RailRiders fall short in narrow loss to Rochester

By DJ Eberle - [email protected]
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders right-hander Chance Adams delivers a pitch during Thursday’s game against the Rochester Red Wings at PNC Field. - Sean McKeag | Times Leader
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders second baseman L.J. Mazzilli reaches for the base as Rochester Red Wings first baseman Kennys Vargas slides safely into second during Thursday’s game at PNC Field in Moosic. - Sean McKeag | Times Leader

MOOSIC — It was just one of those nights.

Mike Ford just missed a game-tying, ninth-inning home run, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders ran into an out in the third inning that hampered a run and the offense was quiet, wasting an impressive effort from starting pitcher Chance Adams.

It looked like Ford had hit a solo blast to deep right field to give the RailRiders a new sense of hope during Thursday’s series opener against the Rochester Red Wings. But instead of a tie game and possible extra innings in store, to the disbelief of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders first baseman and manager Bobby Mitchell, who went out to argue for Ford, first-base umpire Richard Riley ruled that the ball was foul.

Ford would go on to strike out and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (46-42) would fall to the Red Wings (42-44) a batter later, 2-1.

“Yeah, Mike put a great swing on that ball. Unfortunately, foul,” RailRiders right fielder Billy McKinney said. “Yeah, one of those nights. First day after the all-star break, you know? Kind of knocking the rust off a little bit and hopefully we start clicking here tomorrow and just roll with it.”

Adams cruised for most of the night and kept the RailRiders in the game as long as he could.

With it all knotted up, 1-1, in the top of the seventh inning, the 23-year-old right-hander pitched himself into a two-on-and-two-out jam with Rochester shortstop Nick Gordon at the plate.

Adams was already over the 100-pitch mark when Gordon dug into the batter’s box, and it was showing as Taylor Motter led off the frame with a walk. The RailRiders starter looked like he had gotten Gordon to ground out to end the inning, but instead the hard hit grounder made its way up the second-base hole, allowing Motter to score.

It was Gordon’s second RBI single of the night and one that would be the difference.

“My command — just working in and out,” Adams said of what was working most during his 6.2 innings of two-run baseball. “I feel like I was ahead most hitters, but I fell behind a few. I would just say my command was good.”

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s best offensive threat came in the third inning, when they scored their only run.

With two men on and none out, Shane Robinson shot an RBI single into left field, scoring Abiatal Avelino. However, Robinson tried to stretch the single into a double, but didn’t make it to the bag before the throw.

So instead of having runners on the corners and one out, the RailRiders had a runner on third and two outs. McKinney would ground out to third two batters later to end the threat and the frame.

“When you only score one run, you’re not going to win,” Mitchell said. “Baserunning came back to haunt us, too, which it has all year. Early, we could have had first and third, one out, and we ended up with man on third and two outs when (Robinson) ran into the ball at second base. That’s the kind of stuff you can’t win close games with and we haven’t. For some reason, our decision making hasn’t been good on the bases at all this year as a whole.”

Red Wings 2, RailRiders 1

Rochester`AB`R`H`BI

Buxton cf`2`0`0`0

Corcino ph-rf`3`0`1`0

Gordon ss`5`0`2`2

Petit 2b`4`0`0`0

Vargas 1b`2`0`1`0

Wade rf-lf`3`0`0`0

Kemmer dh`4`0`0`0

Motter 3b`1`2`0`0

Pacheco c`4`0`0`0

Granite lf-cf`3`0`1`0

Totals`31`2`5`2

RailRiders`AB`R`H`BI

Robinson cf`4`0`1`1

Austin 1b`3`0`1`0

McKinney rf`4`0`1`0

McBroom lf`3`0`0`0

Ford dh`4`0`0`0

Navarro 3b`4`0`0`0

Avelino ss`3`1`1`0

Diaz c`3`0`0`0

Mazzilli 2`0`0`0

Totals`30`1`4`1

PB: Pacheco (1); Outfield assists: Wade; DP: Red Wings 0 RailRiders 1; LOB: Red Wings 9, RailRiders 5; 2B: Vargas (11); 3B: McKinney (4).

