Fort Mill, S.C. - The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) swept their second straight doubleheader from the Charlotte Knights (Chicago White Sox), and swept the four-game series as they moved to a season high two games above .500. The RailRiders won game one 3-1, and prevailed in game two, 5-3.
Chien-Ming Wang and Jason Berken started game one, and were both dominant early on. Wang allowed just two base runners to reach through his first four innings, while Berken retired 10 in a row from the end of the first to the fifth inning.
The RailRiders pushed across the game's first run in the sixth. Bobby Wilson led off the inning with a single to right field. Gil Velazquez then laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Wilson into scoring position at second base. Kevin Mahoney followed with a double off the left field wall that plated Wilson.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre scored two insurance runs in the seventh. After Dan Johnson led off the inning with his league-leading 19th walk of the season, David Adams homered over the tall left field wall to give the RailRiders the 3-0 advantage.
Charlotte, much like game one on Monday night, mounted a rally in the seventh. Josh Bell led off with a single, and then moved to second on a wild pitch by Wang. Josh Phegley singled to left, driving home Bell and cutting the deficit to two runs. Steve Tolleson followed with a single, and Jim Gallagher laid a bunt down to move Phegley to third, and Tolleson to second. With the tying run in scoring position, Brandon Short hit a groundball to the third baseman Adams, who tagged out Phegley for the second out of the inning. Blake Tekotte then hit a sinking liner to left, but Zoilo Almonte made a diving catch to end the ballgame.
Wang (2-1) went the full seven innings to earn the victory. He allowed just one run on six hits, and walked one batter. The effort lowered his season earned run average to 0.95, giving the RailRiders two starters with ERA's below one (Chris Bootcheck, 0.38).
Berken (1-2) picked up the loss in game one. He allowed three runs in a complete game effort, and he struck out six.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre wasted no time in grabbing the lead in game two; they scored in the first inning. Mahoney, Adams, and Almonte began the inning with singles to load the bases. Dan Johnson then hit a grounder to first, and Seth Loman tagged the bag to retire Johnson, but Mahoney was able to scamper home from third.
Charlotte went ahead with two runs in the second. With one out, Loman hit a towering home run over the right field fence to tie the game. They took the lead after Bryan Anderson walked, and came around to score on Drew Garcia's double to right field.
Almonte tied the game in the third for SWB with a home run down the right field line.
One day after playing in his first Triple-A contest, Jeff Farnham recorded his biggest hit so far. With one out, Cody Johnson doubled, and after Addison Maruszak walked, Farnham sliced a double to right field. It drove both Johnson and Maruszak home, and gave SWB the 4-2 lead.
The Knights inched closer in the fourth with one run. Anderson led off with a single, and advanced to second on a wild pitch by SWB reliever, Mark Montgomery. Loman followed with a single to left that drove home Anderson from second base.
Dan Johnson extended the RailRiders lead, providing an insurance run via a solo homer to right field. It was his second of the season, and proved to be the game's final score.
Montgomery (1-1) picked up his first career Triple-A win, tossing two innings out of the bullpen.
Charlotte starter Tony Pena Jr. (0-3) was handed the loss, after he allowed four runs in three and one-third 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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