MOOSIC — If the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders wanted to break out of their recent scoring slump, they certainly ran into the wrong guy to do it against.
Red-hot Lehigh Valley pitcher Tyler Cloyd wasn’t cooling down much.
Instead, Cloyd kept the RailRiders bats cold, and the IronPigs battered around Scranton/Wilkes-Barre ace Chris Bootcheck in a 5-1 Lehigh Valley victory at PNC Field.
Cloyd, who initially struggled after being demoted by the Philadelphia Phillies in mid-June, has regained the form that made him the International League’s pitcher of the year in 2012.
He shut the RailRiders down on six hits over seven smooth innings while rolling to his third straight victory since early July - and made Saturday night his fifth straight start for the IronPigs where he didn’t allow more than a single run.
The lone run for the RailRiders came when Dan Johnson — who had half the team’s hits against Cloyd — walloped a home run over the right field wall with two outs in the sixth inning.
By that time, Cloyd and the IronPigs had the game well under control.
A couple of guys not known for power muscled up against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre starter Chris Bootcheck, who dropped to 9-5 on the season.
Light-hitting Freddy Galvis drilled a long home run to right field in the first inning, and ninth-place hitter Tyson Gillies unloaded another bomb to right field in the third.
That was only the beginning of Lehigh Valley’s power display, as Bootcheck also surrendered four doubles.
One of those came from Cody Overbeck in the fourth inning — a ball lost by left fielder Ronnier Mustelier that hopped over the wall and sent Josh Fields to third base. Pete Orr then flared a single into left field, bringing Fields home with a 3-0 IronPigs lead.
Derrick Mitchell scored on a passed ball in the fifth inning, then Steve Lerud’s double in the sixth inning brought home Tyler Henson for a 5-0 IronPigs advantage.
After Bootcheck left the mound, the RailRiders bullpen was brilliant, retiring all nine Lehigh Valley batters that stepped up.
Sam Demel struck out four straight batters and set down all five men he faced. Then he gave way to Cesar Cabral, who was equally impressive in his RailRiders debut. Cabral struck out the first three batters he pitched to before getting a fourth straight out on a fly ball.