Just when it seemed the game was turning into a pitchers’ duel, things took a turn for the worse for RailRiders starter Brett Marshall. He surrendered six hits and six runs in the sixth inning, including a two-run homer that put Lehigh Valley ahead for good and sent Marshall to his ninth loss of the season. Until then, the righthander was cruising through what could have been five shutout innings, had center fielder Melky Mesa gotten a quicker start on a looping double by Lehigh Valley’s Freddy Galvis that turned into the game’s first run in the first inning. As Marshall went, so did the RailRiders on Sunday. Good start, but not such a good finish.
RailRiders at the Plate: Ronnier Mustelier showed some pop with a wind-aided homer to center field and another long drive to left field that turned into an out. Randy Ruiz ripped a pair of singles, including the first RBI for the RailRiders, and Adonis Garcia had two hits in his first two trips to the plate.
RailRiders on the mound: Brett Marshall was cruising with six strikeouts and just one run surrendered until things fell apart on him during Lehigh Valley’s six-run sixth inning. Mike Zagurski, Jim Miller and Matt Daley combined for three scoreless innings of relief with five strikeouts without allowing a hit.
Decisive defense: Tyler Henson’s diving backhanded stab of J.R. Murphy’s liner down the third-base line in the first inning saved one run and possibly two, and helped give Lehigh Valley a chance to rally.
Riding the Rails: Center fielder Melky Mesa was back in center field and in the leadoff spot for the RailRiders after being optioned down from New York, where he hit .385 in five games for the parent Yankees. He went 0-for-4 upon his Scranton/Wilkes-Barre return Sunday.
Time of Game: 2:33.
Today: The RailRiders enjoy a rare late-season off day.
On Deck: The RailRiders head to Syracuse Tuesday to finish what they started last month at PNC Field, a game that’s tied in the 11th inning. Then they’ll play a regularly-scheduled game after that game’s completion in Syracuse.
On the Radio: All games can be heard on WYCK 1340-AM, 1400-AM and 100.7-FM.
HOW THEY SCORED
LEHIGH VALLEY FIRST: Freddy Galvis dropped a double into centerfield that got lost in the sun, then Steve Susdorf drew a one-out walk. Josh Fields followed with a sharp single to center field, bringing home Galvis. LEHIGH VALLEY 1-0.
RAILRIDERS FIRST: Adonis Garcia slammed a two-out single to center field, Dan Johnson walked and Randy Ruiz roped a run-scoring single to left field that brought Garcia home. RAILRIDERS 1, LEHIGH VALLEY 1.
RAILRIDERS SECOND: Ronnier Mustelier lifted a home run just over the center field fence and against the black backdrop behind it. RAILRIDERS 2-1.
LEHIGH VALLEY SIXTH: Steve Susdorf singled, stole second base and raced home on a double by Josh Fields to tie the game. Cody Overbeck soon untied it with a two-run shot over the right field wall. Cameron Rupp singled, stole second base and scored on Cameron Rupp’s single. Tyson Gillies doubled to finish RailRiders starter Brett Marshall, then Leandro Castro finished the six-run inning with a two-run double. LEHIGH VALLEY 7-2.
RAILRIDERS EIGHTH: David Adams singled off the glove of pitcher Justin Friend and moved to second base when Garcia walked. Dan Johnson followed with a hard single to right field that brought Adams home. LEHIGH VALLEY 7-3.