Wiel Homer Wins It for Wings
The Rochester Red Wings rallied in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the Lehigh Valley IronPigs 6-5 Sunday evening at Frontier Field. The Wings host Lehigh Valley Monday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. in the season finale of the 2018 season, with Fan Appreciation Day prizes all game long.
Omar Bencomo got the start for Rochester after being recalled on Saturday from Double-A Chattanooga. The start was his second with the Wings this season after getting a start back on May 30th where he allowed one hit over 6.0 innings of work against Durham.
Lehigh Valley got to Bencomo quickly as they scored the opening run just two batters into the game. After being hit by a pitch to open the first inning, Dean Anna was able to score from first on a double from Collin Cowgill to give the IronPigs a 1-0 lead. Two batters later, Joey Meneses singled home Cowgill to increase the lead to 2-0.
Bencomo worked out of potential trouble in both the first and second innings when he picked off two different IronPigs at first base.
Rochester tied the game in the second after exploding for five hits against pitcher Tom Eshelman, four of which were consecutive. After Kennys Vargas doubled to lead off the inning, a sacrifice fly from Zander Wiel brought him home to cut the IronPigs lead in half. Later in the inning with two out, Jeremy Hazelbaker pounded his seventh home run of the season that sailed over the left field fence to tie the game at 2-2.
Eshelman's struggles continued in the third after Vargas hit his 21st home run of the season with Nick Gordon aboard to put Rochester ahead 4-2.
Bencomo retired 13 of 14 batters from the second to the sixth inning but Lehigh Valley disrupted his tempo with one out in the seventh. After allowing Andrew Knapp and Zach Green to reach base, a home run from Danny Ortiz allowed for the IronPigs to retake the lead at 5-4.
After taking the lead, Eshelman's night was finished. He went 6.0 innings allowing four runs on seven hits while walking one and striking out seven. He threw 94 pitches, 62 for strikes.
Nick Anderson came on for Bencomo to begin the eighth inning. The starter went 7.0 innings allowing five runs on five hits while walking two and striking out six. 65 of his 96 pitches were for strikes.
Anderson worked two innings, striking out five of the six batters he faced. Anderson has now struck out 88 in 60.0 innings pitched this season.
The Wings got a double from Jon Kemmer to put the tying run in scoring position to open the bottom of the ninth inning. Wiel clobbered the first pitch he saw from Edgar Garcia over the picnic tent in left field for the comeback win.
Winning pitcher: Anderson (8-2)
Losing pitcher: Garcia (0-1)
NOTES: Lehigh Valley third basemen Mitch Walding was ejected by home plate umpire Rich Grassa after arguing balls and strikes.
THIS DAY IN RED WINGS HISTORY
1984 - Rochester was swept in a double header against Syracuse. The losses (# 86 and 87) clinched the worst record in modern history for the Red Wings. 2005 - Red Wings manager Phil Roof rejoined the club Friday night for the last home series of the season, and watched the Red Wings pound out 16 hits in a 14-6 win over the Syracuse SkyChiefs.
THIS DAY IN INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE HISTORY
1998 - Indianapolis first baseman Roberto Petagine is named the International League's Most Valuable Player for the second consecutive season, becoming the first player to be so honored in back-to-back years. In 1997 Petagine earned the award as a member of the Norfolk Tides after hitting .317 with 31 HR and 100 RBI. Following an offseason trade by the Mets to Cincinnati, Petagine was assigned to Indianapolis. Playing in just 102 games before a late-summer promotion, the left-handed slugger hit .331 with 24 HR and 109 RBI for the Indians. He also led the IL in onbase percentage (.436). The only other player in League history to win multiple MVP honors was Rocky Nelson, who was named Most Valuable Player three times (1953, 1955, 1958).
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