Hot Wings Sweep Knights
The Rochester Red Wings remained the league's hottest team, sweeping a Sunday afternoon doubleheader with the Charlotte Knights at Frontier Field. The Wings pounded out 16 hits in a 11-5 game one win, then snagged a 3-2 walk-off win in the second game. The Red Wings hit the road having won 12 of their last 13 games, and moved within two games of a .500 record. The team will return home June 24, for a two-game set with Scranton/Wilkes Barre (Yankees).
When the scheduled game began Saturday night, Wings starter Chase De Jong got immediate help from his defense as Brent Rooker made a tremendous diving catch in left field to put out the first batter of the game. Later in the inning, Charlotte's Paulo Orlando crushed a home run over the left field wall to make the score 1-0.
Rochester countered in the bottom half of the first inning, scoring one run on three hits against Knights pitcher Donny Roach. Rooker laced a ball off the wall in left to bring home Willians Astudillo, tying the score at 1-1 and extending Astudillo's run-streak to six games.
Following a scoreless second inning, Charlotte got back to work in the third with four hits including a two-RBI single, an RBI double, and a sacrifice fly. The Knights led 5-1 heading into the bottom half of the inning.
Hits by Astudillo and Jake Cave set up Wilin Rosario for a two-RBI line drive to start the bottom of the third inning. Rochester bats stayed hot, tying the game as Wynston Sawyer drove home base runners Rosario and LaMonte Wade Jr. following their pair of singles. Jordany Valdespin doubled to bring home Sawyer and Tomas Telis' ground ball scored Valdespin, making the score 7-5 in favor of the Wings. At 8:24 p.m. a rain delay was called with two outs, halting Astudillo who was gearing up for his second at bat of the inning.
Play resumed Sunday, with Astudillo singling to right field making it his third hit of the game. Ryan Eades came on in relief for the Wings and struck out two of the first three batters he faced. De Jong finished with three innings pitched allowing four earned runs on five hits with zero walks, four strikeouts with 72 pitches, 52 for strikes.
Charlotte brought in Zach Thompson for the resumption of the game. Knights starter Donny Roace finished with 2.2 innings allowing seven earned runs with one strikeout with fifty four pitches and thirty nine strikes.
Eades pitched two innings finishing with three strikeouts allowing no runs. Fernando Romero took over on the mound in the top of the sixth. During the top of the seventh Romero stabbed at a chopper right back to the mound and threw to second to start a double play that ended the inning to keep the score 7-5 Wings.
Wade Jr. belted a two run home run to right, his fourth of the year, to put the Wings up 9-5 in the bottom of the seventh. Three batter later Telis add two more insurance runs with a home run to left, his fifth long ball of the year and his third RBI of the game.
Romero finished his day with three innings allowing two hits, zero earned runs and one strikeout. Preston Guilmet came into relief in the ninth and pitched a perfect 1-2-3 inning.
Winning pitcher: Eades (3-2)
Losing pitcher: Roach (0-3)
Box Score: Click here for the game one box score and play-by-play narrative.
In the regularly scheduled game, Charlotte got on the board first with a two out single to left field from Ryan Goins in the top of the second to give the Knights an early 1-0 lead.
Wings starter Devin Smeltzer struck out five batters through his first three innings of work. In the top of the third Smeltzer picked off and caught Adam Engel stealing second.
Knights starter and former Red Wing Justin Nicolino kept the Wings' bats quiet through three innings only allowing two hits, both of which were singles. Drew Maggi extended his on-base streak to nine games with a single to center field in the bottom of the third.
Both pitchers worked effectively, with Nicolino holding the Wings to only two hits through the first five innings.
Adam Engel led off in the top of the sixth and hit a home run off Smeltzer to give the Knights a 2-0 lead.
Smeltzer departed in the top of the sixth inning with two outs and a runner at second base, with Jake Reed taking over on the mound. Smeltzer finished with 5.2 innings pitched, allowing six hits and two earned runs. Smeltzer struck out a season-high 10 batters and did not issue a walk; he threw 95 pitches, 64 for strikes.
The Wings had a scoring chance in the bottom of the sixth following a double from Maggi and a single from Nick Gordon. With one out Willians Astudillo came up to bat and hit into an inning ending double play.
In the Wings' half of the seventh inning, Jake Cave hit a 3-1 pitch from Nicolino onto the roof of the ESL Power Alley Suite in right field. The homer, Cave's fifth with the Red Wings, made it a one-run game at 2-1. Brent Rooker followed Cave by legging out an infield hit, putting the tying run at first with none out. Wilin Rosario reached base on catcher's interference, and Zander Wiel lined a hit to load the based with still none out. LaMonte Wade, Jr.'s sacrifice fly brought in Rooker to tie the game at 2-2.
Carson Fulmer took over for Nicolino after Wade's sac fly and got a flyout for the second out, but a wild pitch moved Rosario down to third base with Luis Arraez at the plate. Arraez laced a 1-2 pitch from Fulmer into left field, bringing home Rosario for the win and sweep.
Nicolino turned in a solid performance against his former teammates, tossing 6.1 innings. He struck out six without allowing a walk, and threw 96 pitches - 69 for strikes.
Reed tossed 1.1 relief innings, walking one and striking out one to pick up the win.
Winning pitcher: Reed (3-1)
Losing pitcher: Nicolino (4-3)
Box Score: Click here for the game two box score and play-by-play narrative.
NOTES: Nick Gordon's single in the second game extended his on-base streak to 20 games and his hitting streak to 13 games... Jake Cave now has a seven-game hit streak after a hit in both games.
THIS DAY IN RED WINGS HISTORY
1933 - Even though the Red Wings outhit the Skeeters 9-6, the Skeeters came out victorious at home against the Red Wings 4-3. Buster Mills and Ray Pepper each had two his for the Wings.
2005 - Marcus Thames' home run provided the only scoring as the Toledo Mud Hens beat the Red Wings 1-0 Thursday night Frontier Field. Scott Baker struck out 11 for the Wings, who out-hit Toledo 9-6 but stranded 14 baserunners.
2006 - Chris Heintz homered and doubled, driving in three runs and leading the Red Wings to a 7-3 win over the Indianapolis Indians Friday night at Frontier Field.
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