The Louisville Bats, going for their first three game winning streak of 2012, grounded into three double plays late in their game Monday against the Scranton Wilkes/Barre Yankees as they fell 3-1.
Neftali Soto grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the sixth and Bill Rhinehart grounded into twin killings in each the seventh and ninth innings. Rhinehart’s gaffes both came with Dioner Navarro at first and nobody out.
Bats starter Pedro Villarreal was stellar giving up two runs, only one earned, in seven innings of work. It was Villarreal’s longest start of the season for the Bats and his fourth quality start, including his second straight.
Both runs Villarreal gave up came in the fourth inning. After a two out RBI double from Brandon Laird made it 1-0, Colin Curtis reached on an error by Willie Harris to extend the inning. Laird would eventually score on a passed ball charged to Navarro, making the score 2-0.
The Bats cut the Yankees’ lead to 2-1 in the eighth on an RBI single from Joey Gathright. Gathright advanced to second with one out, but the Bats failed to push him across. Gathright, who finished with two hits, extended his hitting streak to five games. During that time, Gathright is 9-for-22 (.410 batting average) and has four multi-hit games.
Jack Cust’s two out, solo home run off Bats reliever Scott Carroll in the bottom of the eighth was the final scoring of the night.
The teams hit the road for Batavia, New York Monday night for an 11:05 a.m. game Tuesday morning. The first three games of the series had been played at Frontier Field in Rochester as Scranton’s home stadium, PNC Field, is undergoing renovations. The final game of the series will be played at Dwyer Stadium, home of the Batavia Muckdogs.
The Bats are set to send Sean Gallagher (5-3, 4.82 ERA) to the hill against Nelson Figueroa (3-2, 4.54 ERA).
Photo Credit: Max Sharp