 4.5 games behind SWB in the IL North.
New York Yankees right-hander Ivan Nova (1-0) hurled an efficient 73 pitches over six innings in his rehab start for the RailRiders. Nova yielded a run on five hits, walking one and striking out three. Jason Wheeler (1-5) pitched a complete game for the Red Wings. The southpaw surrendered five runs, four earned, on 11 hits with one walk and four strikeouts.
The two starters kept the game scoreless through three innings. Wheeler retired the first nine batters he faced. Reynaldo Rodriguez cracked the seal with a solo home run to left off Nova in the fourth. The shot gave the Red Wings a short-lived 1-0 lead.
Rob Refsnyder vaulted the RailRiders ahead to stay in the bottom of the inning. Following a single by Ben Gamel and a fly to right by Jose Pirela, Refsnyder crushed a two-run shot into the bullpen beyond left for a 2-1 lead. It was his second in as many days and fifth of the season.
Gregorio Petit opened the fifth with a single and moved to third on an errant pickoff throw by Wheeler. Ali Castillo followed with a chopper over third to score Petit for a 3-1cushion. Castillo later scored on a sacrifice fly to right by Gamel.
The RailRiders’ final tally came in the eighth when Ramon Flores singled and scored on a throwing error by second baseman James Beresford.
The RailRiders hope to finish the series with a sweep of the Rochester Red Wings (Minnesota Twins). The four-game finale is set for a 1:05 p.m. first pitch on Sunday afternoon at PNC Field. SWB will give out a mascot pillow case to the first 1,000 kids in attendance, presented by Petro/Iron Skillet. For tickets or more information, call 570-969-BALL (2255) or visit the team’s website, www.swbrailriders.com.