May 9—Luke Voit again crushed the first pitch of the game.
Unlike hitting the wall, as his double did on opening night, this time, his towering fly ball cleared it easily.
Voit launched his second home run of his rehab assignment, Derek Dietrich hit his first of the season, and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders got a dominant effort from their bullpen to beat the Syracuse Mets, 4-2, at NBT Bank Stadium on Saturday night.
The RailRiders (4-1) won their fourth straight and clinched a series win in the season-opening, six-game slate at Syracuse.
As planned, Voit played seven innings at first base and went 1 for 4 with the homer and a strikeout. In four games, he is 5 for 13 with two home runs, a double, two walks and two strikeouts as he gets closer to a return to New York after missing the start of the season because of knee surgery.
Kyle Holder worked a bases-loaded walk against Syracuse starter Jordan Yamamoto in the first inning to make it 2-0. Former RailRider Brandon Drury hit a long home run off SWB starter Brian Keller in the second, the Dietrich boosted the lead back to two runs with a high fly to the party deck in right field.
Keller lasted just 2 2/3 innings in his season debut, but the bullpen took it from there.
Reggie McClain was the first out and retired six of the seven batters he faced, striking out two. The lone one who reached, Khalil Lee on a leadoff walk in the fourth inning, was quickly erased when Deivy Grullon grounded into a double play three pitches later.
Nick Nelson picked up where he left off, striking out four in three scoreless innings. He walked none and allowed just two hits: a double by Quinn Brodey with two outs in the seventh, and a two-out single by Jake Hager in the eighth that sneaked by Armando Alvarez at third base and Holder at shortstop.
The RailRiders tacked on an insurance run in the ninth when pinch hitter Trey Amburgey jumped on the first pitch he saw from reliever Tom Windle and lined it center to score Chris Gittens from third.
Syracuse pushed across a run against Luis García in the ninth and had the tying run at the plate with two outs, but García struck out Martin Cervenka to end the game.
SWB pitching allowed just five hits, walked three — Keller issued two of those — and struck out nine.
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