BUFFALO – Justus Sheffield pitched seven innings of three-hit ball, helping Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to a series-opening 6-2 victory Monday night over the Buffalo Bisons.
The seven innings by Sheffield (2-3) marked his longest appearance of the season for the RailRiders. He struck out six and walked three on 100 pitches. Tommy Kahnle pitched a perfect eighth with a pair of strikeouts and Joe Harvey allowed the run in the ninth.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre opened the scoring with four runs on four hits in the top of the third off of Buffalo starting pitcher Chris Rowley. With runners at second and third and two outs, Clint Frazier singled home Francisco Diaz. Ryan McBroom singled in Tyler Wade to extend the lead and Bruce Caldwell doubled in a pair for the 4-0 advantage.
After Buffalo plated a run against Sheffield in the bottom of the third on a pair of hits, Frazier hit a solo home run in the top of the fifth to push the lead back to four at 5-1. It was Frazier’s eighth home run of the year for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, all of which have been solo blasts.
Caldwell added a solo home run in the top of the eighth inning to give the RailRiders a 6-1 edge. Buffalo added a run in the ninth on a RBI single by Reese McGuire.
Rowley (5-5) took the loss after surrendering the first five runs on seven hits.
Four Scranton/Wilkes-Barre batters had two hits apiece and Caldwell drove in a game-high three runs.
The RailRiders and Bisons conclude this two-game set in Buffalo on Tuesday. RHP Luis Cessa makes his first start for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2018 and will be opposed by RHP Jon Harris (1-0, 0.00).
The RailRiders and Bisons resume the series on July 4 at PNC Field in at 7:05 p.m.
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