MOOSIC — Somehow, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre absorbed the first blow from Stephen Scott.
Worcester’s No. 9 hitter crushed a three-run homer in the top of the eighth inning that put the RailRiders in a three-run hole. No matter, they rattled off four runs in the bottom of the eighth to retake the lead.
Two strikes away from a win, Scott struck again. This time, it was a knockout.
Scott launched another three-run bomb into the seats in right field to vault Worcester back in front and the Red Sox held off the RailRiders, 10-8, in a wild one Thursday night at PNC Field.
The game saw each team hold a lead three times and four ties. Worcester (12-5, 51-41) had three home runs, three triples and four doubles. The RailRiders (9-7, 43-47) had two home runs and two doubles. Rehabbing outfielder Jake Bauers had one of each in his first game with the RailRiders since April 27.
Bauers helped the RailRiders grab a 4-3 lead in the seventh inning when he doubled to left center, stole third and then scored on Andrés Chaparro’s rocket single past shortstop.
Matt Bowman, the veteran reliever who was added to the Yankees’ 40-man roster earlier in the day, inherited the lead only for Ronald Hernández to erase it on the third pitch of the eighth. He tied the game with a line drive over the wall in left center.
Niko Kavadas followed with a double, then Narciso worked a walk. Bowman got to a quick 0-2 count on Scott, but two pitches later, he cracked a 414-foot homer to the lawn in right center for a 7-4 lead. Bowman had allowed two home runs all season before surrendering two in a four-batter span in the eighth.
The RailRiders didn’t bow out. Three batters into the eighth inning, they had the bases loaded. Michael Hermosillo inched them closer with a one-out sacrifice fly, then Worcester reliever Brendan Nail balked in one run and moved the tying run into scoring position. Nail quickly got to two strikes on Everson Pereira — who got the RailRiders on the board in the first inning with a solo homer off Worcester starter Dinelson Lamet, his second at Triple-A — but the rookie cut down on his swing and bounced a single through the right side to score Brandon Lockridge and tie the game and send Worcester back to the bullpen.
Rodolfo Durán worked a walk off Chase Shugart, then Chaparro banged a go-ahead double off the wall in deep left-center field to put the RailRiders ahead, 8-7.
“To see the offense come back they way they did, that was special,” RailRiders manager Shelley Duncan said. “Because that would’ve been an easy one, a real easy inning to cave. They came back and they had some really good at-bats and built off of it.”
Like the RailRiders, Worcester bounced back, too.
With one out, Hernández stroked a single to right, then Greg Weissert lost Kavadas on a five-pitch walk. Weissert came back to strike out Crook, bringing the RailRiders an out away from a victory.
Scott prevented that with another towering home run, this one 106.2 mph off the bat and 353 feet out to right field for a 10-8 lead. Scott came into the night with two home runs in 20 games with Worcester, then punched two three-run shots in two innings against the RailRiders.
“Top of the eighth, knowing that we had Bowman and Weissert going eight, nine gives you a really good feeling,” Duncan said. “Those two guys are filthy. They’ve been filthy all year. They will continue to be filthy. That just happens.”
Jamie Westbrook helped the RailRiders keep the pressure on in the bottom of the ninth, drawing a leadoff walk against AJ Politi to bring the tying run to the plate. The Worcester reliever retired the next three in order, however, and the red-hot Red Sox grabbed two of the first three games against the RailRiders.
“The guys had just as much fight in the ninth as they did in the eighth. Just didn’t get it,” Duncan said.
Neither starter, the veteran Lamet for Worcester and Randy Vásquez for the RailRiders, made it through the fifth inning. Vásquez allowed the leadoff man to reach in all five innings, and ultimately allowed three runs. Lamet surrendered the homer to Pereira and a two-run blast by Bauers in the fifth inning, a 417-foot rocket that tied the game at 3.
“Coming off two weeks with no at-bats, you don’t know how you’re going to feel, you don’t know how you’re going to see the ball,” said Bauers, who is working his way back from a bruised rotator cuff. He played seven innings in left field and added a walk to his double and homer. “So, I feel like I was seeing the ball. Put some good swings on the ball.”