Moosic, Pa. - For a third consecutive night, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) rallied late, but the Gwinnett Braves (Atlanta) hung on for the 7-6 win at PNC Field on Sunday afternoon. The win snapped a 14-game losing streak for Gwinnett, as the RailRiders fell to 20-15 on the season after the loss.
It was Scranton/Wilkes-Barre who started the scoring in the first inning. Newest RailRider Reegie Corona led off the inning with a single. Curtis Granderson followed with a hard single to right, moving Corona to second. David Adams capped the inning by slamming his third home run of the season over the left field wall, giving the RailRiders a 3-0 lead after the first.
Gwinnett answered swiftly, and took the lead in the second. With one out, Alden Carrithers, Sean Kazmar, and Matt Pagnozzi each reached to load the bases. Luis Nunez then smacked a single to left field; driving home Carrithers as the bases remained loaded. Tyler Pastornicky followed with a double to deep center field, plating Kazmar and Pagnozzi, and advancing Nunez to third. Jason Heyward, on a rehab assignment from Atlanta, then hit a hard single to right field which drove in both Nunez and Pastornicky. The Braves led 5-3 after an inning and a half.
The Braves scored two more runs in the sixth. Pagnozzi led off with a walk, Nunez followed with a single, and then Pastornicky was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs. Heyward then hit a ball to deep left field for a sacrifice fly that drove in Pagnozzi and advanced Nunez to third. Joey Terdoslavich capped the Gwinnett scoring by hitting a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Nunez.
The RailRiders cut into the deficit with two runs in the bottom of the sixth. With Adams aboard at first base and no one out, Dan Johnson homered to right field, narrowing the Gwinnett margin to 7-5.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's rally in the ninth fell short. The RailRiders loaded the bases, but Gwinnett conceded just one run when Johnson walked home a run. That gave the game its final margin of 7-6.
Granderson, playing in his fourth game with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, recorded three hits in five at-bats. He's now 7-17 with a home run and three RBIs for the RailRiders.
Gwinnett starter Daniel Rodriguez (2-3) pitched into the sixth to earn the win. He tossed five and one-third innings, allowing five runs on eight hits, and struck out three. Ryan Buchter pitched the ninth, and earned his second save of the season.
Kelvin Perez (0-2) made the spot start for the RailRiders in place of Brett Marshall, and he picked up the loss after allowing five runs in two innings.
The RailRiders will wrap-up an eight game home stand on Monday evening against Gwinnett. Hot dogs at PNC Field will be just one dollar all night long. Graham Stoneburner (2-2, 2.86) will get the starting nod for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. His counterpart will be Yohan Flande (1-3, 5.34). First pitch at PNC Field is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.
OFF THE RAILS:
-Today's paid crowd of 4,752 lifted the team's season-long attendance at PNC Field over 100,000 to 101,471. To put that in perspective, the 2011 SWB squad did not crack 100,000 fans until June 17. The RailRiders became the sixth squad in the 14-team IL to reach the mark this season.
-Sunday's showing makes it five straight home openings with more than 4,000 fans at PNC Field. In fact, out of the team's last 10 home openings, just twice has the paid crowd fallen short of that mark. Both times, it missed narrowly including 3,911 for the April 25 contest against Columbus and 3,938 on May 7 versus Indianapolis. In 2011, the franchise never had a run of more than four straight games with 4,000 or more fans at PNC Field, much less in the early stage of the season while schools are still in session.
- All Aboard -