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Rochester Pitching Stifles Bisons to Retake Series Lead

May 16, 2024 - International League (IL)
Rochester Red Wings News Release

The Rochester Red Wings bounced back from an 11-run loss Wednesday night with a 6-2 win Thursday, retaking the series lead two games to one. CF James Wood extended his hitting streak to 11 games and on-base streak to 22, and the Wings offense combined to steal seven bases in the contest. Rochester's pitching staff combined to hold the Bisons to just two unearned runs, highlighted by hitless innings in relief from RHP Amos Willingham.

Buffalo came out threatening to score right away in the top of the first inning. After a one-out single off the bat of DH Nathan Lukes for his seventh hit in his last seven at-bats, back-to-back errors loaded the bases for the Bisons'. RHP Joan Adon decided to take matters into his own hands, and struck out the next two batters to eliminate the Buffalo threat.

In the bottom half of the first, Rochester was able to capitalize and jump out in front. A lead-off walk to 2B Darren Baker got the inning going, and two pitches later he stole his 15th base of the year, moving himself to second base. LF Alex Call then laced a ground ball double down the left-field line that allowed Baker to come around and score the first run of the game. CF James Wood increased his on-base streak to 22 straight-games with a walk, moving Call to second who then on the very next pitch stole third base putting runners on the corners. Two batters later, 1B Juan Yepez blooped a pop-up into shallow center field that was caught for the second out of the inning, but was just deep enough to allow Call to tag up and score Rochester's second and final run of the inning making the score 2-0 after the first.

Buffalo struck back in the top of the second inning, erasing the Rochester lead. SS Leo Jimenez walked to lead off the inning, and two batters later LF Steward Berroa worked a walk of his own to put runners on first and second with one out for lead-off hitter 1B Spencer Horwitz. The Maryland native pulled a ground ball down the first base line that resulted in an error and pushed across Jimenez to score Buffalo's first run of the game. Nathan Lukes then stepped into the box with runners on second and third, and proceeded to ground out to shortstop for the second out of the inning. The same play allowed Berroa to score, tying the game at two.

The back and forth continued in the bottom of the second as Rochester plated another run to retake the lead. RF Erick Mejia led off the inning with a walk and proceeded to not only steal second base, but third base as well. Two batters later Darren Baker hit a slow chopper to shortstop that was just enough to allow Mejia to score and gave Rochester the lead once again, 3-2.

After two and a half scoreless innings, the Red Wings struck again in the bottom half of the fourth. SS Jack Dunn led off the inning by getting drilled by a pitch, but quickly bounced back and stole second base two pitches later. The very next batter Erick Mejia worked a walk to put runners on first and second for C Brady Lindsly. The backstop roped a double down the right-field line scoring both Dunn and Mejia, opening up the Rochester lead to three runs. Turning the lineup over Darren Baker came to the plate and smashed a backside double to score Lindsley making the score 6-2.

Neither team was able to cross the plate from the fifth inning on, and both teams combined for just five hits across the final four frames. Buffalo went down quietly in the ninth, securing a 6-2 win for the Red Wings to regain the series lead at 2-1.

Joan Adon toed the rubber tonight for Rochester, making his seventh start of the year. The Dominican Republic native went 3.1 innings, and allowed two runs, none earned, on three hits, while striking out six and walking four. LHP Joe La Sorsa entered from the bullpen with one out and two runners on in the fourth. The southpaw was able to work out of the jam striking out back-to-back batters. The St. John's University product went 1.2 scoreless innings on one hit, with three strikeouts. Fellow southpaw LHP Tim Cate replaced La Sorsa to start the top of the sixth inning. The former UCONN Husky, tallied 1.1 scoreless innings of his own, on two hits, with two strikeouts and one walk. Amos Willingham entered the game for Cate with one out in the top of the seventh inning. Willingham ended his night throwing 1.2 innings, giving up no runs, on no hits before handing the ball to RHP Rico Garcia to shut the door for Rochester in the ninth. Garcia came and shut the door for the Red Wings, he tossed 1.0 inning allowing no runs, on one hit, with two strikeouts.

The Diamond Pro Player of the Game for Wednesday night's contest is 2B Darren Baker. The California native went 1-for-4 with a double, two RBI, a walk, two stolen bases, and a run scored. Baker now has a team-leading 16 stolen bases on the year, which currently ranks fourth in the International League. The University of California alumni has also collected a hit in four consecutive games dating back to the series finale on 9/12 at Scranton/WB, posting six hits in 17 at bats (.353) over that span.

Rochester looks to take a 3-1 series lead in game four Friday night. RHP Spenser Watkins will take the mound first for the Red Wings, squaring off against RHP Andrew Bash. First pitch is set for 6:45 p.m.

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