RailRiders bullpen beaten twice in Buffalo

Times Leader
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Just call it the bullpen blues.

Buffalo completed a supsended game by scoring the winning run off George Kontos in the bottom of the ninth inning Wednesday, then rallied again against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre relievers to pick up a pair of victories, 2-1 and 7-3 at Coca-Cola Field.

After Justus Sheffield, a starter who just started working out of the bullpen for the RailRiders, surrendered a run that tied the game 1-1 in the eighth inning Tuesday, that game was suspended in the bottom of the ninth.

The Bisons didn’t take long to end the suspense when it resumed Wednesday.

Jonathan Davis, who had singled and moved to second on an infield out Tuesday, raced home when Gunner Heidt slipped the game-winning hit off George Kontos just inside the first base line.

That wasted a sparkling performance by RailRiders starter Nestor Cortes, who held Buffalo to six hits through six scoreless innings Tuesday and left with a 1-0 lead after Tyler Wade began the game with a triple and scored on a groundout by Abiatal Avelino.

It was the first loss for Kontos with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in four decisions.

In Wednesday’s regularly-scheduled game, the RailRiders again jumped out to a quick lead.

Giovanny Urshella doubled home Avelino and Zack Zehner drove home Mike Ford with a single as the RailRiders ripped off a 2-0 lead in the first inning.

Zehner doubled home another run in the third, giving the RailRiders a 3-1 lead.

But the bullpen couldn’t hold it.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Bisons sent nine men to the plate, scoring four times against reliever J.P. Feyereisen (6-6). Tim Lopes drove in a pair of runs with a single to tie the game at 3-3, then Jonathan Davis singled in Lopes and Gunnar Heidt to push Buffalo ahead by two runs.

The RailRiders threatened, trailing by a pair of runs with two baserunners in both the sixth and seventh innings, but were unable to come any closer. With two more runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, Buffalo made it a comfortable ninth inning for Jose Fernandez to finish off the win.

Zehner finished 2-for-4 as part of a seven-hit night by Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Buffalo conclude their three-game at 1:05 p.m. Thursday, when Adonis Rosa (1-0, 1.80 ERA) starts for the RailRiders against Bisons righthander Jacob Waguespack.

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Times Leader

Reach Times Leader sports at 570-829-7143 or on Twitter @TLPaulSokoloski

Reach Times Leader sports at 570-829-7143 or on Twitter @TLPaulSokoloski