Moosic, Pa. - Chien-Ming Wang pitched five and one-third scoreless innings to help the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) to a game one win in a doubleheader split with the Syracuse Chiefs (Triple-A/Washington Nationals). The Chiefs used two home runs by Chris Marrero to defeat the RailRiders in game two.
Wang (1-0), making his first start in the Yankees system since 2009, scattered six hits in his five and one-third innings to earn the win in game one. He also added three strikeouts, and did not walk a batter in his first outing of 2013.
The RailRiders wasted no time in giving Wang run support, as they put up three runs in the first. Corban Joseph led off the inning with a home run to right field. Two outs later, Dan Johnson began the two-out rally with a walk. Luke Murton followed with a single to move Johnson to third, and then Thomas Neal singled to left, plating Johnson. Bobby Wilson capped the inning by singling to left, driving home Murton.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre pushed across another run in the third. With two outs, Johnson walked, and moved to second on a single by Murton. Neal followed with a line drive hit to left, plating Johnson. Neal's second RBI of the game extended the RailRider lead, 4-0.
Wilson widened the gap with a solo home run in the sixth inning.
Syracuse made game one interesting, as they scored three runs in the seventh inning. Zach Walters reached on an error to begin the inning, and moved to second on Carlos Rivero's single. The bases were loaded when Jerad Head singled to left. One out later, Will Rhymes singled to score Walters, and the bases remained loaded. Jeff Kobernus capped the Syracuse scoring with a single, plating both Rivero and Head. The Kobernus hit gave game one its final margin of 5-3 in favor of the RailRiders.
Brett Marshall got the nod for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in game two, and ran into trouble in the first inning. With two outs, Rhymes singled to center, and scored when Marrero hit a towering home run to left field.
The RailRiders followed with a run in the bottom of the first. Joseph led off with a double to right field, and moved to third on a groundout by David Adams. After walks to Zoilo Almonte and Johnson loaded the bases, Austin Romine walked to force home Joseph, and cut the Syracuse lead to one.
The Chiefs scored a run in the second when Rivero singled and came around to score on a double by Jeff Howell.
Joseph answered quickly for the RailRiders, as he powered a home run to right field, cutting the deficit to 3-2.
Marrero pushed the lead back to two runs when he led off the third inning with another long distance home run to left field.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre plated one run in the fourth. Neal doubled with one out, and was brought home when Gil Velazquez reached on a throwing error by Jimmy Van Ostrand. The Chiefs carried the 4-3 lead into the seventh inning, and held off a rally by the RailRiders. With two outs, Almonte reached on an error by Walters, but Johnson hit a pop foul behind the plate that was caught by Howell to end the game.
Michael Crotta (2-1) earned the win after entering the game in the fourth and tossing one and two-thirds scoreless innings. Marshall (0-2) was handed the loss, he allowed four runs over five innings of work.
The RailRiders and Chiefs will play game three of their four game series tomorrow afternoon at PNC Field. It's a Family FUNday presented by NEPA Honda, and Hockey Day will be celebrated at the ballpark as members of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins will be on hand. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m.