SYRACUSE, NY – Southpaw starter Jordan Montgomery set the tone as his SWB RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) blanked the Syracuse Chiefs (Washington Nationals) on Thursday night, 4-0. The RailRiders’ (83-49) 23 shutout wins pace the minors and continue to redefine the single-season franchise record.
SWB lowered its magic number to secure a playoff spot to three and could clinch post-season play at PNC Field by sweeping Rochester tomorrow and Saturday. The Chiefs (58-74) have lost eight straight to the RailRiders.
Montgomery (4-1) fired 5.2 scoreless innings en route to his fourth win in as many starts. He has not allowed a score over his last 25 frames going back to his Aug. 2 Triple-A debut.
The RailRiders got the only run they needed on Pete Kozma’s RBI single in the second. Later in the inning, Mason Williams delivered a sac fly for a 2-0 margin.
Those were the only scores allowed by Syracuse starter Paolo Espino (7-11). The lefty struck out nine over his seven innings for his team-best 16thquality start.
Extra-base hits fueled an insurance surge in the visiting eighth. Ben Gamel launched his sixth home run, a solo shot over the fence in right-center. Two batters later, Clint Frazier delivered his second triple in as many days before Jake Cave’s hard single up the middle sent him home.
Relievers James Pazos and Nick Goody combined on 3.1 perfect innings with four strikeouts.
The RailRiders return home for a short two-game stay at PNC field on Friday, Aug. 26 against the Rochester Red Wings (Minnesota Twins). SWB’sRichard Bleier (2-2, 2.98) is slated to face fellow southpaw Aldaberto Mejia (1-2, 4.66). It will be Pierogi Night at the park, presented by T&L Pierogies. The team will change its nickname and colors for the night, donning uniforms as the “SWB Pierogies”. For tickets or more information, please call 570-969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.
OFF THE RAILS:
Ben Gamel’s homer extended his hitting streak to 15 games.
Each of the RailRiders’ nine men in the order had a hit.
The RailRiders are on pace to win 90 games, something no IL team has accomplished since the SWB Red Barons won a franchise-record 91 contests in 2002.
Jordan Montgomery struck out eight men for the third straight start and lowering his Triple-A ERA to 0.58. Over his 31 innings with SWB he has allowed 22 hits (.200 BAA), nine walks (WHIP 1.00) and 34 strikeouts. He did not allow a hit until Pedro Severino began the fifth with a double. A pair of walks created a bases-loaded jam before Montgomery whiffed Christopher Bostick and induced a pop to short from Michael Taylor to quell the threat. With men in scoring position, IL foes have hit .050 (1-for-20, 9K) against Montgomery. He had similar success at Double-A where Eastern League bats hit .160 (16-for-100) in such circumstances.