Williams Stars in Walk-Off Loss
Leadoff Man Posts Three Hits, Three RBIs
Charlotte, N.C. – The SWB RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) fell to the Charlotte Knights (Chicago White Sox) in walk-off fashion on Tuesday night, 4-3. The RailRiders (60-37) have lost consecutive road games for the first time in over two months. The Knights (45-53) have won consecutive home games for the second time since mid-June.
Up 3-2, the RailRiders inserted Kirby Yates to pitch the ninth. He walked the pinch-hitting former RailRider Slade Heathcott before Kevan Smith delivered a sacrifice bunt. Jerry Sands followed with a just-fair run-scoring single down the right-field line for a 3-3 draw. Jason Bourgeois’ groundout pushed Sands to second and Danny Muno joined him on the bases with a four-pitch walk. Down to his final strike, Jake Peter ended the game with a fisted bouncer into center field as Sands slid home safely ahead of Mason Williams’ throw.
Williams drove in each of the RailRiders’ three runs. He singled off Anthony Ranaudo’s in the third inning to plate Pete Kozma and Jonathan Diaz for a 2-0 edge. The rehabbing Alex Avila and Smith delivered back-to-back doubles to get the Knights on the board in the fourth, but Williams responded with an RBI double of his own in the fifth to make it 3-1.
A leadoff walk led to the Knights’ other tally in the sixth. Carlos Sanchez was issued the free pass by reliever Diego Moreno. After Jason Coats struck out, the pinch-hitting Vinny Rottino singled to Kozma at second who uncorked an errant throw to first. Catcher Gary Sanchez tried to nab Carlos Sanchez at third, but bounced the throw that made contact with Carlos’ face on a dive for a second miscue. Later in the inning, with two outs and Sands at the plate, Moreno was called for a balk that sent Carlos Sanchez across the dish.
Reliever Juan Minaya (2-1) picked up the win while Yates (0-1) suffered the loss and his first SWB blown save.
The three-game series concludes at 7:05 p.m. on Wednesday as Luis Severino (6-1, 3.28) faces fellow righty Kameron Loe (0-1, 2.12).
The RailRiders return home for a seven-game homestand starting on July 21 at 5:05 p.m. against the Durham Bulls (Tampa Bay Rays). The Thirsty Thursday, presented by Budweiser, will sport $1 Bud Lights and $1 Pepsi products from the opening of the gates at 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. Thursdays are also College Nights with a $5 lawn walk-up ticket to all college students with college ID. The day starts with a Tailgate Party at PNC Field from noon until 4 p.m. The event features: live music by Jump the Train from 1 p.m.-4 p.m.; BBQ food and beer specials; free transportation to the Luke Bryan concert; a ticket-upgrade drawing at 4 p.m.; a premium tailgate experience; backyard games and more. For tickets or more information, please call 570-969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.
OFF THE RAILS:
Tyler Webb made an impromptu start and fired 3.2 innings of one-run ball. He gave up three hits, walked one and whiffed four.
Diego Moreno’s balk was the fourth of his pro career and first under the Yankees’ umbrella. His last balk had come in 2011 while with the Pirates Advanced-A club in Bradenton. That also came at Charlotte, the Advanced-A then-Port Charlotte Stone Crabs in the Florida State League. His other two balks came in the Venezuelan Summer League.
The RailRiders left 10 men on base and went 2-for-10 with men in scoring position.
Pete Kozma went 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored for his third straight multi-hit game and his fourth of the road trip. He has lifted his average up to .213, his best contact clip as a RailRider.
Jonathan Diaz went 2-for-3 with double, a sacrifice and a run scored. He owns six of the RailRiders’ 11 successful sacrifices on the year.
The RailRiders have lost a series for the first time since dropping three of four versus Columbus from June 2-5. The team had been 9-0-3 over 12 series before falling in the first two at Charlotte.
From 2005-13, SWB did not lose the season series to Charlotte, going 45-26. It has lost each of the last three, going 2-6 in 2014, 3-4 in 2015 and 2-4 with one game remaining in 2016.
Kirby Yates allowed multiple earned runs in an MiLB outing for the first time since July 22, 2015 at Charlotte while with the Durham Bulls. He also suffered the loss in that game.