LOUISVILLE, KY. – A steady rain postponed play between the SWB RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) and the Louisville Bats (Cincinnati Reds) at Louisville Slugger Field on Tuesday night. The teams will make it up on Wednesday with a doubleheader starting at 5 p.m. Each game will be scheduled for seven innings of play.
The RailRiders return home for a short three-game series and homestand against Louisville on Tuesday, May 24 at 6:35 p.m. The $2 Twosday features $2 lawn seats (walk-up only), $2 tacos and $2 tall boy beers. For tickets or more information, please call 570-969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.
ABOUT LAST NIGHT: Weary after a lengthy bus ride that did not see the team arrive in its hotel rooms until after 5 a.m., the RailRiders dropped their road-trip opener to the Bats on Monday night, 4-1. The RailRiders lost a four-game winning streak as the Bats got nine innings from Triple-A greenhorn Daniel Wright.
THE WRIGHT STUFF: In his second career Triple-A start, the 25-year-old Wright (1-0) gave up one unearned run on three hits, no walks and eight strikeouts. It marked his first career complete game, one that saw him face one over the minimum after Nick Swisher‘s second-inning single.
R&R: Rob Refsnyder cracked a double for the team’s only extra-base hit and, later that inning, scored the squad’s lone tally. He has reached base safely in 22 of his last 23 games with hits in 18 of his last 19. A .190 hitter after going 1-for-5 versus Lehigh Valley on April 26, he has since gone 27-for-70, slashing .386/.411/.543/.954 to lift his average by 103 points to .293. His strike-zone awareness has him third in the IL in K/PA ratio (8.94:1).
SOL MAN: Over his last 21 games Donovan Solano has gone 28-for-80 with nine extra-base hits and nine RBIs, slashing .350/.385/.500/.885. His 40 hits lead SWB. His .308 average ties him with Columbus’ Ronny Rodriguez for ninth in the IL.
GUILTY AS CHARGED: Aaron Judge ranks among the IL’s best in homers (T-2nd, 7), RBIs (T-6th, 22), extra-base hits (T-4th, 16) and total bases (4th, 67). His five outfield assists pace the team.
SCENE OF THE CRIME: Gary Sanchez‘s Triple-A debut came in Louisville on July 18, 2015. He delivered a pair of hits that day including a moonshot three-run homer in his first plate appearance off of starter David Holmberg. His potent power has him among the IL’s best this season in doubles (T-1st, 11), extra-base hits (T-2nd, 17) and slugging percentage (5th, .504). His improved defensive prowess has him trailing Norfolk’s Francisco Pena for the IL lead in caught-stealing efficiency. Foes have been nabbed eight times in 16 tries (.500) with Sanchez behind the dish, the fewest attempts among qualifying catchers.
INNINGS EATER: Richard Bleier gave the RailRiders seven innings for the third straight start. No SWB hurler had accomplished that since 2011 when both Adam Warrenand David Phelps turned the trick. Warren’s run saw him win all three starts from June 9-20 that year and it began with a nine-inning effort versus Charlotte. Phelps lasted seven or more in four straight starts from May 23-June 8, going 2-0 in that time. Bleier also allowed 10 hits to tie for the most surrendered by an SWB hurler in a game this season. Anthony Swarzak gave up 10 hits versus Buffalo on April 20.
EXPANDING THE SKILL SETS: Ben Gamel started in right field for the first time with this year’s RailRiders. Each of his five games played with the Yankees earlier this month, including two starts, saw him play right field. He started in right field 10 times among his 129 games played for last year’s RailRiders. Judge started in center field yesterday for the second time this season. He also did so on May 11 versus Pawtucket and on May 5 started in left field for the first time since he was a sophomore in college.
OFF THE RAILS: The RailRiders had not had anyone in their uniform ejected this season before last night when both Bleier and Pete Kozma got tossed…The sinkerballing Bleier helped the RailRiders turn a season-high-tying three double plays…Only Gwinnett (46) has turned two more than SWB (45) this season…Eight of those double plays have come over Bleier’s five outings/four starts…The lefty induced 14 groundouts last night and owns a 3.2:1 GO:AO ratio on the year…He has walked just four men in 29 IP (1.24 BB/9 IP)…Rain fell at the game’s start, conclusion and for a good portion of the 1:59 in between…It marked the fastest game for the RailRiders all season…Wright threw 103 pitches (66 strikes)…He had not thrown more than 73 pitches in an outing on the season…Kyle Waldrop’s error was his fourth of the year, the most among IL outfielders…Louisville owns the IL’s second-worst fielding percentage (.976) and second-highest error total (33)…Only Durham (.975, 37) is worse…Kozma’s throw on Jermaine Curtis’ seventh-inning contact was originally scored a throwing error…After the game, the play was changed to an infield single.