RailRiders’ shortstop Gosuke Katoh hit a fifth-inning grand slam to lift Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to a 9-4 victory over the Bisons, Saturday night from PNC Field.
The slam, Katoh’s 10th home run of the season, came just three batters after the RailRiders tied the game a 4-4. Facing Bisons reliever Thomas Pannone, the shortstop fouled off four of the five pitches he saw from the lefty before turning on a pitch and driving it out to right field.
The slam was part of a five-run Scranton/Wilkes-Barre rally after the Bisons had taken a 4-3 lead on Jonathan Davis‘ RBI single in the top half of the fifth. Clint Frazier and Ryan McBroom drew walks to lead off the frame and Breyvic Valera filled the bases when he reached on a bunt single. Kyle Higashioka pulled the RailRiders even with a sac fly into centerfield.
Pannone then hit Trey Amburgey two pitches later to reload the bases for Katoh’s at-bat.
The Bisons found themselves down 3-0 after two innings but tied the game in the third. Team MVP Socrates Brito tripled for the second straight night, this time lining one out to center to score Santiago Espinal and Roemon Fields. Richard Urena then singled to right field to score Brito and tie the game.
The Herd offense, however, fell quiet after the Katoh grand slam. The team had just one base runner over the final four innings while the final 10 batters of the game were set down by RailRiders relievers.
The loss for Buffalo went to Pannone, who worked three total innings in relief of Blue Jays rehabbing southpaw, Clayton Richard. Richard allowed three runs in two innings, including a two-run home run by McBroom two batters into his outing.
Just hours after hitting that home run, the New York Yankees traded McBroom to the Kansas City Royals for international signing bonus money.
The Bisons now have just two games left in the 2019 season. At 70-68, the team needs just one more win to ensure themselves a winning record for the year.