RailRiders offense slumbers as Rochester dominates

By DJ Eberle - [email protected]
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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — After winning the resumption of the June 24 suspended game Monday against the Rochester Red Wings, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders offense has looked over-matched in the two games since.

After being shutout and held to three hits in Monday’s nightcap, Tuesday’s tilt wasn’t much better.

Fernando Romero dominated the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre lineup the first two times through the order and it wasn’t until the seventh inning when the RailRiders put up a fight, scoring a pair of runs after sending seven batters to the plate.

Even at that, it was too late by that point, trailing by two runs. Rochester (48-58) would respond in the bottom of the frame, putting the RailRiders (56-50) away for good, scoring three runs, en route to a 8-3 victory over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

“We just didn’t make him work at all, which is obvious if he only has (close to) 70 after (six),” Mitchell said of Romero. “We have to at least have competitive at-bats. We had a few here and there, but last night we didn’t and tonight we really didn’t — (we had) a few more — but didn’t have too many.”

If there’s anything to take away from the two-run seventh inning, the RailRiders finally were patient at the plate and made Romero work.

The Rochester right-hander issued his first two walks of the game during the frame and after throwing just 68 pitches through the first two innings, the RailRiders made Romero throw 23 in the seventh inning before he was pulled with two men on and two out.

But with the RailRiders on the brink of taking the lead, Rochester reliever Jake Reed fooled L.J. Mazzilli on a 1-2 delivery to end the inning and threat.

“I think it just shows we have to kind of pick our spots to really attack,” RailRiders outfielder Zack Zehner said. “(Romero’s) really commanding the zone and we kind of just got into an inning where he was missing over the plate and we started doing damage. I think going forward, patience is definitely something we need to practice right now.”

The RailRiders were behind the eight ball from the get-go Tuesday.

Mitchell learned right before warm-ups that starting pitcher Luis Cessa would only be allowed to pitch the first inning after it came out that New York Yankees starting pitcher J.A. Happ was diagnosed with hand, foot and mouth disease on Tuesday. Cessa might be forced to make a spot start for Happ on Saturday if the southpaw doesn’t recover in time.

Mitchell did add that he thinks there’s a “pretty good chance” that Cessa will be called up “since he just went one inning” on Tuesday.

With an innings cap on Cessa, relievers were thrown in early, with Brady Lail taking over in the second inning.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders bullpen didn’t respond. As a bullpen, the RailRiders gave up seven runs in seven innings.

“It is what it is, you know?,” Mitchell said. “That hurts. That hurts our bullpen. That hurts everybody. Not just for tonight, but the rest of the way. We tried to get as much as we could of these guys today. We got as much as we could out of (Stephen) Tarpley. I don’t think we got as much as we hoped to get out of Lail. Maybe Coshow a little short too.

“We’ll see tomorrow. We still have (J.P.) Feyereisen, who can give us some length, and then we have (Tommy) Kahnle, who can give us a couple, I hope. You hope (starting pitcher Erik) Swanson goes out there and gives us at least five or six innings.”

Notes

RailRiders second baseman Rey Navarro left Tuesday’s game with a what’s likely a pulled calf muscle after trying to cover second base during the fifth inning. He’s day-to-day but will be reevaluated on Wednesday.

Red Wings 8, RailRiders 3

RailRiders`AB`R`H`BI

Caldwell 3b`3`0`0`0

Payton cf`4`1`1`1

Voit dh`4`0`1`0

Ford 1b`4`0`0`0

Navarro 2b`2`0`0`0

Bolasky rf`1`1`0`0

Avelino ss`4`1`1`1

Zehner lf`3`0`2`0

Diaz c`2`0`0`0

Mazilli rf-2b`4`0`0`0`

Totals`31`3`5`3

Rochester`AB`R`H`BI

Motter 3b`5`1`2`3

Gordon ss`5`1`1`0

Austin 1b`4`1`1`1

Astudillo c`5`1`2`1

Wade lf`5`0`2`0

Wilkins dh`4`0`1`0

Petit 2b`4`1`0`0

Kemmer rf`4`2`3`3

Hazelbaker cf`0`1`0`0

Totals`36`8`12`8

E: Caldwell (3) DP: RailRiders 1, Red Wings 1; LOB: RailRiders 6, Red Wings 9; 2B: Kemmer (3), Wilkins (2); 3B: Avelino (4); HR: Payton (5), Austin (7); Kemmer (1); Motter (4); SB: Gordon 2 (8).

RailRiders`100`000`200 — 3

Rochester`104`000`30x — 8

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

Cessa`1`2`1`1`0`2

Lail (L, 4-5)`1.2`4`3`3`1`2

Coshow`2`3`1`1`2`1

Tarpley`3.1`3`3`3`1`2

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

Romero (W, 3-3)`6.2`5`3`3`2`4

Reed (S, 2)`2.1`0`0`0`2`2

WP: Cessa, Lail, Reed.

HBP: Zehner (by Reed), Austin (by Tarpley)

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

Time: 2:57; Attendance: 6,361.

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By DJ Eberle

[email protected]

T.L. EXPRESS

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

Probable Pitchers: SWB RHP Erik Swanson (1-1, 4.26 ERA) at ROC RHP Zach Littell (2-4, 3.63)

Riding the Rails: INF Tyler Austin traded to Minnesota Twins; INF Luke Voit acquired via trade from St. Louis Cardinals on July 28, assigned to SWB and has reported.

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

HOW THEY SCORED

RAILRIDERS FIRST: Fernando Romero pitching. Mark Payton homers to left. RAILRIDERS 1-0

ROCHESTER FIRST: Luis Cessa pitching. Nick Gordon strikes out swinging, wild pitch by Cessa, Gordon to first. With Willians Astudillo batting, Gordon steals second. Willians Astudillo singles to shallow right, Gordon scores. TIED 1-1

ROCHESTER THIRD: Brady Lail pitching. Tyler Austin homers to deep left. Willians Astudillo singles to left. LaMonte Wade singles to right, Astudillo to third. With Andy Wilkins batting, wild pitch by Lail, Wade to second. Gregorio reaches on a fielder’s choice out, 3B Bruce Caldwell to C Francisco Diaz to 3B Bruce Caldwell, Wade out at third. Cale Coshow replaces Lail. Jon Kemmer homers to deep left, Astudillo scores, Petit scores. ROCHESTER 5-1

RAILRIDERS SEVENTH: Fernando Romero pitching. Luke Voit singles to center. Mike Ford grounds into a doubleplay to shortstop, Voit out at second. Devyn Bolasky walks. Abiatal Avelino tripoles to deep right, Bolasky scores. Zack Zehner reaches on an infield single to third, Avelino scores. ROCHESTER 5-3

ROCHESTER SEVENTH: Stephen Tarpley pitching. Jon Kemmer singles to right. Jeremy Hazelbaker walks. Taylor Motter homers to deep left, Kemmer and Hazelbaker score. ROCHESTER 8-3

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

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