COLUMBUS, OH – The SWB RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) plated a season-best 15 runs and survived the host Columbus Clippers (Cleveland Indians) at Huntington Park on Saturday night, 15-12. The RailRiders (35-28) have secured the franchise’s first series win at Columbus since the SWB Yankees took three of four from May 19-22, 2012. The Clippers (35-28) lost for just the seventh time over the teams’ last 27 meetings.
Columbus starter Ross Detwiler walked four in a five-run first that saw two-run hits from both Kyle Higashioka and Jonathan Diaz.
The Clippers stormed back with seven unanswered runs over the home first (3), second (3) and third (1) innings. All of those runs came at the expense of starter Kyle Haynes, who returned from the disabled list but struggled in his first outing since May 10. In 3.1 innings he allowed eight hits, a career-high-tying seven runs, walked three and whiffed two.
Aaron Judge pushed the RailRiders ahead 8-7 with a three-run homer in the fourth, his first big fly since May 9 and his team-leading eighth of the year.
Columbus tied the game in the sixth on Jesus Aguilar’s solo home run, his second of the game and league-leading 13th of the year. In the seventh, Nick Swisher’s leadoff shot to left, his first as a right-handed hitter this season and fifth overall, gave SWB a 9-8 lead. The Clippers’ Collin Cowgill sparked the home half with a homer of his own for 9-9 deadlock.
SWB sent 10 men to the plate in a six-run sixth that gave it the lead for good. The frame included two-run doubles by both Swisher and Higashioka. Reliever Austin Adams (2-2) allowed all six scores and took the loss.
The home club made it interesting, scoring three in the ninth while bringing the tying run to the on-deck circle in Aguilar. However, Neal Cotts got a groundball out from Giovanny Urshela to end the game.
Giovanny Gallegos (2-0) was charged with a blown save, but got the win in relief.
The series concludes at 1:05 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. SWB is scheduled to toss southpaw Tyler Webb (1-0, 2.87) against right-hander Cody Anderson (0-0, 2.30).
The RailRiders return home for a seven-day, six-game homestand on Friday, June 17. It starts with the first of three against the Gwinnett Braves (Atlanta Braves) at 7:05 p.m. The Glow-in-the-Park Friday will see the RailRiders wear their alternate black and neon-green uniforms and post-game fireworks, the latter presented by Jack Williams Tire and Auto. The first 2,500 fans will receive RailRiders shoelaces courtesy of Planet Fitness, which will also present a Man vs. Marathon promotion. Post-game festivities include Dave “The Bullet” Smith, Jr., “The Human Cannonball”, courtesy of the PA Turnpike. For tickets or more information, please call 570-969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.