Before Friday’s game, the Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders honored one of baseballs’ all-time great pitchers in Roger Clemens. They celebrated the pitcher with an explosion by their offense in a 9-2 one-sided victory over the Pawtucket Red Sox.
The RailRiders initially had some trouble solving the Pawtucket starter, Henry Owens but he would do most of the work for them.
With only one hit going into the second inning, Scranton Wilkes-Barre worked the count and were issued three straight walks. That brought up Tyler Wade, who drove in the run on a RBI ground out.
Two walks later in the inning, Ji-Man Choi laced the first hit of the inning into right field. The hit drove in two runs and put the RailRiders up 4-0. Owens ended up with five walks in the second inning.
“It’s tough to face a guy that is wild effectively like Owens,” RailRiders’ Manager Al Pedrique said. “If you look at his numbers he has more walks than strikeouts. We had to be patient and make him throw the ball over the plate, and that is what we did tonight.”
In the top of the fourth inning, the Red Sox attempted to score their first run of the game. After a Steve Selsky base hit, Brian Bogusevic lined a double down the right field line. The ball was perfectly fielded by Tyler Austin in right field, threw the relay to Donovan Solano, and he fired a strike to home to beat the runner by two steps. The tag was applied, and the inning was over with the 4-0 lead preserved.
The Red Sox would finally break through with their first run in the top of the fifth inning. Tyler Wade made a nice play to range to his left side and get a ball in the hole but in his effort to throw the runner out, threw the ball away. That allowed Tim Roberson to step up with a runner on second. He came through with a 2-out single up the middle. That cut the SWB lead to 4-1.
The RailRiders would answer Pawtucket with some runs of their own in the bottom of the sixth inning. With two runners on, Tyler Austin skied a double into the right-center field gap which scored Wade. The next batter, Clint Frazier, followed suit and hit a triple down the right field line, just out of the reach of the diving Red Sox outfielder, scoring Austin.
A few hits and a pitching change later, shortstop Cito Culver crushed a pitch off of Pawtucket reliever Noe Ramirez into the RailRiders bullpen for a two-run home run. That gave SWB a commanding 9-1 after a five-run inning.
“After the first two innings, we were too comfortable because (Owens) was up in the zone,” Pedrique said. “The second time around the lineup you could tell the guys were getting good pitches to hit and he started throwing his fastball over the plate.”
The RailRiders take on the Red Sox for the third game in the series. Edgar Olmos (3-2, 2.09 ERA) takes the mound for Pawtucket, and the SWB starter is TBD. The game will be at home for Scranton Wilkes-Barre with a 6:35 pm start time.
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