Humberto Quintero Homers Help Clip Rochester Red Wings
The Rochester Red Wings opened the season 5-1 and were looking like the Minnesota Twins AAA affiliate was going to be a real challenger in the North Division of International League. That is until they came to Pawtucket to face the Boston Red Sox AAA squad three days ago. Since then the team has had to dine on a reality sandwich after their third straight loss to the Red Sox, this time by a final score of 13-3.
The Red Wings would jump on top in this game when Reynaldo Rodriguez led off the top of the second inning with a single to left field off of Pawtucket starter Eduardo Rodriguez. One out later Jose Martinez lined a ball into the left field gap scoring Rodriguez. Martinez attempted to make it to third, but was thrown out on a perfect relay for the second out of the inning.
The Red Sox responded right away. In the bottom half of the inning Sean Coyle singled to left field to start the Pawtucket half of the second. One out later Humberto Quintero took a Mark Hamburger pitch and drilled it over the left-centerfield wall for his first home run of the year. The two-run shot put Pawtucket in front, a lead they would not relinquish.
In the third the home team increased their lead to two runs. Quintin Berry doubled to lead off the inning. One out later Blake Swihart singled to right field scoring Berry. It was Swihart’s eighth RBI of the season and he was not done for the afternoon.
In the fourth Brock Peterson would cut that deficit in half. The DH crushed a Rodriguez pitch to deep centerfield for his second home run of the season, making the score 3-2. The shot really buoyed the spirits of the team’s bench, but that would not last for long.
In the bottom of the fifth Swihart led off with his second double of the year. Coyle then singled, moving Swihart to third. That was all for Hamburger. He was pulled and replaced by Stephen Pryor. Pryor was able to get Matt Spring to pop out, but then Quintero turned on a pitch and blasted it over the centerfield wall for a three-run homer. For Quintero it was his second home run of the game and on the season.
In the bottom of the sixth the long ball would hurt the Red Wings again. Jemile Weeks walked to lead off the inning and Berry followed with a two-run homer to make the score 8-2. Pryor then walked Bryce Brentz, and Swihart singled moving Brentz to second. The DH finished with an outstanding day overall, going 4-5 with 2 runs scored and 2 RBI. Two of his hits were doubles. One out later, Spring went deep over the left field fence for his first home run of the year and an 11-2 lead. That was it for Pryor.
In the top of the seventh Rochester got one run back. Danny Ortiz reached on an error, advancing all the way to second base on the play. Noe Ramirez relieved Rodriguez, and one out later gave up a single to Eric Fryer that moved Ortiz to third. James Beresford then hit a sacrifice fly to score Ortiz and cut the deficit to 11-3.
Pawtucket immediately responded. Ryan O’Rourke took over in relief to start the bottom half of the inning. Jackie Bradley, Jr. led off by drawing a walk. He moved to second on a groundout. After Berry struck out swinging, Brentz doubled to the wall in centerfield scoring Bradley. Swihart followed with his third double of the season, scoring Brentz and closing out that scoring at 13-3.
Hamburger (0-1) took the loss for the Rochester Red Wings. Eduardo Rodriguez (1-0) earned his first win of the season with six quality innings of work. The left-hander allowed four hits, a walk and two earned runs, while striking out five.
Swihart was not the only hot bat for Pawtucket on this day. Quintero finished 3-5 with 2 runs scored and 5 RBI, to go with his two home runs.
The win moved Pawtucket (7-3) into first place, a half-game ahead of Buffalo in the North Division. The Rochester Red Wings (5-4) moved to third, 1.5 games behind the Red Sox. The two teams will face off again tomorrow.
By Robert Pannier