Erik Kratz went 3-for-3 with two homers and drove in four in Sunday’s 7-3 win at Durham. (Todd Hiller)
In the top of the second against opener Cole Sulser, Thairo Estrada singled and Tyler Wade worked an 11-pitch walk. With one out, Logan Morrison singled in Estrada for the RailRiders first lead of the series. Erik Kratz walked to load the bases and Billy Burns followed with a sacrifice fly. Aaron Judge, playing his third game with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on an Allied Integrated Health Systems rehab assignment, singled to left-center to extend the RailRiders advantage to 3-0.
Jake Cronenworth lined a two-run homer to right in the third as Durham cut the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre lead to one.
The RailRiders responded with a solo home run of their own in the top of the fourth. Kratz drilled a 2-2 pitch off the top of the right field wall and into the seats, extending the RailRiders lead to 4-2. It was his first home run during the catcher’s second stint with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Durham threatened in the fifth, loading the bases to knock RailRiders starter Chance Adams out of the game. J.P. Feyereisen induced a flyout from Scranton native Joe McCarthy to end the inning and preserve the lead.
The Bulls put the tying run on against Feyereisen in the seventh, but Danny Coulombe took over and struck out McCarty on three pitches to end the inning.
Kratz’s second home run of the game extended the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre lead to 7-2; a three-run drive to the right field seats with Wade and Ryan McBroom on. Kratz entered without a hit over four games and seven at bats with the RailRiders this year but went 3-for-3 with the two home runs, a single, a walk and four batted in on Sunday.
The Bulls tallied a run in the eighth of Coulombe but left the bases loaded for a third time as Joe Harvey struck out Jake Smolinski to squash the rally. Harvey retired the side in order in the ninth to close the door.
Feyereisen (5-0) worked two scoreless frames for the win, while Coulombe allowed a run over 1.1 innings for a hold. Harvey’s four-out save was his fifth of the season. Sulser (3-3) took the loss after allowing the first three runs for the Bulls.
Judge went 1-for-4 with a run batted in while Stanton finished 0-for-four is what is likely his last game on this Allied Integrated Health Systems rehab assignment.
Adams pitched 4.2 innings, allowing two runs on six hits with seven strikeouts and two walks. Sunday’s appearance snapped a string of five straight quality starts for Adams with the RailRiders, dating back to a six-inning start at Rochester on April 24.
Wade added a pair of singles for the RailRiders only other multi-hit game in the win.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre is off on Monday and will open a six-game homestand against the Norfolk Tides on Tuesday. While Stanton is slated to be activated by the New York Yankees on Tuesday, signs point towards Judge remaining with the RailRiders as the homestand begins. Tickets are available online at swbrailriders.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.