Wings' Win Adds to IronPigs' Woes
Randy Ruiz keyed a four-run eighth inning, and the Red Wings rallied to beat the Lehigh Valley IronPigs 5-3 Wednesday night at Frontier Field. The Rochester win dropped Lehigh Valley's record to 2-19, after IronPigs starter J.A. Happ left with a 3-1 lead after seven innings.
Rochester's Kevin Mulvey came into the game having allowed just two earned runs and 15 hits in three starts (17 2/3 innings). Lehigh Valley's offense had a league-worst .218 batting average, but quickly racked up three hits and a run against Mulvey in the top of the first. Javon Moran scored on a single from the red-hot Valentino Pascucci (.467 average in his last five games).
Mulvey was far from sharp, but worked around a hit and an error in the second inning, and consecutive walks in the third. Mulvey struck out Joey Hammond with two runners on to end the third inning threat.
The Wings went quietly in the first two innings against Happ, who was tied for the league lead in both strikeouts and walks before the game. Centerfielder Moran took away an extra-base hit from Darnell McDonald with a fantastic catch in the first inning.
Jose Morales led off the Rochester third with a single, and ended up at third base after Alexi Casilla's two-out, ground rule double down the left field line. But Happ got a groundball out from Rochester's hottest hitter, Jason Pridie, to end the scoring threat.
The Pigs picked up another run in the fourth inning off Mulvey, on Mike Cervenak's RBI single. A hit batter and fielding error contributed to the unearned run and the 2-0 Lehigh Valley lead.
Jon Knott got his first home run of the season in the bottom of the fifth, bringing the Wings to within a run at 2-1.
Mulvey lasted until two outs in the sixth, when Julio DePaula came in to get the third out with a runner on base. Mulvey's outing -- 5 2/3 innings, five hits, four walks and five strikeouts -- was his least effective of the young season. Happ worked seven innings, his longest outing of the season; he racked up eight strikeouts and just one walk.
Mariano Gomez came out of the bullpen in the seventh, yielding a home run to Andy Tracy for a 3-1 Lehigh Valley lead.. The homer was the first by an IronPigs batter since April 18.
In the eighth inning, the Wings put the tying runs on with one out. Veteran reliever Steve Kline came in to face Pridie, and went ahead in the count 1-2 before Pridie snuck a single through the hole between first and second base. The single extended Pridie's hitting streak to 11 games, and brought home pinch-runner Tommy Watkins to make it a 3-2 game. Darnell McDonald hit a chopper up the third base line for an infield hit, scoring Casilla with the tying run.
Lehigh Valley closer Matt Childers, who had not allowed a run in his last six outings, gave up a first pitch double to Ruiz that brought in Pridie with the go-ahead run. Matt Macri struck out on a wild pitch, with Garrett Jones scoring an insurance run and Macri reaching first base.
Tim Lahey, just up from Class A Ft. Myers, picked up the win by pitching with 1 1/3 perfect innings of relief and two strikeouts. Closer Bobby Korecky struck out Pascucci with a runner on base to end the game and pick up the save. Korecky also made a great defensive play, fielding a bunt attempt by Moran to start the ninth. Korecky slid to his knees to snag the ball, then fired a strike to first to get Moran by a step for the first out.
Lehigh Valley's manager, Dave Huppert, played for the Wings in 1981 and 1983 - and participated in pro baseball's "Longest Game," the 33-inning Rochester-Pawtucket contest. As a manager Huppert won back-to-back championships for Phillies minor league clubs in 2006 and 2007........Pridie has hit safely in 12 of his last 13 games ...Before Tracy's homer Wednesday, the Red Wings pitching staff had allowed just one home run in their last 43 innings and only two long balls in their last 63 innings. ...On Tuesday Lahey was added to the Red Wings roster. Lahey made two appearances for Ft. Myers allowing one hit in 3.0 scoreless innings of work. Lahey was designated for assignment by the Phillies on April 5...RHP Zach Day was activated from the DL and assigned to Class A Fort Myers, and big league veteran Danny Graves pitched for Double-A New Britain Tuesday night, with two shutout innings of relief and three strikeouts. ....Minnesota Twins GM Bill Smith and Farm Director Jim Rantz are in town for the series, and will be part of a Red Wings press conference at Frontier Field Thursday afternoon at 3 pm...Double-A New Britain pounded out 21 hits in a 15-6 win over Reading Wednesday afternoon. 3B Luke Hughes homered on consecutive at-bats; Hughes drove in 5 runs and raised his average to .380. DH Felix Molina had three doubles for the Rock Cats. ....Vote today for this year's Frontier Field Walk of Fame inductees....nominees include former Wings President Elmer Fairchild, current Wings President Gary Larder, former Wings Art Frantz, M! ike Jone s and George Selkirk, and current Rochester Community Baseball board members Anna B. Silver and Dorothy Fox. You'll find a ballot in our Frontier Field section.
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