Indianapolis, Ind. – It was a Murphy’s Law kind of a night. From allowing six runs in the first inning to hitting into a season-worst five double plays, the SWB RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) fought uphill most of the night en route to a 7-3 loss to the Indianapolis Indians (Pittsburgh Pirates) in Game 1 of their opening-round Governors’ Cup playoff series.
The home first began with an Alen Hanson single. It ended with Hanson bouncing into a force at second base. In between, the Tribe scored six runs to grab a commanding lead. Dan Gamache delivered the big blow, a bases-loaded double that plated three.
SWB starter Kyle Haynes (0-1) allowed the six scores on five hits and two walks over his lone inning of work. He threw 41 pitches (22 strikes) in the shortest start of his pro career.
His counterpart, Wilfredo Boscan (1-0), gave up just one unearned run over his seven frames. The score came in the fourth when Gary Sanchez walked, took third when Kyle Roller reached on a Josh Bell fielding error, and scored on a hard comeback single by Aaron Judge.
Once the bullpen door swung open, the RailRiders sparked to life. A.J. Morris began the eighth and failed to record an out. Kyle Higashioka singled, Slade Heathcott reached on a fielder’s choice and Gustavo Nunez error and Ali Castillo plated the duo with a single to right to make it 6-3.
Former RailRider Jeremy Bleich entered and bookended strikeouts of Ben Gamel and the pinch-hitting Rob Segedin around a Sanchez single. Indy manager Dean Treanor called upon right-hander Josh Wall who whiffed Judge as the tying run at the plate.
Gamache connected on a sac fly for his fourth RBI of the night in the home eighth before Wall worked around an infield single by Gregorio Petit in a scoreless ninth for the save.
The best-of-five series continues at 7:05 p.m. on Thursday night. SWB southpaw Eric Wooten (2-5, 4.66) will face right-hander Vance Worley (3-1, 2.38). The RailRiders will host Game 3 of the series at PNC Field on Friday, Sept. 11 at 6:35 p.m. For tickets or more information, please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.
OFF THE RAILS:
Indianapolis posted its first home playoff win since taking the decisive Game 5 of the Governors’ Cup finals against Marc Bombard’s SWB Red Barons.
Keon Broxton made the play of the night in the third inning. With men at second and third and two outs, Ali Castillo smashed a ball to Broxton in left. Broxton broke in, slammed on the brakes and lost his footing, plummeting to the earth. While lying in the grass, he reached up and to his right to glove the ball on the fly, ending the inning.
SWB hit into five double plays for the first time since the franchise-record 20-inning win over Toledo on July 25, 2013.
The first man out of the RailRiders’ bullpen, Conor Mullee, faced the minimum over four scoreless innings to keep the team in striking distance. Including his short regular-season stint with SWB, Mullee has yet to allow a run in three outings and 7.2 innings at Triple-A.
The six-run first tied as the third-best inning for a RailRiders opponent on the season.
Earlier in the day, the New York Yankees announced that outfielder Taylor Dugas was placed on the SWB disabled list while prospect catcher Gary Sanchez was activated off the DL. Sanchez went 20fir03 with a walk and a run scored as the DH. It marked his first game action in two weeks since his early departure from the Aug. 26 game at Pawtucket.
Each team posted 11 hits and each club had 10 singles. Slade Heathcott’s just-fair double down the right-field line in the third made for SWB’s only extra-base knock. Dan Gamache’s game-changing double with the bases loaded in the first inning served as Indy’s extra-baser.