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 Rochester Red Wings

Wings Sweep Saturday Twin Bill at Buffalo

April 13, 2024 - International League (IL)
Rochester Red Wings News Release

After Friday night's contest was postponed due to inclement weather, the Rochester Red Wings took both games of a doubleheader Saturday against the Buffalo Bisons. Game one resulted in an 8-2 win, highlighted by a combined eight stolen bases from the Wings offense, their most in a single game since August 21, 1992, at Silver Stadium against Toledo. Two home runs from RF Alex Call propelled Rochester to a 6-5 win in game two, including a game-winning, two-run shot over the left field fence.


Rochester opened the scoring in the first inning of game one, started by an infield single from 2B Darren Baker. The California native promptly stole second, his team-leading seventh of the season on seven attempts. He later advanced to third on a groundout from CF James Wood and came around to score on a single from 1B Juan Yepez, a chopper that deflected off the glove of rehabbing Bisons' RHP Alek Manoah. Buffalo finished the remainder of the inning unscathed but found themselves down 1-0 after the opening frame.

The Bisons would respond in the bottom of the second, working a pair of walks and a single to create a bases-loaded scoring opportunity for DH Luis De Los Santos, who delivered with an RBI single through the left side of the infield. A batter later, CF Cam Eden worked a walk with the bases still loaded to put the Bisons ahead, 2-1. A pair of strikeouts following the walk would strand the three baserunners, leaving the Bisons with a one-run advantage heading into the third inning.

Wood led off the top of the third with an opposite-field single to left and later moved into scoring position with a stolen base. After an error allowed him to advance to third, Yepez followed with a hard-hit ground ball single up the middle to score Wood for his second RBI single of the game, tying the contest at two runs. The Wings weren't done there, as RF Travis Blankenhorn doubled and left two runners on for LF Jake Alu, who drove in Yepez on a sacrifice fly to left field, putting Rochester ahead 3-2 after two-and-a-half innings of play.

After Rochester's pitching kept the Bisons at bay in the bottom of the third, the Red Wings offense added to their lead in the fourth. SS Jack Dunn led off the inning with a double to left field and advanced to third on a groundout. Baker worked a walk, and the following at-bat the Wings put on a double steal. Bisons C Danny Jansen attempted to gun Baker down at second but his throw was not in time, allowing Baker to steal his second base of the day and Dunn to score from third, increasing Rochester's lead to 4-2 after the top half of the fourth.

The Rochester offense kept rolling in the top of the fifth, kicked off by a Blankenhorn leadoff single to right and a steal of second for the Red Wings' fifth stolen bag of the game. C Drew Millas brought Blankenhorn around to score with a double down the right field line, upping the Wings' lead to 5-2.

Following a scoreless sixth inning, the Wings' bats put more insurance runs on the board. DH Carter Kieboom got on with a leadoff walk and later pulled into third via Dunn's second double of game one. 3B Erick Mejia then worked a walk of his own, and Baker ripped an RBI single past a diving 2B Orelvis Martinez, allowing the Red Wings to go station-to-station and gain a 6-2 lead. Following the hit, Wood was walked for the second time in game one, scoring another run and giving Rochester a five-run advantage. RHP Connor Cooke issued another free pass with the bases loaded, this time with Blankenhorn at the plate, and would leave Buffalo down 8-2 for the bottom of the seventh.

Eden led off the bottom of the seventh with a single and was moved to second on a groundout. A passed ball then allowed him to reach third, but the Rochester bullpen put a stop to the scoring threat, leaving Rochester victorious in game one by a score of 8-2.

LHP DJ Herz made his second career Triple-A start for the Wings and allowed two earned over 3.1 innings pitched. The 2019 Chicago Cubs draft pick exited in the bottom of the fourth with five strikeouts and five walks. RHP Adonis Medina replaced Herz, and kept the Bisons at two runs across his 1.2 innings pitched, allowing just one hit before handing the ball to RHP Luis Reyes to start the bottom of the sixth. After allowing one hit over a scoreless 1.1 innings of work, Reyes was relieved by RHP Jacob Barnes. The Florida native pitched a complete seventh inning, recording one strikeout and allowing one hit to close the door.

