Team Effort Yields Fifth Straight Win
Smith Posts Team-Best Ninth Victory, SWB Launches Pair of
Georgia native and big league rehabber Tyler Austin put the RailRiders on the board in the opening inning with his run-scoring single to center. Gwinnett responded when starter Caleb Smith gave up back-to-back extra-base hits to Ronald Acuna and Dansby Swanson to begin the home first and tie the game, 1-1.
SWB grabbed the lead for good in the second on Eddy Rodriguez’s two-run homer to left off the retaining wall.
RBI doubles by Donovan Solano and Jake Cave made it 5-1 in the fifth.
Smith settled, retiring 11 in a row and 13 of 14 from the close of the first until the sixth began with a Kyle Kubitza homer.
Ji-Man Choi rounded out the scoring with a two-run homer to right in the seventh.
Smith (9-1) earned the win and his counterpart Luiz Gohara (0-2) suffered the loss.
The series concludes at 7:05 p.m. on Wednesday night. SWB’s Luis Cessa (4-6, 3.55) is scheduled to oppose fellow right-hander Manny Barreda (0-0, 6.23). For tickets or more information, please call 570-969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.
OFF THE RAILS:
Both of SWB’s homers came with two outs. Six of the RailRiders’ seven runs crossed on two-out RBI.
The RailRiders improved to 15-3 when Caleb Smith pitches. The IL All-Star allowed two runs on six hits and one walk over six-plus innings. He struck out nine.
Relievers Tyler Jones and Nick Rumbelow combined to post three scoreless innings. Rumbelow has not yet allowed a run in 10 appearances and 17.1 innings with this year’s RailRiders. The IL has gone 9-for-58 (.155) against him with five walks against 16 strikeouts.
The RailRiders have won five straight games both overall and on the road. They stand a league-best 74-41 overall and own the circuit’s best road record at 37-21. A win on Wednesday would tie the team’s best road winning streak of the season, a six gamer composed from July 2-16.
Gwinnett went 1-for-8 with men in scoring position and has gone 1-for-11 with men in prime real estate on the series.
Five of SWB’s 10 hits went for extra bases.
The RailRiders need to go 18-8 (.692) over their final 26 games to break the franchise’s single-season wins record of 91 set by the 2002 Red Barons and tied by the 2016 RailRiders. If this year’s club reaches 91 victories to tie the win mark, it would break the single-season franchise record for winning percentage set by last year’s team (91-52, .636).
Gwinnett’s first-inning run halted a 27-inning scoreless stretch by SWB pitching at Coolray Field including last year’s playoff contests.