The weather wasn’t kind to the RailRiders, and neither were a couple of guys who may be in the future plans of the Philadelphia Phillies. IronPigs starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano, a former big league All-Star with the Chicago Cubs, held the RailRiders to four hits over five innings in his first start for Lehigh Valley as he tries to show the parent Phillies he has enough left in the tank to help their pitching staff. And slugger Darin Ruf, one of the Phillies final spring training cuts, launched a tie-breaking homer in the seventh inning.
RailRiders at the plate: It didn’t matter much who Dan Johnson was facing or what the conditions were, the RailRiders slugger just kept connecting. Johnson collected three hits in five at-bats, including two doubles. He slammed a double into the right field corner off former big league All-Star Carlos Zambrano to set up a two-run fourth inning, singled off Zambrano in the fifth and drove a double through the raindrops against J.C. Ramirez in the seventh. Alberto Gonzalez drew three walks in his first four trips to the plate and scored a run.
RailRiders on the mound: Despite issuing six walks in 5 1/3 innings, RailRiders starter Brett Marshall did a pretty good job of limiting the damage. He surrendered two runs, including Cody Overbeck’s game-tying solo shot in the sixth, Marshall stranded three runners at third base and another who was in scoring position. Josh Spence also did an admirable job, escaping a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the sixth unscathed.
Time of Game: 2:53
Today’s Game: The RailRiders are back at Coca-Cola Park for the second of a four-game series against Lehigh Valley at 7:05 p.m. tonight.
Thursday’s Probables: SWB righthander Kevin Bootcheck (5-2, 3.32 ERA) takes on Lehigh Valley righty Ethan Martin (5-3, 5.64).
On Deck: The RailRiders finish up their series against the top affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday and Sunday, then return home Monday for a doubleheader against Rochester.
On the Radio: All games can be heard on WYCK 1340 AM, 1400 AM and 100.7 FM
On TV: The next telecast by WQMY (My Network TV) will be for the second game of a day/night doubleheader June 22 (Saturday) from PNC Field.
How They Scored
RAILRIDERS FOURTH: Ronnier Mustelier led off with a walk and Dan Johnson roped a double into the right field corner. Josh Bell followed with a sacrifice fly that scored Mustelier with the game’s first run. J.R. Murphy walked and Addison Maruszak singled to fill the bases. Alberto Gonzalez drew a two-out walk that forced home Johnson. RAILRIDERS 2-0
LEHIGH VALLEY FOURTH: Darin Ruf walked to start the inning and Cody Overbeck was hit by a pitch. Leandro Castro dropped down a sacrifice bunt to move both runners up a base, then Ruf came home on Steve Susdorf’s ground out. RAILRIDERS 2-1
LEHIGH VALLEY SIXTH: Overbeck blasted a long leadoff homer over the right field wall. LEHIGH VALLEY 2, RAILRIDERS 2
LEHIGH VALLEY SEVENTH: Ruf greeted RailRiders reliever Jim Miller by blasting a monstrous, one-out home run over the right field wall for his first homer in over a month. Later in the inning, Castro struck out swinging, but reached first when the ball bounced off the glove of catcher J.R. Murphy and went to the backstop. Castro raced to third base when Susdorf singled to right field, then came home on Cameron Rupp’s RBI single. LEHIGH VALLEY 4-2