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Sanchez Homers; SWB Holds On In Extra Innings

August 28, 2018 GMT

ALLENTOWN — Gary Sanchez started his rehab assignment with a bang, Mike Ford picked up the torch and the RailRiders left Lehigh Valley with a big win. Sanchez smashed a homer on the first pitch he saw in the first inning, Ford doubled twice and drove in three runs, including the go-ahead one in the 10th, and the RailRiders beat the rival IronPigs, 9-8, at Coca-Cola Park on Monday night. The win pushed the RailRiders into second place in the chase for the International League wild card, one game behind West Division co-leaders Columbus and Indianapolis. Sanchez is making his second rehab appearance of the season with the RailRiders as he tries to get past a groin injury. He played seven innings behind the plate Monday and finished 2 for 4 with a single and a strikeout in addition to the solo shot. “Any player doesn’t want to be in the position I’m in,” Sanchez said through a translator before the game. “All I want to worry about is trying to get healthy and trying to get back with the team. (The injury is) nothing that I wanted to happen or is in my control. I’m just taking it day by day.” Sanchez will play a full game as the designated hitter today against Syracuse, the catch full games on Wednesday and Thursday before being reevaluated Friday. His homer helped the RailRiders get off to a quick start against Lehigh Valley starter Drew Anderson. Ryan McBroom was hit by a pitch, then Ford doubled him home. Gio Urshela doubled and the RailRiders led, 3-0, before the IronPigs came to the plate for the first time. Lehigh Valley would answer with a big inning of its own in the third against Nestor Cortes. Ryan Goins doubled and scored on Collin Cowgill’s base hit. Joey Meneses followed a walk with an RBI single — one of his three hits on the night — then Dylan Cozens knocked in two with a double to give the IronPigs a 4-3 lead. The RailRiders re-took the lead with Ricky Surum’s two-run single in the fourth, but Lehigh Valley grabbed it back on J.P. Crawford’s two-run homer in the bottom of the inning. The game headed to extra innings thanks to strong relief outings out of the RailRiders bullpen. Cale Coshow struck out five and allowed two hits in 2 2/3 scoreless innings, then Joe Harvey picked up the win by striking out three over the final 2 1/3 innings. Ford doubled in McBroom to start the 10th and Devyn Bolasky cashed in with the bases loaded and two outs with a two-run single that made it 9-6. Lehigh Valley got the tying run on base in the bottom of the inning, but Harvey got Ryan Goins to ground out and end the game. Contact the writer: cfoley@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9125; @RailRidersTT on Twitter