MOOSIC, PA (May 11, 2019) - Friday night the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders fell behind in the first inning due in part to a Toledo Mud Hens home run. Saturday, back-to-back home runs in the first inning by the RailRiders set the tone in a bounceback 5-1 win over the Hens.
For the second time in his career- and second time in the homestand- Mike Ford was penciled into the lineup as the leadoff hitter for SWB. He connected for a home run on the third pitch of the game from Toledo's starting pitcher, Matt Hall. The blast was estimated at 446 feet, but fell shy of what he did later in the game.
OF Aaron Hicks played in his second game on rehab with the RailRiders, and after an 0-for-3 performance Friday had much better success Saturday afternoon. He followed Ford's homer with a longball of his own to make it 2-0 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre two batters into the game.
Ford belted a 453-foot home run in his second at-bat and is now tied with Gosuke Katoh and Ryan McBroom for the team lead in 2019. Hicks came to bat a couple more times and doubled and scored a run in both the third and fifth innings. He finished 3-for-4 with a homer, two doubles and three runs scored while driving in a run.
On the mound, it was a scheduled bullpen day for the RailRiders with LHP Nestor Cortes having been promoted to the New York Yankees earlier in the week. Bullpen arm, RHP Raynel Espinal got the start and went 5.0 inning and didn't allow a hit until the leadoff man in the fifth inning. He picked up the win, throwing 67 pitches (the third most in his career) before handing the ball off to the bullpen. Stephen Tarpley (2.1 IP, 0R/0ER, K) and Jake Barrett (1.2 IP, 0R/0ER, 2 K) combined for a scoreless final four innings to close out the win and snap a mini two-game skid for SWB.
The RailRiders and Mud Hens play for the final time during the regular season at PNC Field Sunday afternoon with a scheduled 1:05 p.m. first pitch. RHP Chance Adams (2-1, 4.80) looks to build off his performance last time out in which he allowed one run over 6.2 innings, as he takes the ball against Toledo's RHP Spenser Watkins (3-0, 5.67). For tickets and more information, call (570) 969-BALL or slide to www.swbrailriders.com/tickets.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.