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 Rochester Red Wings

Red Wings Out-Slug IronPigs in Friday Night Thriller

May 24, 2024 - International League (IL)
Rochester Red Wings News Release

The Rochester Red Wings picked up the win against Lehigh Valley Friday night in a high-scoring contest, 10-6. DH Juan Yepez drove in four runs, including a three run homer and a sacrifice fly, and LF Darren Baker picked up three hits for the third time this season to pace the offense. RHP Amos Willingham delivered 1.1 hitless innings in relief, his sixth consecutive scoreless outing.

After Rochester and Lehigh Valley were both held scoreless across the first two frames, 2B Jackson Cluff led off the Red Wings' half of the third with a ground ball single up the middle. Darren Baker then laid down a bunt to the left side of the infield for a single that moved Cluff to second, and both runners moved up a base on a throwing error. CF Alex Call then capitalized and lined a single into center field. Cluff and Baker both crossed the plate on the play to give Rochester a 2-0 lead. The next at-bat, RF Travis Blankenhorn made it four hits in-a-row for the Wings, pulling a fastball into the right field corner that moved Call to third. Juan Yepez added to Rochester's lead with a sacrifice fly to center, bringing Call home to make the score 3-0.

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Darren Baker got Rochester's offense started in the top of the fifth with a hard ground ball single to right. Alex Call then jumped on the first pitch he saw, ripping a sinker the other way into the right field corner for a double. Travis Blankenhorn subsequently walked on four-straight pitches to load the bases for 1B Trey Lipscomb. The righty plated Baker with a soft chopper to short, making it 4-0. After a pitching change, Juan Yepez deposited the first pitch he saw 369 feet over the high wall in right field for a three-run home run to extend the Rochester lead to 7-0.

SS Jack Dunn followed up the homer with a ground ball over the third base bag for a double. The next batter, 3B Erick Mejia, roped a single into right to move Dunn to third but was thrown out between first and second. C Brady Lindsly and Jackson Cluff then both worked two-out walks, loading the bases for the second time in the inning. The next batter, Darren Baker reached on a throwing error that saw Dunn and Lindsly come around to score, making it six runs in the inning and a 9-0 lead.

DH Cody Roberts worked a walk to start off the IronPigs half of the fifth and 3B Cody Podkul belted a fastball into the grass behind the fence in left-center field for a two-run home run. The Indiana native's second home run of the season traveled 430 feet and cut into the Rochester lead, 9-2.

1B Darick Hall smoked an opposite field solo home run of his own in the top of the sixth, a 394-foot shot into left-center, making it 9-3 Red Wings. Lehigh Valley has hit 11 home runs across the week, with 23 of their 33 runs scored coming courtesy of the long ball.

In the top of the seventh, Erick Mejia worked a walk and two batters later, Jackson Cluff worked a walk of his own with two-outs to put runners on first and second. Darren Baker took advantage and lined a single into center, plating Mejia to make it 10-3 Red Wings. This is Baker's third three-hit game on the season, and first since May 14th against Buffalo.

The IronPigs answered right back in the bottom of the seventh as SS Scott Kingery worked a walk with two outs. The next at-bat, CF Jordan Luplow roped a double into the right-center gap for his first hit of the game. Kingery scored from second on the play to cut the deficit to six. The IronPigs were not done yet as Weston Wilson dropped a single behind second base that scored Luplow to make the score 10-5. C Rafael Marchan kept the two-out rally going with a line drive single into center. With runners on first and second, Darick Hall worked a full-count walk to load the bases, and RF Matt Kroon was hit by a pitch to bring Wilson home and cut Lehigh Valley's deficit to four.

Down to their final three outs, the IronPigs looked to rally but went quietly into the Pennsylvania night and failed to cross the plate. Rochester secured the victory by a score of 10-6, the second game they have scored double digit runs in the series.

LHP DJ Herz took the mound for the Red Wings making his 8th start of the season. The former Chicago Cub farmhand logged 5.0 innings, giving up two earned runs on three hits while punching out five and walking three. RHP Luis Reyes took over for the next 1.2 innings and allowed four earned runs on three hits with a strikeout and two walks. LHP Tim Cate entered the game and gave up a single, a walk, and a hit-by-pitch against three batters.Amos Willingham entered in the seventh and delivered 1.1 hitless innings while striking out two. RHP Rico Garcia took the mound to start the ninth inning, and turned in a clean frame with a walk and a strikeout.

The Diamond Pro Player of the Game Friday night goes to DH Juan Yepez, who launched a three-run shot in the seventh, his sixth of 2024. The former St. Louis Cardinal finished the night 1-for-4 and added a sacrifice fly and four RBI in the contest. He has now reached base safely in each of his last six games since May 19 against Buffalo, totaling a team-leading six walks over that span.

Rochester looks to make it back-to-back wins on Saturday night against Lehigh Valley. RHP Jackson Rutledge takes the ball for Rochester against IronPigs southpaw David Parkinson. First Pitch is set for 6:35 p.m.

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