Lehigh Valley Wrestles First Place from SWB
Frazier, Heller and Montgomery Debut
Allentown, Pa. – The SWB RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) lost a game and first place to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Philadelphia Phillies) at Coca-Cola Park on Tuesday night, 2-1. The RailRiders’ (67-43) season-worst-tying fifth straight loss also made for the IronPigs’ (68-42) 16th win in 19 games since the All-Star break. Consequently, Lehigh Valley snapped a pair of ties to claim both the best record in Triple-A and first place in the IL North. The ‘Pigs had not been in first by a full game in over four years (July 16, 2012).
The RailRiders plated the game’s first run. With two outs in the fifth, Pete Kozma and Cito Culver connected on back-to-back singles. Kozma took third on Culver’s knock and later sprinted across the plate on an Andrew Knapp passed ball.
Lehigh Valley got its leadoff man on and home in both sixth and seventh innings. Nick Williams began the sixth with a single, took third on a Darin Ruf base hit and scored on Knapp’s 6-4-3 double-play ball. Brock Stassi doubled into the right-field corner to start the seventh before Cedric Hunter’s single to center pushed him home for the 2-1 margin.
Southpaw Jordan Montgomery (0-1) lost his Triple-A debut despite a quality start. He gave up two runs on seven hits over 6.2 innings. The former Univ. of South Carolina star struck out five and walked two.
Montgomery’s former college teammate, Tyler Webb, then retired the two men he faced and stranded an inherited runner. Right-hander Ben Heller made his organizational debut by retiring the two men he opposed, whiffing one.
Lehigh Valley starter Ben Lively (6-4) allowed the one unearned run over eight innings for the win. Including his Double-A time, his 13 overall victories tie him for first in the minors. He struck out eight, walked one and allowed just three hits as he fell one out shy of his longest pro outing. Michael Mariot fired a perfect ninth for his first save.
The series continues at 7:05 p.m. on Wednesday night. SWB southpaw Dietrich Enns (4-2, 1.51) will face right-hander Phil Klein (1-1, 2.13). The RailRiders return home for a six-game homestand starting Friday, Aug. 5 against the Syracuse Chiefs at 7:05 p.m. The RailRiders will wear their alternate black-and-green jerseys on the Glow-in-the-Park Friday. The RailRiders will celebrate the Olympic Opening Ceremonies with a USA replica jersey giveaway to the first 2,500 fans through the gates presented by Norwegian Cruise Lines. After the game, all in attendance will be treated to a fireworks show courtesy of Jack Williams Tire and Auto and Yokohama Tire. For tickets or more information, please call 570-969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.
OFF THE RAILS:
In his organizational debut, Clint Frazier went 0-for-4 with a lineout and three strikeouts looking. He batted second and started in left field.
Aaron Judge doubled in his 1-for-3 return to the playing field. He started in right field and batted third. The IL All-Star had been on the DL since July 9.
Jake Cave went 0-for-4 with a strikeout as the leadoff man. He finds himself in a 1-for-27 funk with nine strikeouts.
The RailRiders’ top six spots in the order combined to finish 1-for-21 with a walk and six whiffs.
Tyler Webb has stranded 12 of his 15 inherited runners on the season.
The RailRiders have lost five in a row for the first time since a five-game derailment from April 20-24.
After winning what is believed to be a franchise-record 12 straight on the road, SWB has lost seven of eight away from NEPA. As a result, Lehigh Valley (36-20) now owns the IL’s best road record over the RailRiders (36-21).
SWB has gone 0-5 on the road trip, scoring one run or less in four of the games. Opponents have outscored the RailRiders on the road trip, 22-9.