MOOSIC — The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees have a tendency to thrive on pressure, and that proved to be the case once again on Tuesday night.
Richmond jumped out to an early lead and R-Braves pitcher James Parr kept Yankee hitters at bay by hurling five innings of no-hit ball.
However, trailing by one run in the bottom of the seventh, Cody Ransom slammed a two-run home run that propelled Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to a 4-3 victory and a date with destiny.
It was the 10th straight victory for the Yankees, which tied a franchise record for consecutive wins. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (63-42) has a chance to surpass the milestone today against the R-Braves.
“Parr pitched really well, but I don’t think anyone in our dugout was about to panic,” said Ransom, who drilled a 400-foot blast which sailed over the left center field fence and hit the scoreboard. “I was just looking to put the ball in play, because there were two strikes on me. I just happened to get the barrel of the bat on the ball.”
Ransom now has a team-high 18 home runs, and needs seven homers to tie the single-season record set by Shelley Duncan last year.
“One of the keys to the game was to get into their bullpen, and we were able to do that,” Ransom added. “We wound up getting four runs late in the game.”
According to Ransom, one of the biggest plays occurred in the Richmond ninth when Richmond’s Diory Hernandez was caught stealing after hitting a single in a one-run game.
Hernandez was mowed down on a perfect throw by catcher Chris Stewart.
“Chris made a great throw,” said Ransom. “I don’t know why he (Hernandez) tried to steal against him. I know I never would have.”
Ransom said the Yankees are playing their best ball at a critical point in the season. During the winning streak, they’ve made a habit of delivering timely hits.
“We’re confident and we’re having quality at bats,” said Ransom. “We’re forcing opposing pitchers to make quality pitches.”
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre manager Dave Miley said Ransom has been one of the driving forces behind the Yankees success.
“He’s not only hitting home runs—he’s probably been as hot a hitter as we’ve had for the past month.”
Richmond took a 2-0 lead in the second inning against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre starter Alfredo Aceves, who wound up throwing 42 pitches during the frame.
NEXT GAME: 1:30 p.m. today vs. Richmond
PITCHERS: Yankees Ross Ohlendorf (RHP, 1-0, 3.24 ERA) vs. the R-Braves Anthony Lerew (RHP, 0-0, 0.00 ERA).
RADIO: THE GAME: 1280-AM, 1340-AM, 1400-AM, 1590-AM. With Mike Vander Wood.
ON DECK: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre opens a two-game homestand against Rochester on Friday.