MOOSIC – Scranton/Wilkes-Barre continued to look like the weather at PNC Field on Friday night.
As the temperatures hovered in the 40s and rain fell nearly throughout the whole contest, the RailRiders didn’t look much better in a 9-4 loss to Durham.
Durham, which is littered with top-rated prospects in the Tampa Bay organization, jumped out to a 6-0 lead after four innings and never looked back in handing the RailRiders their sixth consecutive loss and their 11th in 12 games.
The Bulls offense got to SWB starter Graham Stoneburner, who entered with an ERA of 3.00, by handing the 25-year-old his worst outing of the season. He lasted just 3 1/3 innings and gave up six runs, six hits and three walks.
Stoneburner couldn’t be faulted for not throwing strikes, though. It just seemed like the only time he missed the plate was during the walks or the one batter he hit. He got ahead of 16 of the 20 batters he faced with an 0-1 count. So he may have been the recipient of throwing too many strikes. Of the 69 pitches, he threw 42 went for strikes.
The game’s first two runs scored in the top of the third when Durham netted RBI doubles from Brandon Guyer and Wil Myers to put the Bulls in front 2-0.
A four-spot in the top of the fourth by the Bulls chased Stoneburner, who got a little wild in the inning as he walked two, including one with the bases loaded, and hit a batter.
Like the night before, the RailRiders started to make a comeback after giving up multiple runs and being shutout. On Friday, they started earlier, plating two runs in the bottom of the fifth. SWB was helped by a two-base error committed by Bulls left fielder Brandon Guyer. That put RailRiders’ catcher Bobby Wilson on second and Melky Mesa on third.
Corban Joseph followed with a run-scoring single to get the home team on the board. Wilson scored on a fielder’s choice to cut the lead to 6-2.
If the RailRiders had aspirations of inching closer, the Bulls put a damper on that by scoring two in the top of the seventh to push the lead back to six runs. The Bulls tacked on another run in the eighth to take a 9-2 lead.
For the second straight night, the RailRiders put together a two-out rally, but it wasn’t enough. This time, the rain didn’t halt the comeback, they just ran out of outs. Zoilo Almonte tripled in two runs with two outs, but that’s all they would get.