Austin Romine Plates Six to Down Rochester Red Wings 10-7
There aren’t many times that baseball fans are going to get to see a player drive in six runs, but the Rochester Red Wings got to watch it occur in a 10-7 loss Thursday night. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders catcher Austin Romine drove in six, including four on a third inning grand slam to give the visitors the three-run victory, extending their lead to 4.5 games in the North Division of the International League.
The Rochester Red Wings jumped out in front in the bottom of the first, scoring three runs against RailRiders starter Esmil Rogers, who was making his first start for the club. Danny Santana began the inning with a triple and scored when James Beresford followed with a ground rule double. Eric Fryer beat out a ground ball to short for a single, but was wiped off the base paths when Danny Ortiz hit into a double-play. That put Beresford at third. Oswaldo Arcia was the next batter, and he took a Rogers pitch and knocked it into the gap for a ground-rule double as well. That scored Beresford, and Reynaldo Rodriguez doubled to bring home Arcia to make it 3-0.
That was just the kind of start that Rochester starter Jason Wheeler needed. The left-hander had been struggling so far in 2015, and needed a little early support to get him going. Wheeler gave up a double and a walk in the first inning, but then retired the side in order in the second. He was looking sharp, but the third inning quickly became his undoing.
Nick Noonan reached on an error to begin the inning. Back-to-back singles by Ben Gamel and Jose Pirela loaded the bases, and Wheeler brought the first run home against himself when he hit Rob Refsnyder. Kyle Roller hit into a force out that scored Gamel and left runners at the corners with one out. Gregorio Petit dropped a single into center field for a base hit that brought Roller home and the score was tied. Cole Figueroa drew a walk, bringing Romine to the plate.
The catcher was the ninth batter of the inning, and he was ready to deliver the biggest hit of all. Romine took the Wheeler offering deep over the wall in dead center field to give SWB the lead, 7-3. It was Romine’s fifth home run of the season. Nick Noonan followed with a single and that was it for Wheeler.
In the bottom of the third, the Rochester Red Wings got two of those runs back and chased Rogers from the game. Fryer beat out an infield single to begin the inning. Rogers got the next two batters out, but he was replaced by Matt Tracy. The first batter to face the RailRiders reliever was Rodriguez, who greeted Tracy with his fifth home run of the season to make it 7-5.
In the bottom of the fifth the home team pulled within one. Fryer walked with one out and moved to second on a base hit by Danny Ortiz. Arcia walked to load the bases, and Rodriguez delivered a sacrifice fly to score Fryer.
The momentum was definitely shifting in the direction of the Red Wings, but in the top of the seventh SWB got that momentum back. Ramon Flores reached on an error with one out and moved to second on a base hit by Petit. A ground out moved both runners into scoring position for Romine. He drilled a single up the middle to score both runners, making it 9-6.
For Romine it was his second hit of the game. He finished 2-5 with a run scored and 6 RBI. The outburst increased his season total to 28.
The Red Wings got one of those runs back in the bottom of the seventh. Fryer singled with one out and moved to third on a double by Ortiz. A fielder’s choice gunned down Fryer at home, putting Ortiz at third and Arcia at first. Rodriguez delivered a single, scoring Ortiz to make it 9-7.
Rodriguez didn’t have a six RBI day like Romine, but he had a career day of his own. The left fielder finished 3-3 with a run and 5 RBI. He also homered and had a double in the game.
Up by two the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders scored one more in the ninth. Noonan’s sacrifice fly scored Petit to close out the scoring 10-7.
Diego Moreno (3-0) earned the win for the RailRiders. Wheeler (1-6) took the loss. Tyler Webb earned his first save of the season with two scoreless innings of relief.
Petit added three hits for SWB and scored three runs. Fryer had three hits for Rochester and scored twice.
With their series concluded, both teams move on. The Rochester Red Wings welcome the Louisville Bats tomorrow evening. Keyvius Sampson (1-0, 4.50) goes for Louisville against Taylor Rogers (6-4, 3.23). The RailRiders face Lehigh Valley.
By Robert Pannier