The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders went deep into the night, and came out with a win.
Abiatal Avelino, Rey Navarro and Tyler Austin all slugged solo home runs Friday and recently-demoted Luis Cessa pitched six innings of two-hit, shutout ball in a 5-1 victory over Columbus for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s sixth win in seven games.
The commanding victory came after RailRiders outfielder Clint Frazier was placed on the seven-day disabled list prior to Friday’s game in Columbus.
Frazier was removed from Thursday’s game prior to his second-inning at-bat after feeling lightheaded from attempting a diving catch in the first inning. Considering his history of concussions, the RailRiders staff removed him from the game as a precautionary measure.
“Yeah, (Frazier) wasn’t feeling too good before the game started really at all and that kind of didn’t help,” RailRiders manager Bobby Mitchell told the Times Leader over the phone after the game Thursday night. “His head just wasn’t — he said he felt a little foggy and stuff like that. We decided to get him out of there. He just wasn’t feeling very good and so he’s being evaluated to see exactly what the issue was.
“He was able to play, but he just felt a little lightheaded or whatever and just afterward, when he went diving, he felt a little worse so we just got him out of there.”
New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone added on Friday that Frazier has been placed in concussion protocol and hopes this is something that doesn’t linger.
“We have him back in concussion protocol,” Boone told NJ Advance Media. “So we’ll get him with our doctors and just try to get as many answers as we can for him and for us and try to help him as best we can moving forward.
“Hopefully, it’s something that’s short-term. But a lot of unknowns obviously come with this. Hopefully we can just help him get right and get better, but right now I don’t what that means. He’s back in concussion protocol.”
RailRiders third baseman Brandon Drury was promoted to the Yankees on Friday.
The 26-year-old third baseman was sporting a .294 batting average with 13 doubles, a triple, five home runs and 30 RBI in 55 games with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Drury will provide depth at third, first and second base for the Yankees.
Those moves didn’t seem to diminish the offensive prowess of the RailRiders.
Avelino slugged a homer in the second inning and Navarro led off the fourth with another shot over the wall as the RailRiders built an early 4-0 lead. Austin made it 5-0 with his fourth homer of the season in the fifth.
Cessa, who came down from the parent Yankees just before the Major League All-Star break, was spectacular through his six innings. He struck out nine batters while improving to 3-0 for the RailRiders and lowered his Triple-A ERA to 1.42.
Tunkhannock grad Mike Papi went 0-f0r-3 while batting seventh as the designated hitter for Columbus. Ninth-place hitter Todd Hankins drove home Yu Chang in the eighth inning with the only run for the Clippers against RailRiders reliever Raynel Espinal to avert a shutout.
Reach Times Leader sports at 570-829-7143 or on Twitter @TLsports