There are three phases to the game of baseball; hitting, pitching, and defense. The RailRiders excelled in all three of those in Monday night’s 6-1 win over the Syracuse Chiefs.
While at the plate Scranton/Wilkes-Barre accounted for 11 hits, including three from Donovan Solano, and Jake Cave who hit a two-run home run. Clint Frazier also had two hard hits including a triple into the right-center-field gap.
“First triple of the year. it felt good to get one under my belt. I am not a big triples guy so it’s pretty cool.”, said Frazier. “I couldn’t see the ball because of the signs in right. I thought it went out. I couldn’t pick up the ball on the field. I am just glad I got out of the box fast enough to stand at third.”
Dustin Fowler also had two hits, both of the extra-base variety. His two-run bomb in the fifth gave his team a 5-1 lead. Fowler continued to put on a show with a spectacular night with the glove. In the top of the fourth with the RailRiders up just one, Fowler tracked a ball over his left shoulder deep into center field to save the lead. He also made a similar play later in night, this time over his right shoulder.
“I got a really good jump. The wind knocked it down. I did not know I had it off the bat. I was glad to get that ball and get him out of the inning.”, said Fowler. “Every ball like that I have to run a long way. I take my eye off of it to get as much speed as I can and get to it. When I get close I pick it back up and hopefully I am in the right area.”
Brady Lail did his part as well on the mound. The right hander went 6.2, allowing just one run on four hits. He struck out three along the way. While it was just Lail’s second longest outing of the year, it was his best.
“He had a great beat on that ball. I knew he was going to get there. That a tough over the shoulder catch that he made look easy. Seeing that they have my back made it easier for me.”, said Lail about Fowlers catch. “Instead of nibbling the corners I started throwing more middle of the plate. I stopped making perfect pitches and made good pitches and let them hit the baseball.”
Even with Lail being the beneficiary of great defense it is still on him to throw strikes and that he did.
“He kept the ball down. He located the fastball down in the zone. He spotted the change up when he needed to in fastball counts. The key for him was to work fast.”, said manager Al Pedrique. “Doubleheader tomorrow so length was huge. Lail did a great job helping the team to win and also giving the bullpen some rest.”
Miguel Andujar also picked up his first hit at the Triple-A level. He also showed off a very strong at third base several times during the night. Andujar will get the majority of the playing time at third base with season ending injury to Yankees top prospect Gleyber Torres.