Luis Sardinas homered with one out in the bottom of the ninth for the game’s only run as Norfolk defeated the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders 1-0 Wednesday night.
The homer to left-center field came off reliever Stephen Tarpley (1-1), who took over for Tommy Kahnle to start the inning. With the win, Norfolk regained a one-game lead over the RailRiders in the wild card race.
SWB starter Erik Swanson and his Norfolk counterpart, former RailRider Josh Rogers, were locked in a pitching duel through seven innings. Swanson gave up five hits and struck out seven through seven innings. Rogers pitched 7.1 innings, allowing four hits and fanning three.
Rogers was one of three minor-league pitchers acquired by the Baltimore Orioles on July 24 that sent reliever Zach Britton to the New York Yankees.
Rogers departed after getting Mark Payton to ground out to start the eighth. An out later, the RailRiders got something going when Wilkin Castillo doubled to left field.
L.J. Mazzilli ran for Castillo and moved to second when Tyler Wade was intentionally walked. Abiatal Avelino then hit an infield single and Mazzilli was thrown out at home for the final out of the inning.
The RailRiders also threatened in the top of the ninth. Ryan McBroom opened the frame with an infield single and, after a pair of flyouts, moved to third when Zach Zehner doubled to left field. Payton, though, grounded out to end the inning.
SWB also squandered a scoring opportunity in the second when Mike Ford doubled and Ronald Torreyes singled to put runners on the corners with no one out. Rogers retired the next three batters on a strikeout, flyout and groundout.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Norfolk conclude the three-game set on Thursday at 12:05 p.m. LHP Justus Sheffield (5-3, 2.31) will make the start for the RailRiders against LHP John Means (5-3, 3.25).
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre opens a three-game series in Durham Friday night before returning to PNC Field for a seven-game homestand starting on Monday.
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