MOOSIC — Pitching with a one-run deficit Sunday, it wasn’t an easy seven innings for Chad Green.
But it was impressive.
The 6-foot-3 lefty pitched seven innings of one-run baseball to earn his first win of the season. Green stuck out seven Buffalo Bisons en route.
He kept the RailRiders in the game so Clint Frazier could hit an RBI single in the third inning to tie the game at one run a piece, and then Wilkin Castillo broke it open with an RBI single four innings later. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre held on to win 3-1.
“What I really enjoy as a manager is watching these guys play through adversity,” Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders manager Al Pedrique said. “The mental part is huge. So when you see a pitcher is struggling a little bit and then he figures it out — the days when they don’t feel their best, those are the games I really enjoy.
Facing an aggressive Bisons lineup, Green used a good amount of two-seam cutters Sunday. The cutter was something catcher Wilkin Castillo said the two didn’t use in the pair’s last time out on April 11.
“After the first inning, I found out that they were going to be pretty aggressive and I don’t think that was so much of the case the past couple of days,” Green said. “I thought they were a little more patient the past couple days. I could tell from the get-go that they were going to be pretty aggressive. Just trying to work that two-seamer inside, get some quick outs.”
Heller bounces back
Pedrique had no problems putting RailRiders reliever Ben Heller back out there in another high-stress situation on Sunday.
After taking the loss on Friday, hitting Ty Kelly with a pitch with two outs and the bases loaded, Heller was inserted with a two-run lead and pitching in a save opportunity this time around. Heller didn’t falter Sunday.
He sat down the Bisons in order, including a three-pitch strikeout of the hot-hitting Jason Leblebijian.
“I’m the type of manager who’s not afraid to use guys in another opportunity because that’s how they’re going to get better,” Pedrique said. “That’s how they’re going to make the adjustments and believe in themselves and understand and realize that they belong here.”
Fowler strives at the plate
RailRiders outfielder Dustin Fowler owned a .125 batting average coming into Sunday’s game, and had just gone 0-for-4 at the plate the day before.
But things clicked for the 22-year-old in the series finale. Fowler was 2-for-4 with a triple — that went over Bisons right fielder Dwight Smith Jr.’s head — and a run scored in the 3-1 win.
“I think that one triple, he got a little help from the wind. Definitely as a player, that’s what you need sometimes to relax,” Pedrique said. “His swing was a lot shorter and you can tell he was a lot more relaxed. We’re hoping the same thing for Mason (Williams).”
Williams struck out three times on Sunday and saw his batting average drop to .148.
Reach DJ Eberle at 570-991-6398 or on Twitter @ByDJEberle