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 Rochester Red Wings

Red Wings Split Early Doubleheader with Lehigh Valley

May 21, 2024 - International League (IL)
Rochester Red Wings News Release


The Rochester Red Wings split their sixth doubleheader of the season Tuesday afternoon against Lehigh Valley, taking game one by a score of 4-1 before falling 16-3 in game two. RHP Thaddeus Ward picked his second win of the season in game one, allowing one earned across 5.0 innings pitched. Offensively, RF Travis Blankenhorn drove in his 31st and 32nd RBI of the season, while C Drew Millas picked up a pair of hits, including a double. In game two, DH James Wood launched his eighth homer of the season, and C Brady Lindsly picked up a pair of knocks.

GAME ONE:

Former Red Wing and current Lehigh Valley LF David Dahl kicked off the scoring to lead off the bottom of the first in game one. The lefty worked a full count and subsequently drove a cutter over the left field fence to give the IronPigs an early 1-0 lead. Two batters later, C Rafael Marchán laced a sharp single up the middle, but Red Wings starting pitcher Thaddeus Ward was able to induce a double play to end the inning and keep the deficit at one run.

Rochester punched back in the top of the third, loading the bases with one out. SS Jack Dunn led off the inning with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from 2B Darren Baker. The next batter, CF Alex Call, worked the Red Wings' second walk of the inning, and RF James Wood reached on a fielding error in the following at-bat. Travis Blankenhorn followed suit with a single up the middle that scored Dunn and Baker to give Rochester a 2-1 lead heading to the home half of the third.

Pitching on both sides took control until the top of the sixth when Drew Millas roped a double the other way into the left-field corner. 3B Carter Kieboom followed with a double of his own that allowed Millas to cross the plate and add an insurance run for Rochester. Two batters later, Darren Baker drove a line drive single into left-center field that scored Kieboom to make the score 4-1.

The score remained the same, heading to the IronPigs' final turn at-bat in the bottom of the seventh. Red Wings RHP Rico Garcia retired all three batters he faced to secure the save and give Rochester an early series lead with a 4-1 win.

Thaddeus Ward took the mound for the Red Wings in what was his ninth start of the season. The Fort Myers native delivered 5.0 strong innings, allowing one earned on four hits while striking out one and walking three. RHP Amos Willingham followed in relief and pitched a scoreless sixth, allowing a hit while striking out one before giving the ball to Rico Garcia for the home half of the seventh. The Hawaii native induced a strikeout, fly out, and ground out en route to his team-leading sixth save of the season. He is one of six relievers in the International League with at least six saves this season.

Diamond Pro Player of the Game in the first half of the twin bill goes to RHP Thaddeus Ward. The right-hander turned in 5.0 innings for the third time this season and allowed one earned on four hits en route to his second Triple-A win. Through his first nine starts, Ward is holding right-handed hitters to just a .179 batting average (14-for-78).

GAME TWO:

Lehigh Valley, playing as the road team in game two, jumped ahead early in the top of the first. DH David Dahl led off the inning with a triple to left field, his second of the season. The next batter, RF Jordan Luplow, laced a double to right field to score Dahl and put himself in scoring position. He came around to score on a single off the bat of 3B Weston Wilson, which was immediately followed by a CF Cal Stevenson walk. LF Matt Kroon continued the hit parade with a double that scored Wilson. 2B Esteban Quiroz then singled to score two more runs, swelling the IronPigs lead to 5-0 before the Red Wings first turn at-bat.

The IronPigs held Rochester scoreless for two innings and extended their lead in the top of the third. To kick off the inning, Weston Wilson worked a walk but was thrown out at second for the first out of the inning on a Cal Stevenson fielder's choice. Stevenson then stole second base before Matt Kroon hit his second double of the game, which allowed Stevenson to score from second base. The next at-bat, C Aramis Garcia singled, putting two runners on base for Esteban Quiroz. He smashed a three run home run to right field that increased Lehigh Valley's lead to 9-0.

After no answer from Rochester in the bottom of the third, Dahl, Luplow, and Wilson hit consecutive singles in the fourth, leaving the bases loaded with no outs for Cal Steveson. Stevenson crushed a 376-foot grand slam to left-center field that gave the IronPigs a 13-0 lead.

The Red Wings got onto the board in the bottom of the fourth inning, led off by a walk from SS Jack Dunn. The next batter, James Wood, launched a 380-foot two-run home run to right field. This was his eighth homer of the season, breaking a tie with CF Alex Call (7) for the second-most by a Red Wing this season behind Travis Blankenhorn (11). All eight of his homers this season have come on the road. Lehigh Valley pitching was able to escape the remainder of the inning unscathed, leaving their lead at 13-2.

Rochester continued to cut into their eleven-run deficit in the bottom of the fifth when RF Stone Garrett worked a walk and advanced to third by a line drive single from Brady Lindsly. With runners on the corners, 2B Erick Mejia grounded into a double play that scored Garrett to cut the lead to 13-3.

Lehigh Valley padded their lead in the top of the seventh inning. A pair of walks from Garcia and Nick Podkul led the inning off, and a ground out off the bat of Scott Kingery forced Garcia out at third base. Two batters later, Jordan Luplow cleared the bases with a three-run home run, sending the contest into the bottom of the seventh, 16-3. The Red Wings were unable to cross the plate in their final at-bat, sealing the game in Lehigh Valley's favor. With the loss, Rochester dropped their second series of the season after falling in games one and two on April 6 and 7.

RHP Robert Gsellman took to the mound first in game two, marking his third start of the season (10th appearance). The California native worked 2.1 innings, where he allowed eight earned on eight hits while walking two and striking out three. RHP T.J. Zeuch entered in relief during the top of the third and tossed 2.2 innings. The former IronPig allowed five earned on six hits while striking out one before handing the ball to RHP Stephen Nogosek. The right-hander allowed three earned on one hit, with two strikeouts and three walks over the final 2.0 innings.

The Diamond Pro Player of the Game for game two is DH James Wood. The Nationals' No. 1 prospect went 1-for-3 with a 380-foot two-run home run. He extended his on-base streak to 27 games in the contest, the longest by any player in the International League this season and most by a Red Wing since Josh Palacios reached safely in 31 consecutive games from June 19 through July 30 in 2022.

Rochester looks to extend their current series lead to two games on Wednesday night. RHP Joan Adon takes the ball for the Wings, facing off against Lehigh Valley's RHP David Buchanan. First pitch is set for 6:45 p.m.


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