Moosic, Pa. - The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) dropped their seventh consecutive game on Saturday night, as the Durham Bulls (Tampa Bay Rays) topped Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, 11-6. The Bulls scored five runs in the third to help overcome an early deficit to SWB.
For the first time this series, the RailRiders scored first. In the bottom of the first, Thomas Neal began the rally with a one-out single. He moved to second on a walk by Zoilo Almonte, and scored when Ronnier Mustelier blooped a single to right field.
The lead did not hold up long as the Bulls batted around in the third inning. Durham pushed across five runs by using three walks, three hits, and two RailRider errors. Jason Bourgeois, Vince Belnome, and Shelley Duncan each drove in a run during the frame, and the Bulls led 5-1 after two and a half innings of play.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre inched closer with two runs in the bottom of the third. With one out, Mustelier hit a solo home run to left-center field. One out later, Josh Bell singled, and was advanced home when Melky Mesa doubled.
The Bulls extended their lead with three runs in the fourth. Tim Beckham led off with a single, and moved to second when Cole Figueroa walked. They each advanced a base when Craig Albernaz laid down a sacrifice bunt. Rich Thompson then grounded hard back to the mound, SWB starter Caleb Cotham got the out at first base but Beckham advanced home from third. Bourgeois then singled up the middle to plate Figueroa. Bourgeois ended up at second on the play because of the throw home, and then came around to score when Belnome followed with a double.
Two more runs were added to the Durham lead in the fifth. Duncan and Mike Fontenot led off with walks, advanced one base on a wild pitch, and came around to score on a single by Figueora. The Bulls led 10-3 after five innings.
Wil Myers hit his second home run of the series, and his sixth of the season, with nobody aboard and one out in the sixth to make it 11-3 in favor of Durham.
The RailRiders pulled back two more runs in the bottom of the sixth. Jeff Farnham reached on a fielder's choice, and Corban Joseph followed with his team-leading sixth home run of the season to right field.
SWB closed out the game's scoring with one run in the eighth. Alberto Gonzalez led off with a walk, advanced to second on a single by Farnham, and to third on a single by Neal. Almonte followed with a sacrifice fly to center field, which gave the game its final margin of 11-6 in favor of Durham.
J.D. Martin (6-2) allowed three runs over five innings of work, but earned the win for Durham.
Cotham (0-3) was handed the loss after allowing eight runs over three and two-thirds innings of work. Jim Miller threw two shutout innings in the seventh and eighth, while Cody Eppley pitched a scoreless ninth out of the SWB bullpen.
The RailRiders will try to avoid the sweep at the hands of the Bulls tomorrow afternoon at PNC Field, and they'll send Chris Bootcheck (4-0, 2.80) to the mound. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m., and the first 5,000 fans through the gates will receive a free mini American flag. It's also Veterans Recognition Day at the ballpark, as Memorial Day will be recognized. Gates are set to open at noon.
- All Aboard -