MOOSIC — Clint Frazier has had a bit of a flare for the dramatic in his first few games back with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
After winning Wednesday’s series finale against the Buffalo Bisons with a walk-off single to center field, the RailRiders outfielder, who missed almost all of spring training and the first month of the season with a concussion, made a pair of ninth-inning plays with the game on the line in Thursday’s come-from-behind 4-3 win over the Pawtucket Red Sox. One in the field and one at the plate.
With the Red Sox (12-12) threatening in the top of the ninth, Frazier made an impressive play in center field, stopping things before they went from bad to worse on a Rusney Castillo RBI single, which tied the game. While Castillo drove the ball into the gap in right center, Frazier hustled to his left, quickly regained composure and after realizing he probably wouldn’t have gotten Chad De La Guerra, who was running on the play, out at home, he instead through to third to get Mike Miller for the second out of the inning.
Then, with the game tied, Frazier led off the bottom of the frame with a triple to the wall in right center. He would later score the game-winning run on Ryan McBroom’s sacrifice fly to right field, giving the RailRiders’ back-to-back walk-off wins.
McBroom’s sac fly propelled Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (13-13) past the Red Sox.
“Yeah, I guess I just want to save them all for my last at-bat,” joked Frazier, who was struck out twice in his first three at-bats. “I feel good in that situation. When the game’s on the line it’s probably helping me because it’s making me focus a little bit more and stay within myself. I hope I keep getting those opportunities.”
Frazier’s ninth-inning outfield assist was just one of a handful of plays in center field. He made an impressive diving catch for the first out of the game.
Not having played center since 2016, when Frazier first came to the RailRiders, he felt comfortable in the position once again. Everything came right back to him
“I haven’t played center since, I think, it was 2016 and I feel more comfortable there than I do in the corners,” Frazier said. “It’s just a better view. I have way more time in center than I do in the corners and it’s kind of been an adjustment period going from left-to-right, left-to-right — never getting my feet set in one spot. It felt good to be in center field and have a bird’s eye view.”
But Frazier wasn’t the only RailRider to come up clutch.
McBroom was able to put the ball in play with men on the corners and no outs to drive home the winning run. And Zack Zehner made his mark in the seventh inning after the Red Sox had grabbed a 2-1 lead in the top half of the frame.
With Fleming standing on first base and two outs and rain coming down at its hardest with the future of the game in jeopardy, Zehner tried to make a splash. He didn’t think it would a home run.
“It’s huge,” Zehner said of his two-run blast. “It’s late in the game. We were battling really hard and I got something over the plate. It was good to come through for the team there.”
Drury heading to Trenton
With the RailRiders set to head to Pawtucket this weekend, New York Yankees third baseman Brandon Drury, who had been rehabbing with the team since April 25, is continuing his rehab in Double-A Trenton.
Drury said after Thursday’s game that he wanted to stay close to New York so he can continue his treatment for severe migraines and blurry vision while playing in his rehab games.
“It felt pretty good. Getting better each day,” Drury said. “Still have some improvement to really be where I want to be at, but I’m definitely feeling an improvement and taking a step in the right direction.”
Bell: Sheffield joining RailRiders
Thunder manager Jay Bell told reporters in Trenton that southpaw Justus Sheffield, the Yankees’ No. 3 prospect according to Baseball America, is joining the RailRiders. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre manager Bobby Mitchell could not confirm the move after Thursday’s game.
Sheffield is 1-2 with a 2.25 ERA in five starts for the Thunder.
“I haven’t heard anything official yet,” Mitchell said.
RailRiders 4, Red Sox 3
De Jesus Jr. ss`5`0`2`1
De La Guerra pr`0`1`0`0
E: De Jesus Jr. (5); OA: Frazier; DP: Red Sox 2, RailRiders 1; LOB: Red Sox 9, RailRiders 6; 3B: Wade (1), Frazier (1); HR: Miller (2), Higashioka (4), Zehner (3).
Pawtucket`000`010`100 — 3
RailRiders`010`000`201 — 4
Brasier (L, 2-2)`0.1`1`1`1`0`0
Feyereisen (BS, 1)(W, 2-1)`2.1`6`1`1`0`3
HBP: Estrada (by Beeks), Fleming (by Brasier).
Umpires: Shane Livensparger, HP; Adam Beck, 1B; Skyler Shown, 3B.
Time: 2:40 (0:05 delay); Attendance: 3,757.
Reach DJ Eberle at 570-991-6398 or on Twitter @ByDJEberle