DURHAM, N.C —The RailRiders continue to have problems with Durham.
After being no-hit on Saturday and losing a late lead on Sunday, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre blew two leads to the Bulls on Monday night at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Bulls cleanup hitter Wilson Betemit tied the game with a two-run home run to tie the game at 8-8 off RailRiders closer Matt Daley. At press time, the game was still even in top 11 as SWB tried to keep from losing its fourth straight. There was a scary moment in the bottom of the tenth when centerfielder Mikie Mahtook was squaring to bunt and was hit in the face by the pitch. He walked off the field under his own power.
Zoilo Almonte continued to drive in runs for SWB. After a 3 for 5 performance with four RBI on Monday, the switch-hitting outfielder now has 10 RBI in his last four games. Almonte clubbed his team-leading sixth home run this season, a solo shot in the RailRiders’ four-run fourth inning then hit a go-ahead two-run single in the top of the sixth, and an RBI-double in the top of the eighth as the RailRiders set a season-high of runs scored in one game.
The game started off looking with the Bulls getting off to a quick start opening a 2-0 lead after the first inning. After a groundout by Ramon Flores scored Jose Pirela in the RailRiders third, they RailRiders put up a four-spot in the fourth.
In addition to Almonte’s longball, Pirela singled in a run and Francisco Arcia doubled to score one to highlight the scoring in the frame and give SWB a 5-2 lead.
The Bulls answered in the bottom of the fifth to regain the lead as they scored four runs the big blast coming from Cole Figueroa, who tripled in two runs, and Mahtook, who tripled right after Figueroa putting Durham in front, 6-5.
Almonte, who entered the game on pace for 32 home runs and 92 RBI, gave the RailRiders the lead right back thanks to a two-run single in the sixth for a 7-6 lead. His double in the eighth gave breathing room for the SWB bullpen, which closed out the win.
Alfredo Aceves got the starting nod for the RailRiders and allowed five runs, three earned. Two of them came across when Yoshinori Tateyama gave up the two triples and inherited runners scored. Tateyama retired the last seven batters he faced.