MOOSIC – A fireworks show at PNC Field led to a brush fire behind the stadium after Saturday night’s Scranton/Wilkes-Barre game.
Fortunatley, the flames were controlled and no one and nothing was harmed.
Unfortunately for the RailRiders, the nearby heat wasn’t contagious to the team’s bats as the offense stayed ice cold for another day on Sunday in a 6-2 loss to Pawtucket. SWB only managed four hits on the afternoon in falling to 0-4 for the first time since the Yankees organization took over the franchise in 2007.
Brett Marshall, who led all Yankee minor leaguers in wins in 2012 with 13, had problems with pitch location during his Triple-A debut giving up five runs in 3 2/3 innings as Pawtucket swept the four-game, season-opening series.
Marshall lasted just 3 2/3 innings, which was shorter than all of his starts last year for Trenton. In 27 starts for the Thunder in 2012, he pitched at least five innings 25 times. The other two outings were four-inning starts. The 5-foot-11, 200-pounder missed his location throwing first-pitch strikes to just eight of the 21 batters he faced. He also walked four and threw two wild pitches, while allowing six hits and five runs.
“I don’t know why I couldn’t throw first-pitch strikes today. My arm felt great,” Marshall said. “I just couldn’t find it. I was getting behind on guys and just couldn’t catch back up with them.”
The 23-year-old Marshall was hit in the foot on a batted ball from PawSox shortstop Jonathan Diaz, the first batter of the third inning. He stayed in the game and faced eight Pawtucket hitters in the inning giving up three runs on three hits. Ryan Lavarnway played a big role with a two-run single capping the scoring in the frame to push Pawtucket’s lead to 4-0.
Marshall said the ball that struck him didn’t contribute to the big inning.
“The first couple pitches you let the pain go away and then I was fine,” he said. “I was kind of all over the place. My command wasn’t there today. I felt like I was staying too low. My sinker was bouncing in the dirt and that was killing me. I couldn’t get it up.”
For the second time in the four-game series, the PawSox took the early lead. This time it was the top of the second taking advantage of a leadoff walk from Marshall to Lavarnway. Marshall got the next two batters out, but Mark Hamilton made him pay for the walk drilling a ground-rule double to center driving in Lavarnway for a 1-0 lead.
Meanwhile, the RailRiders offense couldn’t get going early only getting a leadoff bunt single from Melky Mesa on the first pitch of the game. They waited out walks in the second, third and fifth innings, but that was all SWB could manage in those frames. In the fifth, Addison Maruszak walked and moved to second when Mesa was hit by a pitch with two outs, but Maruszak was picked off ending the threat.
Red Sox starter Terry Doyle got ahead of hitters and induced two groundball double-plays as part of seven grounders that turned into outs. The righty, who pitched parts of last season in Japan, walked five and hit a batter, but also whiffed five in 6 1/3 scoreless innings.
The RailRiders finally got on the board in the bottom of the eighth with Zoilo Almonte lacing a single to drive in a run and trim the lead to 6-1. Thomas Neal added an RBI-single in the ninth.