10 Run 1st Inning Aids Rochester Red Wings 15-10 Win
It may be just 10 days since the Rochester Red Wings were 7-7 and heading south in the North Division of the International League. Since then the club has gone 8-2, and now finds itself atop the division, tied with the Pawtucket Red Sox. On this night the Red Wings jumped out in front of the Indianapolis Indians, the club leading the West Division, by scoring 10 runs in the first inning, then holding off a late Indians rally to win 15-10.
The first inning onslaught sent 15 men to the plate, as the visiting Red Wings got production from everyone in their lineup. Wilfredo Boscan (1-1) started for Indianapolis, and pitched to just eight batters before his day was over.
Aaron Hicks led off the game with a ground rule double, and Doug Bernier followed by looking to sacrifice Hicks to third, but he beat out the bunt, putting runners at the corners with no one out. Reynaldo Rodriguez followed with his seventh double of the season, scoring Hicks and giving Rochester a 1-0 lead. Josmil Pinto was then hit by a pitch, and Danny Ortiz followed with a sacrifice fly that scored Bernier. Brock Peterson then walked to reload the bases.
Boscan was not placing his pitches well at all, and he was getting hit hard because of it. Jose Martinez followed the Peterson walk with a single that moved everyone up 90 feet, scoring Rodriguez. James Beresford then ripped a double into rightfield, scoring two. That would be it for Boscan. He lasted just one-third of an inning, giving up five hits, a walk, a hit by pitch, and five runs, with two still left on base. Those two runners would eventually score as well.
Charlie Leesman then entered the game, but he could not stop the bleeding. Eric Farris walked to reload the bases again. Hicks, the tenth batter in the inning, struck out making two outs and the bases loaded. If anyone thought the inning was over they were simply kidding themselves.
Bernier walked, bringing another run across the plate, and Rodriguez then grounded to third in what should have ended the inning, but the Indians third baseman made an error scoring two more runs. Pinto then singled to bring home another run, and Ortiz followed with a pop up single to score one more. Peterson grounded out to end the inning, and the top of the first inning was mercifully over.
The Red Wings finished the first inning with seven hits, two walks, and 10 runs. This was the most runs Rochester had scored in the first inning since June 7, 2010.
To the Indians credit, they may have given up double-digit runs in the first inning, but they were not going down without a fight. Jason Wheeler (1-1) started for Rochester, and he endured a nightmare of a first inning himself. He recorded the first out, then gave up three straight singles to Steve Lombardozzi, Jose Tabata, and Deibinson Romero. Romero’s single scored Lombardozzi. Wheeler then recorded the second out of the inning, but Brent Morel deposited a three-run homer over the left field wall to make the score 10-4. The Rochester starter recorded the last out, but it was clear that this game was going to be a slugfest.
In the third the visitors put two more on the board. As in the first, it was an error that played a big role in the inning staying alive. Rodriguez had walked and Pinto hit a double to make it second and third with two outs. Peterson grounded to third on a play that should have ended the inning, but a throwing error allowed both runners to score.
In the fourth both teams put a run on the scoreboard. Hicks tripled with one out, and scored on another fielding error by Indianapolis. In the bottom of the fourth Gorkys Hernandez hit his second home run of the year to make it 13-5.
In the top of the seventh Rochester added another insurance run. Ortiz tripled to lead off the inning, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Peterson. It was 14-5, but it was about to get really interesting.
Stephen Pryor remained on the mound to start the eighth inning for Rochester. He gave up two walks and a single to load the bases with no one out, and was removed for Lester Oliveros. A sacrifice fly brought home a run, and then Pedro Florimon had a double that scored two more. A single by Alen Hanson scored Florimon, and two batters later Mel Rojas, Jr. singled to score Hanson making it 14-10. Oliveros finally recorded the last out, but the game had become a lot closer than anyone had imagined.
The Rochester Red Wings added one more insurance run in the top of the ninth. Beresford’s single scored Pinto to make it 15-10. A. J. Achter took over for the Red Wings in the ninth and retired the side in order to end the game. It was just the third time in the game that the Indians had been retired in order.
Amazingly the Indianapolis pitching staff never retired Rochester in order in any inning. The Red Wings finished with 18 hits, including four doubles and two triples. Hicks, Pinto and Beresford each had three hits, and Beresford added three RBI on the day. Every starter for the visitors had at least one hit, an RBI and a run scored. Wheeler was the winner and Boscan took the loss.
Tomorrow the Rochester Red Wings send ace Pat Dean (2-1) to the mound against Nick Kingham for Indianapolis. Game time is 1:35 ET.
By Robert Pannier