PAWTUCKET, RI (July 8, 2018) - On an afternoon where the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders match a dubious franchise mark, they earn a hard-fought 3-2 win over the Pawtucket Red Sox to take 2-of-3 games at McCoy Stadium and enter the All-Star Break on a high note.
After a scoreless first innings, Bruce Caldwell smacked an opposite-field solo home run off PawSox starter Fernando Rodriguez Jr. to lead off the second inning. It was the infielder's fifth homer of the year and RBI no. 18, providing the early 1-0 lead. Rodriguez- who was not expected to start the game before William Cuevas was summoned to the major leagues- tossed 2.1 innings in a spot-start and allowed just the one run, but he was tabbed with the loss as the PawSox never regained even footing.
With a 1-0 advantage in the top of the fifth, L.J. Mazzilli worked a walk and Tyler Austin hit a 3-0 offering from Williams Jerez over the left field wall for a 3-0 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre lead. Austin's home run, in his first day off the Disabled List, was estimated at 406 feet.
Pawtucket broke up the shutout bid in the bottom of the sixth against Justus Sheffield. The southpaw had allowed four base runners over the first five innings, but Ivan De Jesus doubled to lead off the sixth. Sam Travis singled in De Jesus and cut the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre lead to 3-1. He earned the win with 5.1 innings and one run allowed while striking out seven batters. He moves to 3-3 with a 2.53 ERA as he prepares for his next outing which will likely come at the Futures Game in Washington D.C. July 15.
Pawtucket scored a run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the 7th inning, but Stephen Tarpley and Cody Carroll tossed scoreless 8th and 9th innings to secure the win.
The win puts the RailRiders at a season-best five games above .500 heading into the break, even with the dubious record they matched being the 18 strikeouts turned in by the SWB lineup Sunday afternoon.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre is idle for the next three days over the Triple-A All-Star break. Cody Carroll will represent the RailRiders in Wednesday's All-Star classic at Huntington Park in Columbus, Ohio. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre resumes play Thursday evening at PNC Field against the Rochester Red Wings in Game One of a four-game set. First pitch on Thursday is slated for 7:05 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning at 6:35 p.m.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders Record:
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.