Jun. 26—Deivi García couldn’t make it to the third inning, and Lehigh Valley took advantage of more struggles by the young Scranton/Wilkes-Barre starter.
García allowed five runs, four in the second inning, and former first overall pick Mark Appel kept RailRiders hitters off-balance as Lehigh Valley cruised to a 6-3 win Friday at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown.
García was in trouble two batters into the game, when Charles Tilson’s double put runners at second and third with no outs. He pumped a fastball past Ruben Tejada for the first out, but Darick Hall’s sacrifice fly gave Lehigh Valley a 1-0 lead.
Lehigh Valley jumped on him again in the second, scoring three runs four batters into the inning. Edgar Cabral cranked an RBI triple to deep center field, then
No. 9 hitter Dalton Guthrie launched a two-run homer to left for a 4-0 lead. Scott Kingery followed with a single, stole second and scored on Tilson’s base hit.
García allowed five hits, walked two, struck out just one and saw his ERA rise to 8.80 — for June, it’s at 12.86. It was his third time in four starts he failed to reach the third inning.
Lehigh Valley managed just one run on three hits the rest of the way, with the bullpen striking out 11 and walking one over the final six innings. Braden Bristo whiffed four and allowed one run in the third inning. Greg Weissert worked two perfect innings and rang up four strikeouts.
But the offense couldn’t solve Appel, who was making his first start with Lehigh Valley since a Sept. 8, 2017 postseason game against the RailRiders.
The top overall pick by the Houston Astros in 2013 allowed two hits in five scoreless innings, walked a pair and struck out four, with the RailRiders never really squaring up any of his pitches.
This is the 29-year-old’s first season back in baseball since being designated for assignment by the Phillies in November 2017. He had a 5.84 ERA in eight games (six starts) with Double-A Reading this year before being bumped up to Lehigh Valley.
The RailRiders didn’t get on the board until the eighth inning, when they loaded the bases with one out. But former SWB arm Brady Lail limited the damage to just a sacrifice fly by Socrates Brito that chased right fielder Ryan Cordell to the base of the big wall in right field.
Estevan Florial, who walked in three of his first four trips to the plate, tacked on two runs in the ninth inning, muscling a two-run homer just over the wall in deep left-center field for his fourth blast of the season with the RailRiders.
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