Moosic, Pa. - Derek Jeter joined the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) on Saturday night to begin his Major League rehab assignment. Jeter walked but did not record a hit as the RailRiders defeated the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Philadelphia Phillies), 4-2. Michael Pineda, also on a rehab assignment from New York, earned the win in his SWB debut.
Jeter started at shortstop and batted lead-off for SWB. He saw five pitches and worked a walk in his first at-bat against former teammate, IronPigs starter Raul Valdes. Jeter then lined a ball to second baseman Cesar Hernandez in the third, but he caught the hard-hit ball. His final at-bat came in the fourth, and he grounded out routinely to third base. Jeter will be in the lineup on Sunday afternoon as the designated hitter for the RailRiders.
Pineda (1-0) ended up working five innings and earned the win. He struck out a season-high seven batters. It was his fifth rehab start, as he made two starts each with Advanced-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton. He struggled with command early, but ended the game with 78 pitches tossed, 56 of them for strikes.
Things did not get off to a good start for Pineda on the mound, as Lehigh Valley plated two runs in the first. Hernandez led off with an infield single. He moved up to second on a grounder, then to third on a wild pitch. Cody Asche drew a walk, and proceeded to steal second base to put runners at second and third. Following a strikeout, Josh Fields walked to load the bases, and Leandro Castro then blooped a double to right field, which drove home Hernandez and Asche.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre cut the lead in half with a run in the second. Dan Johnson led off with a single to left field. Thomas Neal then doubled to right-center field, which drove home Johnson all the way from first base.
Neal helped the RailRiders grab the lead for good when they plated three runs in the third. The rally was of the two-out variety, and Brent Lillibridge started it with a single up the middle. He then stole second base, and scored when Randy Ruiz singled to left field. Johnson doubled to push Ruiz to third base, and Neal capped the inning with a hard single to left field which drove home both Ruiz and Johnson. It gave the RailRiders a 4-2 lead, which proved to be the final margin.
The SWB bullpen hurled four shutout frames. They got two scoreless innings from Yoshinori Tateyama, one from Jim Miller, and the ninth from Mike Zagurski, who earned his second save as a RailRider.
Valdes (3-4) picked up the loss for the IronPigs, as he allowed four runs on six hits over five and two-thirds innings.
The RailRiders have now won three games in a row, and will play host to Lehigh Valley on Sunday afternoon, Jeter will be back in the lineup as the designated hitter, and first pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. Sunday's game is the fourth of a nine-game homestand at PNC Field. Left-hander David Huff (3-3, 3.38) will get the starting nod for SWB.
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