Moosic, Pa. - Russ Canzler and Zoilo Almonte each homered, but the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders' defense committed a season-worst four errors and the Durham Bulls' (Tampa Bay Rays) patient offensive attack combined for 11 hits as the Bulls topped the RailRiders Sunday night at DBAP, 6-4. The loss marked the third straight for the RailRiders and moved SWB to 0-2 on the current eight-game road trip.
SWB got its first run in the form of the long ball as Canzler gave the RailRiders the early lead on a second-inning shot to left-center. Canzler's first jack of the season gave the RailRiders their first lead of the series, 1-0.
The lead was short-lived as Durham added a run of its own in the home half of the frame. Jerry Sands continued his hot start to the season with a home run that cleared the left-field wall. His sixth shot of the season evened the game at 1-all.
The RailRiders responded with two more in the third. Ramon Flores reached on a lead-off walk and came around to score on a Zoilo Almonte's team-leading fifth home run for a 3-1 score.
The lead stood at two until the fifth frame when the Bulls' attack broke through against starter Brian Gordon. All nine batters came to the plate in the frame, adding three runs scored on five base hits. Eddy Rodriguez began the offensive with a single and came around to score on a base hit by Vince Belnome. Wilson Betemit's single and Sands' sacrifice fly rounded out the scoring while chasing Gordon.
SWB scored one more run after Antoan Richardson was hit by a pitch with two outs in the seventh. The speedster blitzed home all the way from first when Flores followed with a double off the left-field wall for a 4-4 draw.
Durham scratched across single scores in the seventh and eighth innings. Betemit added his second double of the season on a line drive to left-center and scored on a missed-catch error by Flores that meant a Mike Fontenot sacrifice fly. The final dagger came in the ninth when Sands poked a single through the right side that scored Hak-Ju Lee.
Bulls' closer Kirby Yates finished the game off for his team-best eighth save of the year, pitching a 1-2-3 inning to close the door on the RailRiders. The win was the first of the year for C.J. Riefenhauser, while Jim Miller (0-1) was slated with the loss.
The RailRiders will continue their eight-game road trip on Monday, April 28 at 7:05 p.m. when the RailRiders and Bulls play game three of their four-game set. SWB will toss right-hander Alfredo Aceves (0-0, 0.00), while Durham sends right-hander Nathan Karns (2-2, 8.02) to the bump. John Sadak and Aaron Berlin will have the call on radio with the pregame show beginning at 6:35 p.m. on NEPA Sports Radio - The GAME, Northeast PA's largest sports radio network: 100.7 FM, 1340 WYCK-AM, 1400 WICK-AM, 1440 WCDL-AM and 106.7 FM. For season ticket information, single-game tickets or to book a ballpark group outing, call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.
OFF THE RAILS:
The RailRiders defense combined for four errors, the most of the year.
Russ Canzler's home run in the second was his second home run since game one of a June 22 day-night doubleheader at PNC Field while a member of the Norfolk Tides.
SWB pitchers combined to toss 12 strikeouts.
- SWB RailRiders - All Aboard! -