They say good pitching neutralizes good hitting, and the RailRiders just proved it. One day after RailRiders starter Bryan Mitchell stopped Pawtucket’s franchise-record 11-game winning streak by working seven shutout innings, Chris Leroux threw another gem at the PawSox. Leroux surrendered just one run over his six innings of work to boost his record over the .500 mark at 3-2. The RailRiders supported him with 10 hits, including three by leadoff man Jose Pirela. And now Pawtucket’s suddenly saddled with a two-game losing streak.
RailRiders at the plate: A host of RailRiders came in carrying hot bats, starting right with the top of the order. Jose Pirela rapped out three singles, while No. 2 hitter Rob Refsnyder laced a single and a double. Both scored two runs apiece. Austin Romine continued to deliver clutch hits for the RailRiders, as he doubled home one run in the first inning and singled home another in the seventh. Cleanup man Kyle Roller doubled home one run and scored another in the team’s three-run third inning. Adonis Garcia also brought home a pair of runs with a sacrifice fly and a single.
RailRiders on the mound: Chris Leroux carved the road to victory with six splendid innings as the RailRiders kept a red-hot Pawtucket lineup under control for most of the night. Leroux was touched for Garin Cecchini’s solo home run in the second inning, and didn’t allow much more. He worked three 1-2-3 innings, and most impressively, escaped a bases-loaded jam undamaged by inducing Alex Hassan’s grounder to end the sixth and his night. Reliever Joel De La Cruz wasn’t as spectacular, allowing three runs in his two innings, including Travis Shaw’s two-run homer that made it a two-run game in the eighth. Matt Daley worked a scoreless ninth and finished the game with a strikeout to earn the save.
Riding the Rails: Monday’s starting pitcher Chris Leroux obviously reported to the RailRiders after being outrighted to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre by the parent New York Yankees, but that was just one of a handful of moves affecting the RailRiders on Monday. They also gained the services of catcher Jose Gil, who was reinstated from the disabled list. On the flip side, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre lost outfielder Zoilo Almonte, who was recalled by the Yankees on Monday, and RailRiders relief pitcher Rich Hill was placed on the disabled list retroactive to Saturday.
Time of Game: 2:43
Today’s Game: The RailRiders open a four-game series with Gwinnett with a 7:05 p.m. contest at PNC Field.
Today’s Probables: RailRiders LHP Nik Turley (1-2, 6.23) vs. Gwinnett RHP Kanekoa Texeira (1-3, 6.00).
On Deck: The second game of the series with Gwinnett is a 12:05 afternoon game Wednesday.
Today at PNC Field: It’s T-shirt Tuesday at the ballpark and all fans will receive a “Don’t Steal Second Base” T-shirt.
On The Radio: All games can be heard on NEPA Sports Radio WYCK 1340-AM, 1400-AM, 1440-AM, 100.7-FM and 106.7-FM.
HOW THEY SCORED
RAILRIDERS FIRST: Jose Pirela beat out an infield single, then Rob Refsnyder flared a single to right field, sending Pirela to third base. Adonis Garcia lofted a sacrifice fly to medium right field to score Pirela and Austin Romine dropped a two-out double just inside the right field line to bring Refsnyder home. RAILRIDERS 2-0.
PAWTUCKET SECOND: Garin Ceccini responded for the PawSox by blasting a two-out solo home run well over the right field wall. RAILRIDERS 2-1.
RAILRIDERS THIRD: Pirela singles to right field and scooted to second base on a passed ball. Garcia pushed a single into right field to score Pirela. Kyle Roller got rolling with an RBI double to left-center field, bringing Garcia home. John Ryan Murphy later dunked a two-out single into right field, scoring Roller. RAILRIDERS 5-1.
PAWTUCKET SEVENTH: Corey Brown ripped a two-out triple and scored on a wild pitch. RAILRIDERS 5-2.
RAILRIDERS SEVENTH: Refsnyder smoked a long double to left field, moved to third on a groundout and rode home on Romine’s soft single to center field. RAILRIDERS 6-2.
PAWTUCKET EIGHTH: Will Middlebrooks lashed a one-out single and Travis Shaw blasted a two-run bomb onto the pavilion in right field. RAILRIDERS 6-4.