Moosic, Pa. - Thomas Neal recorded a pair of doubles and Chris Bootcheck tossed seven solid innings as the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) topped the Syracuse Chiefs (Washington Nationals) on Monday night, 8-1. The win brings SWB to the .500 mark for the first time this season at 8-8, and gives them seven triumphs in their last nine contests.
Bootcheck (2-0) pitched seven strong innings, conceding just one run after he already had a 4-0 lead. The veteran right-hander limited the Chiefs to five hits, while walking two and striking out five en route to his second win of the season. Bootcheck's first run allowed this season raised his ERA to a still-sparkling 0.50.
The RailRiders gave Bootcheck plenty of support, beginning with four runs in the third. Gil Velazquez started the inning with a single, and he moved to second when Corban Joseph followed with a walk. Neal then laced a double to left field, driving home Velazquez and moving Joseph to third. Zoilo Almonte then doubled to deep center, plating both Joseph and Neal. One out later, Austin Romine capped the inning by singling home Almonte. The RailRiders led 4-0 after three.
Syracuse scored its only run in the fifth. With two outs, Micah Owings doubled to right field. After a walk to Carlos Maldonado, Jeff Kobernus singled to right field. Owings was waved around scored, while the throw eventually went to third to catch Maldonado in a rundown. He was tagged out by Joseph to end the inning.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre pulled the run back in the bottom of the fifth. Neal led off by being hit by a pitch, and later came around to score on Dan Johnson's single to left field.
The RailRiders put the game out of reach in the sixth. Melky Mesa led off with a single, and one out later came around to score when Velazquez singled to right. Neal later doubled down the left-field line, driving home Velazquez. The throw home was cut off by the third baseman Carlos Rivero, and his throw trying to get Neal at second went into right field, allowing Neal to score on the play. That run proved to be the final one of the contest.
Syracuse starter Ross Ohlendorf (2-2) was handed the loss after he allowed seven runs on eight hits in five and one-third innings of work. The Chiefs conceded three out of the four games in their series with the RailRiders, and fall to 7-10 on the season.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre will now welcome in its second opponent of this eight-game home stand, as the Columbus Clippers come to PNC Field beginning on Tuesday night. It's a two-for-one Tuesday at the ballpark, meaning buy-one-get-one-free NEPA Honda Homer Zone tickets will be available. First pitch at PNC Field is slated for 6:35 p.m. The RailRiders will look to right-hander Dellin Betances (0-2, 13.50) against Daisuke Matsuzaka (0-1, 5.56).
- SWB RailRiders - All Aboard! -