Rochester`001`000`100 — 2

RailRiders`001`000`000 — 1

Rochester`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Mejia (W, 5-2)`6`3`1`1`3`3

May (H, 1)`1`0`0`0`0`0

Moya (S, 4)`2`1`0`0`0`2

RailRiders`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Adams (L, 3-4)`6.2`5`2`2`3`5

Tarpley`1.1`0`0`0`1`0

Coshow`1`0`0`0`0`1

IBB: Motter (by Tarpley).

HBP: Granite (by Adams), Vargas (by Tarpley), Wade (by Tarpley).

Umpires: Mike Wiseman, HP; Richard Riley, 1B; John Bacon, 3B.

Time: 2:46; Attendance: 7,919.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders right-hander Chance Adams delivers a pitch during Thursday’s game against the Rochester Red Wings at PNC Field.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_Railriders2.jpgScranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders right-hander Chance Adams delivers a pitch during Thursday’s game against the Rochester Red Wings at PNC Field. Sean McKeag | Times Leader

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders second baseman L.J. Mazzilli reaches for the base as Rochester Red Wings first baseman Kennys Vargas slides safely into second during Thursday’s game at PNC Field in Moosic.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_Railriders1.jpgScranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders second baseman L.J. Mazzilli reaches for the base as Rochester Red Wings first baseman Kennys Vargas slides safely into second during Thursday’s game at PNC Field in Moosic. Sean McKeag | Times Leader

By DJ Eberle

[email protected]

T.L. EXPRESS

Today’s Game: The RailRiders continue their four-game series against the Rochester Red Wings at PNC Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Probable Pitchers: SWB LHP Josh Rogers (6-6, 3.55 ERA) vs. ROC LHP Stephen Gonsalves (5-3, 3.86)

Today at PNC Field: Girl Scout Night; Hawaiian Night — Wear a Hawaiian t-shirt to the game for $5 walk-up lawn tickets; Shane Victorino Bobblehead Giveaway — First 2,500 fans receive a Shane Victorino bobblehead; Glow in the Park Fridays — The team will wear all black uniforms with neon accents, stay after the game for post-game fireworks; Legends Series — The RailRiders welcome 1996 World Series MVP John Wetteland to PNC Field as the fourth Legends Series appearance.

Riding the Rails: INF Bruce Caldwell transferred to Double-A Trenton; OF Zack Zehner transferred to Double-A; RHP Luis Cessa optioned by N.Y. Yankees on July 9 and has reported; INF Mike Ford activated from the 7-day disabled list.

On Radio: All RailRiders games can be heard live on NEPA Sports Radio – The Game.

HOW THEY SCORED

ROCHESTER THIRD: Chance Adams pitching. Taylor Motter walks. Jordan Pacheco grounds out, P Chance Adams to 2B L.J. Mazzilli to 1B Tyler Austin, Motter to second. Zack Granite singles to left, Motter to third. Nick Gordon singles to left, Motter scores, Granite to second. ROCHESTER 1-0

RAILRIDERS THIRD: Adalberto Mejia pitching. Abiatal Avelino singles to right. With Francisco Diaz batting, passed ball by Jordan Pacheco, Avelino to second. L.J. Mazzilli walks. Shane Robinson singles to left, Avelino scores, Mazzilli to third, Robinson out at second on the throw. TIED 1-1

ROCHESTER SEVENTH: Chance Adams pitching. Taylor Motter walks. Zack Granite hit by pitch, Motter to second. Nick Gordon singles to right, Motter scores, Granite to third. ROCHESTER 2-1

Reach DJ Eberle at 570-991-6398 or on Twitter @ByDJEberle

Reach DJ Eberle at 570-991-6398 or on Twitter @ByDJEberle