Fort Mill, S.C. - The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) showed no ill-effects from consecutive rainouts as they swept a doubleheader from the Charlotte Knights (Chicago White Sox) to move back to the .500 mark at 11-11 on Monday evening. The RailRiders won the first game 5-4, and then blanked the Knights in game two, 5-0.
In game one, RailRiders starter Dellin Betances struggled in the first inning, as the Knights pushed across the day's first run. With one out, Carlos Sanchez reached on a bunt single down the third-base line. Brent Morel followed with a double to left field that plated Sanchez from first base.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre evened the score in the top of the third inning when Corban Joseph hit a solo home run off of Charlotte starter Simon Castro.
The RailRiders extended their lead with three runs in the fourth. David Adams led off by ripping a double to left field, and then came around to score when Cody Johnson singled to right field. After Addison Maruszak walked, Bobby Wilson laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Johnson to third and Maruszak to second. One out later, Joseph singled down the left-field line, driving home both Johnson and Maruszak. SWB led 4-2 after three and a half innings.
Charlotte pulled one run back in the bottom of the fourth. With one out, Josh Bell singled to right, and later scored on Seth Loman's single.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre added one more run in the sixth. Maruszak led off with a walk, moved to second on a walk to Wilson, then to third on a sacrifice bunt by Gil Velazquez. He then scored when Melky Mesa hit a sacrifice fly to right field.
The Knights rallied to make things close in the seventh. They loaded the bases when Steve Tolleson, Jim Gallagher, and Brandon Short began the inning with consecutive singles off SWB closer Preston Claiborne. One out later, Morel singled home Tolleson. Lars Anderson then reached on a fielder's choice, the play plated Gallagher as Anderson just beat the throw at first base. With the tying run standing at third base, Claiborne struck out Bell to end the game.
Sam Demel (1-0) was brought into the game with the bases loaded and only one out in the fourth. He stranded all three runners, and pitched 2.2 innings of scoreless baseball to earn the win. Joseph finished the game with two extra-base hits, and three RBIs.
Castro (0-4) remained winless on the season after he allowed four runs over four and one-third innings for Charlotte.
An outstanding performance from starter Chris Bootcheck (3-0) in game two helped lead to the shutout. Bootcheck tossed six scoreless innings, struck out six batters, and issued just two walks in the night cap. He faced the minimum in four of his six innings, and lowered his season-long ERA to a microscopic 0.38.
Bootcheck was in control from the beginning as he retired the first five batters he faced. He was handed the lead when Scranton/Wilkes-Barre scored three in the third. Maruszak led off with a double and after Mahoney walked, he moved to third as Jeff Farnham reached on an infield single to load the bases. Two outs later, Zoilo Almonte delivered a double to left-center field, clearing the base paths and giving the RailRiders a 3-0 lead.
Almonte added another two-out RBI in the fifth. Mahoney led off with a walk, and moved to second on a bloop single by Farnham. Two outs later, Almonte singled Mahoney home.
The two-out scoring was not done, as the RailRiders added another in the sixth. With two outs, Maruszak doubled to left, and came around to score on Mahoney's single to right field.
Charlotte starter Matt Zaleski (1-2) picked up the loss after allowing five runs in five and two-thirds innings.
The RailRiders are in the midst of a nine-day, eight-game road trip before returning home for an eight-game homestand on Monday, May 6. It starts with the first of four against the Indianapolis Indians (Pittsburgh Pirates) at 6:35 p.m. Fans will be able to dine on just a few dimes with dollar hot dogs all night long at PNC Field. Great ticket packages, group deals and single-game tickets are available. With no upper deck at PNC Field anymore, every seat in the ballpark provides the supreme views and intimacy that make minor league baseball so special at incredibly affordable prices. For more information, please visit the team's official website, www.swbrailriders.com, or call 570-969-BALL (2255).
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