Last updated: July 07. 2013 11:53PM - 2120 Views

Lehigh Valley's Cody Overbeck, left, is out at home plate after colliding with RailRiders catcher Bobby Wilson to end the top of the first inning at PNC Field in Moosic on Sunday afternoon.
Lehigh Valley's Cody Overbeck, left, is out at home plate after colliding with RailRiders catcher Bobby Wilson to end the top of the first inning at PNC Field in Moosic on Sunday afternoon.
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MOOSIC – The RailRiders’ midseason surge continues.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre picked up its fourth straight win on Sunday afternoon, winning for the 12th time in its last 16 games with a 6-2 triumph over Lehigh Valley at PNC Field to storm back into the playoff race.

With the win, the RailRiders improved to 44-46 to climb within two games of the .500 mark for the first time since May 22, as the win coupled with North Division-leading Pawtucket’s loss moved SWB to 8.5 games out of first place. The RailRiders are also now just 1.5 games behind the second-place IronPigs.

The longball was used once again for the RailRiders en route to the victory. Addison Maruszak hit his fourth home run of the season in the bottom of the second. His solo homer tied the game at 1. The blast was followed immediately by Corey Patterson’s second home run since joining the RailRiders on June 21.

For the third time this season, SWB hit back-to-back home runs — Maruszak has been involved in all three instances.

The lead was padded in the next inning and rehabbing Derek Jeter played a role. After Walter Ibarra led off with a walk, Jeter followed with a single. Once two outs were recorded, Randy Ruiz clubbed a three-run home run high over and just inside the left field foul pole. It was Ruiz’ eighth home run in 23 games with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and extended the team’s lead to 5-1.

Home runs have been plentiful lately for the RailRiders as they have now hit 26 over last 12 games.

“I just saw it and hit it, and I’m glad it went fair because it gave us an opportunity to go ahead,” Ruiz said. “You still got to put the ball in play. Fortunately we got some guys here with some pop … All you gotta do is put the ball in play and things like that are going to happen.

“You can’t say we only rely on the home runs. Fortunately, we’ve been doing that lately but we still got to get the big key runs.”

At the start of the game, it didn’t seem like the RailRiders would remain hot. A trend that occurred in the previous two games happened again Sunday with Lehigh Valley getting out to a lead in the top of the first.

Cody Overbeck doubled in Cody Asche for the 1-0 lead. The damage could’ve been worse, but left fielder Thomas Neal gunned down Overbeck at the plate to end the inning.

Huff tied his strikeout high with the RailRiders, fanning six in a season-high six innings. His season-high of seven strikeouts came while with Columbus in May. In his outing, he gave up seven hits on the steamy afternoon as temperatures soared into the upper 80s, but didn’t walk anyone and stayed out of trouble after the first as he picked up his first win of the season with the RailRiders.

Reliever Dellin Betances continued his hot stretch, pitching two scoreless innings in relief of Huff. Betances allowed one hit and fanned five as his fastball topped out at 97 MPH. In his last nine relief appearances, he’s allowed just one run in 14 innings and has struck out 23.

RailRiders 6, IronPigs 2

Lehigh Valley` ` ` ` `RailRiders

`ab`r`h`bi` `ab`r`h`bi

Hernandez 2b`5`0`2`1`Jeter dh`2`1`1`0

Galvis ss`5`0`0`0`Lillibridge 2b`4`0`1`1

Asche 3b`4`1`2`0`Neal lf`3`0`0`0

Overbeck dh`4`0`2`1`Ruiz 1b`4`1`1`3

Fields 1b`4`0`1`0`Johnson 3b`3`0`1`0

Castro rf`4`1`1`0`Maruszak rf`4`1`1`1

Martinez cf`3`0`1`0`Patterson cf`4`1`1`1

Lerud c`3`0`1`0`Wilson c`4`0`0`0

Gillies lf`4`0`1`0`Ibarra ss`2`2`1`0


Lehigh Valley`100`000`001`—`2


LOB—LV 9, SWB 5. TEAM RISP – LV 4-for-11, SWB 2-for-5. 2B— Overbeck (21), Martinez (9), Hernandez (8), HR – Maruszak (4), Patterson (2), Ruiz (8). SB – Asche (9), Lillibridge (5). GIDP – LV 1 , SWB 1. Outfield Assists – Neal (Overbeck at home)



Lehigh Valley

Cochran (L, 3-4)`5`4`5`5`3`4

MacDougal `2`2`1`1`1`1



Huff (W, 4-4)`6`7`1`1`0`6



WP: Betances

HBP – Neal (by MacDougal)

Umpires— Home, Sean Barber; First, John Tumpane; Second, Toby Basner; Third, Andy Dudones

T— 2:48. A— 8,315 (10,000)

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