ROCHESTER, N.Y. — J.P. Feyereisen was tasked with one job when he entered in the fifth inning of Wednesday’s game against the Rochester Red Wings.
The reliever needed to give the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders some length.
His team was already trailing by four runs and the appearance came a day after three RailRiders relievers were used after Luis Cessa was held to just one inning as a precaution with a possible promotion in the near future.
The 25-year-old right-hander pitched 2.2 innings of two-hit baseball and didn’t a run to cross the plate. The game was already out of hand at that point, as the RailRiders would fall to Rochester 6-2, but Feyereisen did more than enough.
“Last night, sitting in the bullpen it’s tough because we get one inning out of our starter because he’s going up to help the team in New York,” Feyereisen said. “With our bullpen, everyone’s got to eat innings up when that happens. Tonight, I mean, (pitching coach) Tommy (Phelps) said, ‘(Erik) Swanson, it’s you and (Tommy) Kahnle. Whatever Swanson does, you have the rest and then Kahnle gets the last one.’
“I was like, well, if I had to go out for the last inning I would have been able to. Just had my mind set for that long one.”
The RailRiders offense was dismal again on Wednesday.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (56-51) totalled just five hits, and aside from a two-run fourth inning saw a base runner reach second base just twice. This is three straight losses the RailRiders have been held to three runs or less.
The two-run inning almost didn’t happen.
Mike Ford led off the frame with a single to center, followed by a ground-rule double from Bruce Caldwell. After a Abiatal Avelino groundout to the pitcher and Devyn Bolasky strikeout looking, the RailRiders went from two men in scoring position and no outs to two men in scoring position and two outs.
Wilkin Castillo salvaged the threat with a two-run, bloop single to shallow center field to give Scranton/Wilkes-Barre a 2-1 advantage, which didn’t last long.
“Yeah, we’ll get it. There’s been a lot of (roster) movements,” said RailRiders left fielder Mark Payton, who was led off for the first time this season. “It’s kind of been up and down. We just have to get through this. You just have to get through all the moves and find ways to win games, whether it’s scoring a bunch of runs or playing really good defense. We’ll get it going.”
Erik Swanson had been effective in each of his last six starts, and hadn’t given up more than three runs in a game since May 31.
But the right-hander wasn’t as sharp on Wednesday and it showed.
After giving up a run through three innings, the Red Wings (49-58) strung together four straight base runners to start the fourth, with Jon Kemmer capping off the charge with a three-run triple. Even though he was able to get out the next two batters, Rochester second baseman Taylor Motter capped off the four-run frame with an RBI double to deep center.
Swanson gave up a home run to former teammate Tyler Austin, which was his second in as many nights, in the fifth inning and two batters before being pulled after he surpassed his 85-pitch limit.
“Velocity was down,” Mitchell said. “He made mistakes and they hit him.”
Voit, Cessa being promoted
Less than a week after being traded from the St. Louis Cardinals organization to the New York Yankees organization, RailRiders first baseman Luke Voit is being promoted. And Cessa will also join him.
Voit was pinch-hit for by Francisco Diaz in the top of the eighth inning, and by the time the game was over, the 27-year-old was already on his way to join his new teammates in Boston ahead of a four-game series against the Red Sox.
“Um, not fast,” Voit joked on Tuesday when giving a self scouting report. “I don’t know. Usually hit around .300 every year in the minor leagues. I’m not just a big guy that strikes out a lot. I feel like I have a good coverage of the zone and kind of know what my pitches are to hit. I hit the ball to all fields, I have power, I hit a lot of doubles and I can pick it at first base, too. I’m excited to, hopefully, get a chance to go up there and show them what I can do.”
Cessa joins Voit with an uncertain role.
The right-hander was held to one inning on Tuesday with the possible need to replace J.A. Happ, who is dealing with hand, foot and mouth disease, in the Yankees’ starting rotation on Saturday. But all Cessa has been told is to stay ready because he could pitch as soon as Thursday.
“I don’t know yet. It was just what Bobby told me, ‘Be ready to pitch tomorrow,’” Cessa said of his future. “He didn’t know if I’d be a starter or in the bullpen. Just be ready for pitching tomorrow. That’s the only thing I know right now.
“I’m real happy. Just try to do my job.”
2B Rey Navarro was placed on the 7-day disabled list after suffering a pulled calf muscle in Tuesday’s game. Navarro came up injured trying to cover second base as the RailRiders looked to turn a double play. He initially stayed in the game but was later removed. … OF Zack Zehner was a late scratch from the starting lineup. Zehner, who was hit with a pitch in the forearm during the ninth inning Tuesday, was given an extra day to rest.
Reach DJ Eberle at 570-991-6398 or on Twitter @ByDJEberle