The Diamond Pro Player of the Game in the first half of the twin bill goes to 1B Juan Yepez, who extended his multi-hit streak to four games with a pair of RBI singles, part of a 2-for-4 game. Yepez also collected one walk, a stolen base, and scored a run, while extending his on-base streak to nine games.


After a scoreless first, the success of the Rochester offense from game one rolled into the second contest. Alex Call got the Wings on the board by slugging his second home run of the year, a 389-foot solo shot to left field to put Rochester up 1-0 after one and a half innings of play.

Call was then credited with the second RBI of the game in the top half of the third. After a leadoff single by CF James Wood and a hard-hit double for DH Travis Blankenhorn, Call skied a sacrifice fly to center to score Wood. LF Jake Alu followed with a line drive single, also to center field, which scored Blankenhorn and allowed Rochester to gain a 3-0 advantage. With two outs in the inning, SS Jack Dunn picked up an infield single, and C Brady Lindsly worked a full count and would later walk, allowing Alu to stroll home and bring the early Red Wings' lead to 4-0 heading into the bottom of the third.

Buffalo didn't get on the board and cut into the Rochester lead until the bottom of the fifth inning. With one out, SS Luis De Los Santos reached base on a walk. CF Steward Berroa then blooped a single to shallow center, and 1B Spencer Horwitz picked up a walk of his own to load the bases for DH Nathan Lukes. He grounded into a force out that allowed De Los Santos to score from third base and cut the lead to three. A groundout ended the short-lived rally for the Bisons, leaving the Red Wings' lead at 4-1 at the end of five innings.

The Bisons trimmed down the Red Wings' lead even further following a scoreless top of the sixth. RF Addison Barger led off the inning with a walk, and C Payton Henry followed with a soft bouncer on the infield grass for a single. Buffalo brought on Orelvis Martinez to pinch hit, and he promptly rapped a double down the line that 3B Carter Kieboom deflected, plating Barger in the process. 2B Leo Jimenez then grounded to short, but it was a productive out as Henry scrambled home to score from third, decreasing Rochester's lead to one run. Cam Eden came on to pinch run for Martinez, swiped third, and later came home on a De Los Santos sacrifice fly, tying the game at four runs a piece heading into the seventh and final inning.

Neither team was able to cross the plate over the next two innings, as Wings' RHP Rico Garcia escaped an extra-inning jam and left two Bisons runners on base in the bottom of the eighth. 1B Juan Yepez served as the runner on second in the top half of the ninth. Following a popout, Call mashed a deep drive to left in the ninth for his second homer of the game, and third home run of the season. The two-run, 362-foot shot gave the Red Wings a 6-4 cushion heading to the bottom of the ninth.

Buffalo kept their hopes alive in their final at-bat, as Berroa started at second and scampered to third on a passed ball. Lukes then dribbled an infield single to shortstop, plating Berroa in the process. Their walk-off chance ultimately fell short, as Millas gunned down Lukes trying to steal second, and Rochester induced a flyout to end the game and lock in a 6-5 win.

RHP Spenser Watkins took the ball for Rochester in game two and delivered 4.1 innings of work, allowing one earned on three hits while striking out and walking a pair. LHP Joe La Sorsa took over and recorded the final two outs of the fifth, allowing two hits while walking two before handing the ball to LHP Richard Bleier. The southpaw allowed one earned on two hits while walking one. Rico Garcia tossed a hitless seventh and eighth, pushing the game to the ninth and handing the ball to LHP Tim Cate. The University of Connecticut product picked up his first save of the season after allowing an unearned run on a hit, with a strikeout. This was just the second save of his professional career; the other was on July 30, 2023, at Worcester, with Rochester.

Game two's Diamond Pro Player of the Game goes to RF Alex Call. The Former Cleveland Guardian launched two homers in the win, the second of which was a game-winning two-run shot in the top half of the ninth. He finished the game 2-for-4 with four RBI and two runs scored and has now collected a hit in five consecutive games dating back to the second half of a doubleheader on April 7 against Lehigh Valley. This was also his sixth career multi-homer game, and first since July 18, 2021, with Columbus (CLE).

Rochester looks to pick up their fourth consecutive win and seal a series victory Sunday afternoon. RHP Thaddeus Ward takes the ball for the Wings in what will be his third start of the season, toeing the rubber against Buffalo RHP Paxton Schultz. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m.

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