The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders wrapped up a 10 game road trip tonight in Buffalo, New York. The RailRiders finished a four-game sweep of Buffalo, outscoring their division rivals 18-5. Scranton has now won eight consecutive ballgames and is 9-1 over their last 10 contests. With tonight’s 3-2 victory, Scranton improves to an International League-best 20 games over .500.
Ben Gamel led off the top of the first inning with a line drive single to center field. Donovan Solano followed with a single of his own, advancing Gamel to third base on the play. Gary Sanchez gave the RailRiders an early 1-0 lead by hitting a 6-3 RBI ground out off of Buffalo starter Pat Venditte. It took the switch throwing pitcher 39 pitches to get through the first inning. The best offense in the International League loaded the bases by showing great plate discipline and proved to be tough outs by fouling off several two-strike pitches.
The scoring resumed in the bottom of the second inning. Jesus Montero led off the frame with a line-drive single to right field. After a Domonic Brown infield single and Melky Mesa line-out to left, Buffalo tied the game up at one with Bisons first baseman Casey Kotchman at the plate. Scranton catcher Gary Sanchez threw down to second base mid at bat, attempting to pick off Montero at second. Unfortunately, as he ran to third, RailRiders third basemen Pete Kozma dropped the incoming throw, allowing Montero to score on the error.
The game remained tied until the top of the fourth. Jose Rosario greeted Bisons reliever Ben Rowen with a line drive single to left field. Pete Kozma hit a ground ball that just got past the diving Casey Kotchman for a single to right field in the next at-bat. Jonathan Diaz gave Scranton a 2-1 lead as he ripped a first-pitch fastball into center field for an RBI single. Later on in the inning, Donovan Solano, who finished the game going 4 for 5, extended the RailRiders lead to 3-1 when he lined an RBI double to right field.
Buffalo scored the game’s final run on a passed ball by Yankee top prospect Gary Sanchez in the bottom of the fifth inning. The passed ball was Sanchez’s ninth of the season and his second of the game.
Starting pitcher Kyle Haynes turned in another quality start for the RailRiders. Despite allowing the leadoff batter to reach base five times, Haynes earned a win and held the Bisons to just two runs over 7 innings pitched. He finishes tonight with a 3-3 record and 4.35 ERA. The right-hander allowed seven hits, walked none and struck out six.
Giovanny Gallegos shut the door in the 9th as he came into face Alexi Casilla with two outs and the bases loaded. Giovanny only needed one pitch to get the Bisons shortstop to fly out to left and earn his second save of the season.
Scranton returns home tomorrow night in an Independence Day matchup with the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. Luis Severino (4-0, 3.16 ERA) is set to face off against southpaw James Russell (2-4, 4.28 ERA). First pitch is slated for 7:05 pm.