ALLENTOWN, PA – The SWB RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) took outright ownership of first place in the IL North with a 4-2 triumph over the host the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Philadelphia Phillies) at Coca-Cola Park Thursday night. The RailRiders (69-43) split the four-game series while the IronPigs (68-44) have lost back-to-back games for the first time since a three-game sweep at the hands of Columbus from June 27-29. SWB once again boasts exclusive ownership of Triple-A’s best record.
The RailRiders got all of their runs in the opening inning against starter David Buchanan. In his first game back with the RailRiders from the big leagues,Ben Gamel set the tone with a leadoff hit, his first of three knocks on the game. The runs were driven in by Aaron Judge, Tyler Austin, Donovan Solano and Kyle Higashioka.
Buchanan would settle from there, facing one over the minimum across the final 8.1 innings to toss a complete game.
SWB starter Kyle Haynes (5-4) worked around four walks and two hits to post six innings of one-run ball. The single score crossed in the first on Nick Williams’ 12th home run of the season.
Reliever Chasen Shreve issued consecutive walks to Emmanuel Burriss and J.P. Crawford at the start of the eighth. Later in the inning, Ben Heller gave up a run-scoring hit to Darin Ruf. Heller would retire five of the next six he faced and posted his first save as a RailRider.
The RailRiders return home for a six-game homestand starting Friday, Aug. 5 against the Syracuse Chiefs at 7:05 p.m. SWB will look to Luis Cessa (5-3, 3.23) against fellow right-hander Paolo Espino (6-9, 3.51). The RailRiders will wear their alternate black-and-green jerseys on the Glow-in-the-Park Friday. The RailRiders will celebrate the Olympic Opening Ceremonies with a USA replica jersey giveaway to the first 2,500 fans through the gates presented by Norwegian Cruise Lines. After the game, all in attendance will be treated to a fireworks show courtesy of Jack Williams Tire and Auto and Yokohama Tire. For tickets or more information, please call 570-969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.
OFF THE RAILS:
Aaron Judge went 2-for-4 with an RBI single and a run scored. In three games since coming off the DL he has gone 5-for-12 with a pair of doubles. His 55 RBIs overall lead the team.
Kyle Higashioka’s RBI double extended his Triple-A hitting streak to 14 games, the RailRiders’ longest active run.
The RailRiders hit .169 and scored nine runs in losing the first five games on the road trip, going 26-for-154 with seven extra-base hits. They went 20-for-68 (.294) in winning the last two games with six extra-base knocks and 11 runs scored.
Clint Frazier walked and scored. He also hit into a pair of double plays. Through three games as a RailRider he has gone 1-for-12.
David Buchanan became the first IronPig to toss a nine-inning complete game since Barry Enright on May 15, 2014, also at Coca-Cola Park against the RailRiders.