The accolades keep coming for Jose Pirela.
A day after being named the International League Player of the Month for June, the RailRiders outfielder/infielder was named starting second baseman for the I.L. in the Triple-A All-Star Game being held on July 16 at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Pirela was one of 13 players elected in voting. He is among the league leaders in batting average, hits, runs scored and total bases. The 24-year-old native of Venezuela first reached Triple‐A in 2013 when he hit .304 in a five-game July stint with the RailRiders. On his career, he has only reached double-digit home runs in a season once when he hit 10 last year for Trenton; he already has seven this season.
Pirela then celebrated the honor going 3 for 4 in the opening game of Wednesday’s RailRiders doubleheader loss against Buffalo. But his effort wasn’t enough as former RailRider Dan Johnson hit a walk-off solo homer in the bottom of the eighth inning leading the Bisons to a 1-0 victory at Coca-Cola Field. The Bisons completed the twinbill sweep with a 3-1 win in the nightcap.
Johnson, who was also voted in to the All-Star Game, hit his league-leading 17th home run of the season off former teammate Matt Daley with one out in the frame.
SWB missed an opportunity in the top of the eighth when it had runners on first and third with no outs. But Pirela was nailed at the plate on a fielder’s choice and Rob Refsnyder was nailed at the plate on a hit by Francisco Arcia to the outfield.
Shane Greene, who started the game for the RailRiders, had another solid outing pitching six-plus scoreless innings and now has a consecutive scoreless innings streak of 15 2/3 innings. The right-hander struck out seven and walked four in the no-decision. SWB had nine hits in the game, but just one with runners in scoring position in nine at-bats and left nine runners on base.
The final Buffalo run scored in the bottom of the sixth on a passed ball by Austin Romine.
Lefty Nik Turley got his second Triple-A start this season in the nightcap for the RailRiders and lasted just 3 1/3 innings. He didn’t give up a hit until Erik Kratz doubled to start the fourth. While he didn’t give up many hits, the 24-year-old struggled with command as he walked six in the outing, including three in the fourth consisting of a pair of bases-loaded walks in the frame giving Buffalo a 2-1 lead. Edgmer Escalona, signed by the Yankees earlier in the day on Wednesday, relieved Turley in the fourth, and got a doubleplay groundout to end the inning.
The RailRiders took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second of Game 2 when Taylor Dugas tripled home Corban Joseph. But Buffalo pitchers retired the last 12 in a row to hand SWB its fourth straight loss.
The teams wrap up their brief three-games-in-two-days series tonight at 6:05 when RailRiders righty Chris Leroux (1-2, 7.94) faces Buffalo RHP Esmil Rogers (2-1, 3.10).