Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Ruth’s debut keys RailRiders

Single-A call-up catches morning flight for afternoon start

May 11. 2014 11:35PM
By Dave Rosengrant drosengrant@civitasmedia.com

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MOOSIC – Eric Ruth couldn’t have asked for a much better Triple-A debut. Well, except for a victory.

Learning he would get the start Sunday for the RailRiders just 12 hours prior to first pitch to replace late scratch Chase Whitley, the right-hander had a stellar outing just days after being demoted from High-A Tampa to Low-A Charleston.

“There’s always room for improvement, but I’m happy with my performance,” said Ruth, who helped the RailRiders defeat Durham 2-1 in 11 innings. “I threw well. Gave up a few walks, but other than that I had a good game.”

The 23-year-old, who admits to being a distant relative in some way to famous Yankee Babe Ruth, threw five innings, giving up two hits and three walks while fanning three in taking a no-decision in his first start since April 29.

Ruth, a native of Lansdale and graduate from North Penn High School, was signed last year by the Yankees as an undrafted free agent. The 6-foot, 195-pounder only lasted five innings one time this season with the T-Yanks and had just one other start in seven appearances in Tampa. His family made the 90-minute drive for Ruth’s first Triple-A game.

“I wanted to come out and show what I have. There were a little bit of nerves there, but it’s the same game, just a different stadium, different team, but nothing changes,” said Ruth, who took a flight from Charleston to Philadelphia at 6:30 a.m. Sunday, then drove to Moosic — getting to the ballpark around 11:30 a.m. “It was a good Mother’s Day gift for my mom. I was going to give her a phone call, but I actually got to see her in person.”

Ruth wasn’t overpowering – topping out at 90 mph with his fastball – but he did just enough to keep the high-powered Bulls offense at bay. He did need to use a lot of pitches, though, throwing 47 in the first two innings of a 92-pitch outing. Two of the three walks he issued came after he had an 0-2 count on the batters. Those walks came in the first three innings. After that, he gave up just one more baserunner in his time, but it was a solo homer by Cole Figueroa to tie the game at 1-1 in the fifth.

“There’s nerves there coming up and pitching Triple-A. It’s a big jump, but the game doesn’t change,” Ruth added. “I just had to settle in and do my thing.”

The RailRiders offense didn’t get much going after Zelous Wheeler’s second homer of the season, a solo shot in the second, gave the team a 1-0 lead.

Jose Pirela singled two batters later, but the next hit for SWB didn’t come until the eighth inning on a single by Zoilo Almonte.

The only time the RailRiders strung together consecutive hits came in the 11th, when Ramon Flores and Scott Sizemore had back-to-back one-out singles. After Dean Anna walked to load the bases, Almonte singled, scoring Flores for the game-winning run.

After Ruth left the game, the RailRiders bullpen continued to rack up scoreless frames as Diego Moreno, Mark Montgomery and Branden Pinder (1-0) combined to toss six shutout innings.



Hak-Ju Lee SS`4`0`0`0`0`0`0

Mike Fontenot 2B`4`0`0`0`0`0`0

Justin Christian CF`4`0`0`0`0`0`0

Wilson Betemit DH`5`0`2`0`0`0`0

Jerry Sands RF`4`0`0`0`0`0`0

Vince Belnome`1B`4`0`1`0`0`0`0

Mikie Mahtook LF`4`0`1`0`0`0 `0

Cole Figueroa 3B`2`1`1`0`0`1`1

Curt Casali C`4`0`0`0`0`0`0

Totals`35`1`5`0 `0`1`1


Ramon Flores RF`5`1`1`0`0`0`0

Scott Sizemore 3B`5`0`1`0`0`0`0

Dean Anna SS`4`0`0`0`0`0`0

Zoilo Almonte LF`5`0`2`0`0`0`1

Zelous Wheeler DH`3`1`1`0`0`1`1

Kyle Roller 1B`4`0`1`0`0`0`0

Jose Pirela 2B`4`0`1`0`0`0`0

Francisco Arcia C`4`0`0`0`0`0`0

Antoan Richardson CF`3`0`0`0`0`0`0




HR — DUR, Figueroa (3); SWB, Wheeler (2). SB — DUR, Christian 2 (5), Mahtook (6). CS — SWB, Pirela (1).


Nate Karns`7.2`3`1`1`1`6

Adam Liberatore`1.1`1`0`0`0`2

Doug Mathis (L, 2-2)`1.1`3`1`1`1`0


Eric Ruth`5.0`2`1`1`3`3

Diego Moreno`2.2`3`0`0`1`1

Mark Montgomery`1.1`0`0`0`2`1

Branden Pinder (W, 1-0)`2.0`0`0`0`0`0

HBP — Wheeler (by Karns).

Umpires — HP: Max Guyll. 1B: A.J. Johnson. 3B: Tom Honec.


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