MOOSIC – Some scouts have compared Jairo Heredia to Pedro Martinez.
However, in his first four appearances for the RailRiders, he looked like an anti-Pedro.
For the first time this season with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, the 24-year-old from the Dominican Republic somewhat resembled the longtime successful Major League pitcher.
Heredia, who entered Friday night’s game with a 10.61 ERA for the RailRiders, showed great command hitting his spots very well as he lasted five innings only giving up one run on six hits and didn’t walk any in picking up his first Triple-A victory, in the RailRiders 5-1 victory over Rochester at PNC Field.
The right-handed Heredia, making his first start for SWB, had struggled mightily in his previous outings with the club walking 10 and allowing 16 hits and 12 runs in just 9 1/3 innings pitched. But on Friday, he threw 79 pitches, 52 of them for strikes, retired the last five batters he faced and fanned a season-high five with the RailRiders. Four of the five he whiffed were swinging as Red Wings batters were fooled often by Heredia’s repertoire. His outing is something the SWB starters have needed this season and he was a big lift.
Heredia became the fifth straight RailRider starter to either go at least five innings or not allow any runs, four of those five games ended in a win.
“When this team pitches well we win games,” Austin Romine said. “We put up a lot of runs every single time we go out there and when the pitchers throw well we win.”
The RailRiders gave Heredia a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second when Taylor Dugas doubled in Romine.
However, Heredia only held the lead for two outs allowing three straight singles to center; the third one driving in a run to tie the score at 1-1 in the top of the third.
The tie didn’t last very long, Romine came through in the next half inning with a bases-loaded single to drive in two to put his team in front 3-1. The RailRiders added two more runs in the fourth on consecutive run-scoring hits by Jose Pirela and Rob Refsnyder to increase the lead to 5-1.
Romine had a nice game piling up three hits, all singles, and has hit safely in six of his last seven games hitting .550 (11 for 20) in those games.
“It was good at-bats by the guys in front of me,” Romine said of his two-run single. “They set the table and I was just trying to get some runs in. I was just trying to give Heredia some breathing room. He was throwing the ball well. Just trying to capitalize on what my teammates set me up for.”
The RailRiders lone All-Star Pirela, continued his hot hitting collecting three hits on the night, scoring two runs and driving in a run as the team picked up its third straight win and closes out the first half of the season with two games at Rochester against the Red Wings. Antoan Richardson scored a pair of runs getting on base three times, including two walks and a bunt single. He’s been a key cog in the team’s recent run of picking up four wins in its last five games as the All-Star break looms.
“I think a lot of guys are confident and we know that we have a good team but at the same time we know we have to execute,” Richardson said. “The last three days we’ve done a good job of executing and playing sound defense and getting the clutch hits at the right time.”