Norfolk Tides Down Rochester Red Wings
It was a night when all things looked like the Rochester Red Wings would continue the hot streak the club had been on. The Norfolk Tides, the Red Wings International League foe, had lost seven of their last ten games, and Rochester had ace Pat Dean on the hill. Dean entered the contest with a 0.90 ERA, second best in the league, and had allowed just 12 hits in 20 innings pitched this season. With the club at home it looked like this was just the matchup that the Red Wings were looking for. Like they say, the best laid plans…”
Norfolk got on the scoreboard in the first when Nolan Reimold singled to lead off the game, and Christian Walker followed with a double moving Reimold to third. Former Minnesota Twins player Chris Parmelee grounded out, driving home Reimold, and it was quickly a 1-0 Tides lead. Daniel Alvarez then ripped a ball down the third base line that had RBI double written all over it, but Jose Martinez made an amazing stop, throwing out Alvarez to keep it a one-run game. Dean then retired Henry Urrutia to end the threat.
The score remained 1-0 until the fifth when Danny Ortiz led off the bottom of the inning with a double. Two batters later Martinez lined a single into centerfield, moving Ortiz to third. With Doug Bernier at the plate Norfolk starter Mike Wright uncorked a wild pitch scoring Ortiz and the game was tied.
The Tides responded in the top of the sixth, when Christian Walker led off the inning with his sixth home run of the season. That restored the one-run lead, however it did not last long.
Aaron Hicks led off the bottom of the sixth with a walk, and two outs later Josmil Pinto launched his second home run of the season over the left-centerfield wall. That put Rochester in front 3-2, their first lead of the game.
Dean was unable to hold the lead. Michael Almanzar doubled to start the seventh, and scored two outs later on a double by Reimold. Reimold came home when Walker followed Reimold’s double with one of his own. Dean then retired Parmelee, but the damage was done.
Wright was replaced in the seventh, and his bullpen did the job. Chaz Roe, Cesar Cabral and Oliver Drake combined to hold the Rochester Red Wings scoreless over the next three innings. Drake pitched the final inning, striking out two, to earn his fourth save of the season.
Wright (3-0) remained undefeated. He finished with six innings pitched, allowed three hits, a walk and three earned runs, while striking out four. Dean (2-1) dropped his first decision of the year. He allowed four runs on 11 hits in 7.1 innings pitched. Even with the sub-standard outing, his ERA still remained below two (1.98).
It was another tough night for the Red Wings with runners in scoring position. The club was just 1-6 following their 4-17 performance the night before. No Rochester player had more than one hit, and Hicks saw his 11-game hitting streak come to an end.
Norfolk had 12 hits on the game, led by Christian Walker, who was 3-5 with a run and two RBI. Reimold, Urrutia and Almanzar each had two hits.
The same two teams will go at it tomorrow. Taylor Rodgers starts for the Rochester Red Wings vs. T. J. McFarland for the Norfolk Tides. Game time is 1:35 ET.
By Robert Pannier