Moosic, Pa. - Alex Rodriguez joined the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) on Thursday night as he continued his rehab assignment. Rodriguez hit a two-run home run as the RailRiders blanked the Louisville Bats (Cincinnati Reds), 8-0. The win pulled SWB back to the .500 mark at 49-49.
Rodriguez batted four times and started at third base for the RailRiders. His lone hit was the home run as he went 1-4, but he slammed the first pitch he saw in the first inning to deep right. It chased right fielder Josh Fellhauer back to the warning track, but he was able to make the catch. The home run was Rodriguez's second of his rehab assignment, with the first homer coming with Double-A Trenton.
Rodriguez's home run proved the decisive blow, and it came in the bottom of the third. With one out, David Adams doubled to right-center field. With Adams aboard, Rodriguez blasted his second home run of the 2013 calendar year to right-center field to give the RailRiders a 2-0 lead.
The lead was extended in odd fashion in the fourth. J.R. Murphy led off and reached on a wild pitch after he struck out. The RailRiders would later load the bases, moving Murphy to third, but they could only push across one run. Adams was hit with the bases full, forcing home Murphy.
Dan Johnson extended his team home run advantage when he crushed a pitch from Louisville starter Chad Reineke. His 15th homer of the season sailed over the Budweiser Railhouse in right field, and stretched the SWB lead to 4-0.
The RailRiders put the game out of reach with a four-run eighth inning. With Ronnier Mustelier aboard at first base, Adams singled to move him to third. Walter Ibarra, who replaced Rodriguez, then singled to right field to drive home Mustelier and advanced Adams to second base. Brent Lillibridge then homered to left field, his seventh as a RailRider. The three-run homer provided the game with its final margin of 8-0.
Michael Pineda started for SWB, and worked four and two-thirds innings. He was dominant at times, as he struck out a season-high eight batters in his third RailRider start. He limited the Bats to three hits, and issued just one walk. Caleb Cotham (3-5) relieved Pineda, and retired all four batters he faced to earn the win.
Reineke (8-7) picked up the loss after he conceded four runs in six innings. He allowed nine of SWB's 14 hits, and gave up the two home runs.