BUFFALO, NY – The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders rode dominant performances from their two youngest stars for an 8-1 win over the Buffalo Bisons (Toronto Blue Jays) on Sunday afternoon. The win allowed the RailRiders (48-44) to avoid a sweep defeat at the hands of the Bisons (45-46).
The tone was set by 21-year-old starter Luis Severino (5-0) who retired 15 of the 17 batters he faced over five scoreless innings. He allowed one hit, walked one and struck out four in efficient fashion on 64 pitches (41 strikes).
SWB’s first runs came in the third inning when 22-year-old Greg Bird smashed his second home run in as many days, a three-run shot to right-center off starter Daniel Norris (2-9). Bird would collect another RBI with a single in the fifth as part of a 2-for-3 day with four RBIs, two walks and two runs scored. Bird has hit safely in eight straight games and has reached base safely in all of his nine Triple-A games.
Kyle Roller snapped an extended hitting funk with a three-hit performance that included a run-scoring single in that same fifth frame. He doubled twice to match his extra-base hit total over his prior 16 games. Dan Fiorito drove home a third run in that fifth inning as Norris allowed six runs on nine hits over 4.2 innings.
Ramon Flores’ sac fly made it 7-0 in the sixth and Jose Rosario connected on an RBI single in the seventh for his first Triple-A hit and an 8-0 margin.
Former SWB star Melky Mesa was hit by Caleb Cotham’s first pitch out of the bullpen to begin the ninth. He would later spoil the shutout by scoring on Ryan Schimpf’s sac fly that made for the game’s penultimate out.
The RailRiders will enjoy a three-game respite for the All-Star break before returning to play on Thursday at Louisville against the Bats (Cincinnati Reds) at 7:05 p.m. Right-hander Kyle Davies (6-6, 4.34) will get the ball for SWB against fellow righty Robert Stephenson (2-0, 1.64). The RailRiders will give away a special copy of Yankees Magazine to the first 2,500 fans in attendance on Friday, July 24, when the team hosts the Toledo Mud Hens (Detroit Tigers). For more information please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.