SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Going back to 2009, no International League team had recorded more shutouts than the SWB RailRiders and the Syracuse Chiefs (Washington Nationals) at 80 apiece. On Sunday night at NBT Bank Stadium, the RailRiders (81-62) snapped the tie with their 81st shutout over that span for their 81st win of the 2015 season, a 4-0 triumph over Syracuse (65-78) that deadlocked the three-game series.
SWB ace Kyle Davies (11-8) set the tone with six innings of three-hit baseball. He struck out seven and walked one as he became the franchise’s first pitcher with 11 or more wins since Ramon Ortiz went 13-7 in 2012.
Giovanny Gallegos and Chris Martin took the baton from there. In his second career Triple-A outing, Gallegos whiffed two over a pair of scoreless innings while the veteran Martin worked around a leadoff double with two strikeouts of his own in the ninth.
The RailRiders’ runs came in the middle innings. Cito Culver’s two-out single plated Kyle Roller in the fourth. An inning later, Slade Heathcott drove Juan Graterol and Jake Cave home with a single and Heathcott rounded out the scoring with an RBI infield hit in the sixth. While the last of those knocks came off former SWB Opening Day man Bruce Billings, all four runs went on the line of Syracuse starter Taylor Jordan (5-6).
The RailRiders’ regular-season ends on Labor Day Monday with a 12:05 p.m. start in Syracuse. Southpaw Chaz Hebert (2-0, 0.75) gets the start in the rubber match against right-hander Paolo Espino (8-6, 3.28). The RailRiders will host the wildcard winner at PNC Field on Friday, Sept. 11 at 6:35 p.m. For tickets or more information, please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.
OFF THE RAILS:
In the fifth, Kyle Roller drew his sixth intentional walk of the season to snap a five-way tie for the league lead. He entered Sunday tied with his teammate Ben Gamel, Charlotte’s Dan Black, Columbus’ Jesus Aguilar and Louisville’s Brennan Boesch. Boesch was both a New York Yankee and SWB RailRider in 2013.
Jake Cave entered the game 3-for-14 at Triple-A. He went 4-for-5 as the leadoff man with a double.
Syracuse’s Taylor Jordan was tagged with a career-worst 11 hits. He had allowed 10 hits just three times on his seven-year pro career. Two of those occasions before Sunday came in the big leagues.
The RailRiders have recorded shutout wins in two of their last three games and three of their last eight.