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Red Wings' Pitching Stifles Bisons in Game Two, Split Twin Bill

May 18, 2024 - International League (IL)
Rochester Red Wings News Release

The Rochester Red Wings split their sixth doubleheader of the season Saturday night, dropping game one to Buffalo by a score of 4-2, before securing a 2-1 victory in game two. In the first half of the twin bill, RHP Nash Walters turned in 2.1 hitless innings in relief, and 3B Erick Mejia turned in his third multi-hit game of the season. In game two, Rochester pitching held the Bisons to just one run, behind 5.0 shutout innings from LHP DJ Herz.


The Red Wings kicked off the scoring in the bottom of the first. 2B Darren Baker led off with a single and moved to second on a base hit from SS Jack Dunn. After a pair of outs, C Drew Millas blooped a two-RBI single up the middle to give Rochester a 2-0 lead.

Buffalo answered immediately in the second, led off by a pair of doubles from 3B Addison Barger and C Brian Serven to put runners on second and third. The next batter, SS Leo Jimenez brought both runners around to score with a single up the middle to make the score 2-2 with still no outs. Red Wings starting pitcher RHP Spenser Watkins then induced a ground out and a pair of strikeouts, sending the contest to the bottom half of the second with the game still tied at two.

Bisons 1B Spencer Horwitz led off the top of the third with a single and was replaced at first base on a fielder's choice from RF Nathan Lukes. Damiano Palmegiani then worked a walk to put runners on first and second with one out. A subsequent fly ball to center field moved Lukes to third, and he came around to score the go-ahead run on an RBI single from Brian Servan to make the score 3-2.

After a scoreless fourth inning, Buffalo broke the stalemate and took the lead in the top half of the fifth. Spencer Horwitz led off the inning with a triple that got to the left-center field wall. Nathan Lukes followed up the triple with a double to the left-center field gap, scoring Horwitz making the score 4-2.

Buffalo held on to their two-run lead to take game one of the doubleheader.

Rochester sent Spenser Watkins to the mound to make his seventh start (9th appearance) of the season in game one. The Detroit Tigers 2014 30th-round selection tossed 4.2 innings, giving up four runs, on eight hits with five strikeouts and two walks. Nash Walters was called upon to finish off the fifth inning for Watkins. The Longhorn state native ended his night throwing 2.1 hitless innings with a strikeout.

In the first half of the doubleheader, Diamond Pro Player of the Game goes to RHP Nash Walters. The former Milwaukee Brewer farmhand tossed 2.1 hitless innings, striking out one batter. This is only the second time in Walters' career he has tossed at least 2.1 innings without giving up a hit, the last time he accomplished this feat was on May 26, 2021, with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (MIL).

Find the box score for game one attached here.


The Red Wings got on the board in the bottom of the first for the second time today. LF Darren Baker led off the bottom of the first inning with a ground ball single to left field and was moved to second base two batters later on a CF James Wood groundout to first base. 2B Trey Lipscomb punched a grounder through the right side for a single, allowing Baker to motor home and give the Red Wings a 1-0 lead.

Each team was held scoreless until Rochester cashed in for an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth. James Wood got the inning going with a lead-off infield single to shortstop. Two batters later, Trey Lipscomb blooped in his second single of the night, a bleeder to center field that moved Wood to second. 1B Juan Yepez roped a pull-side single that loaded the bases for 3B Carter Kieboom. The Georgia native cashed in with a sacrifice fly ball to center field, scoring Wood to make it a 2-0 ball game going into the top of the seventh inning.

Buffalo strung together a late rally in the top of the seventh but fell just short. 1B Addison Barger smoked a 417-foot home run up and over the right-field bullpen to make it a one-run ballgame. The rally stopped there as Rochester secured a 2-1 win in the second game of the twin bill.

Southpaw DJ Herz got the nod on the mound tonight in game two of the doubleheader to make his seventh start of the season. The Chicago Cubs 2019 eighth-round selection tossed 5.0 innings, giving up no runs, on three hits with eight strikeouts and one walk. RHP Amos Willingham entered the game to start the bottom half of the fifth inning. The former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket turned in 1.0 hitless innings en route to his fifth hold of the season. RHP Rico Garcia came on in the top of the seventh to shut the door for the Red Wings. The Hawaiian native collected his team-leading fifth save of the season, allowing an earned run on one hit.

Diamond Pro Player of the Game goes to LHP DJ Herz. The former Chicago Cub farmhand

finished the game with 5.0 scoreless innings pitched, on three hits with eight strikeouts and one walk en route to his first Triple-A victory. Across three starts of at least 5.0 innings this season, Herz posts a 0.61 ERA (1 ER/15.0 IP) with 18 strikeouts and six walks.

Rochester looks to secure their third series win of the season in the finale Sunday afternoon. RHP Jackson Rutledge takes the mound for the Red Wings in what will be his eighth start of the season, against Bisons RHP Troy Watson. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m.

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