Nick Kingham Stymies in 3-1 Win Over Rochester Red Wings
Last night the Rochester Red Wings jumped all over Indianapolis Indians starter Wilfredo Boscan, scoring 10 runs in the first inning in route to a 15-10 win. The Red Wings have proven early on this season that they are a prolific hitting team, and it is going to take a starter bringing his “A” game to be able to shut them down. Fortunately for the Indians, Nick Kingham brought his “A+” game on Wednesday afternoon.
The Indianapolis starter allowed just one earned run in 5.1 innings, outdueling Rochester ace Pat Dean in a 3-1 victory. The win increased the Indians lead to three games over the Columbus Clippers in the West Division of the International League, and dropped the Red Wings a half-game behind Pawtucket pending tonight’s results.
Neither team was able to garner much in the way of scoring opportunities through the early part of the contest. Kingham retired the first seven batters of the game before yielding a single to Nate Hanson with one out in the third. Dean was equally effective, yielding a double and a walk in the first two innings. His pitches had incredible bite as well. All six outs in the first two frames came via the ground ball.
In the third the Indians finally put a run up on the board. Mel Rojas, Jr. beat out an infield single to lead off the inning, and moved to second when Gorkys Hernandez beat out a sacrifice bunt. Alen Hanson then laid down a bunt that moved both runners into scoring position. The Indians went for the squeeze play looking to manufacture a run, and it paid off as Gustavo Nunez laid down a perfect bunt that no one had a play on. Rojas scored and Nunez reached first safely, making it 1-0 while putting runners at first and third with just one out.
The Indians were proving how effective they are in manufacturing runs. They had bunted three times, beating out two of those, and their other single came on an infield hit. The Red Wings had given up a run and not a single ball had left the infield. Dean induced a double-play to end the inning.
In the top of the fourth the Indians starter continued to dominate. He retired the first two batters of the inning, then threw one bad pitch to Josmil Pinto. The DH blasted his third home run of the season over the right-centerfield fence to tie the game.
In the fourth Indianapolis threatened again. Deibinson Romero led off with a double and one out later Brent Morel walked. Elias Diaz followed with a single into left field. Romero rounded third and looked like he would score, but Danny Ortiz came up with the ball quickly and fired a laser home to nail Romero at the plate. Dean then struck out Rojas to end the inning.
In the top of the sixth, Kingham struck out Aaron Hicks to lead off the inning, and his day was over after reaching his 60 pitch limit. Amazingly 47 of those pitches were strikes. He allowed just three hits and one run in 5.1 innings pitched, while striking out three.
Deolis Guerra entered the game with the game still tied at one, despite how well Kingham had pitched. Guerra gave up a single to the first batter he faced, then retired the final two hitters to end the inning.
In the bottom of the sixth Dean would find himself removed from the game as well, but under much different circumstances. Jose Tabata led off with a single and Romero doubled for the second time in the game moving Tabata to third. Tony Sanchez hit a shot that shortstop Argenis Diaz could not make a play on, scoring Tabata. Morel then hit a sacrifice fly scoring Romero and the Indians were up 3-1. Two batters later Dean’s day was over.
Dean (2-2) allowed 9 hits and 3 walks in 5.2 innings pitched. He allowed all three earned runs.
From there the Indianapolis bullpen rolled. Guerra pitched into the eighth before Blake Wood took over with two outs in the frame. He completed the last 1.1 innings, earning his seventh save of the season, while Guerra (2-1) earned the win. Dean took the loss.
Tomorrow these two teams will face off again in a late morning affair. Taylor Rogers (2-0) heads to the mound for the Rochester Red Wings. He will face RHP Adrian Sampson (1-3).
By Robert Pannier