Pitching Rules in Rochester Red Wings Double-Header Split
The Rochester Red Wings started a guy in Game 1 of their day-night double-header who had never pitched at the AAA level before, and got six amazing innings out of him. The Durham Bulls countered with a guy making just his third start at the highest minor league level in Game 2, and although he did not stick around long enough for the win, the performance helped to catapult his club to a split of the Tuesday games.
Game 1 saw the Rochester Red Wings jump out to a 3-0 lead behind the outstanding first start of , before hanging on for the 4-3 win. The Red Wings got things going in the second inning. Danny Ortiz hit a soft liner into right field that dropped for a single to lead off the frame. Brock Peterson followed with a ground ball to shortstop Hak-Ju Lee, who threw to second to get the lead runner. Wilkin Ramirez then hit a ground ball that allowed Peterson to reach second, but with two outs now. That brought Jose Martinez to the plate, and the third baseman delivered a clutch line drive single into left field that scored Peterson to make it 1-0.
In the bottom of the fourth the Red Wings would get to Durham starter Scott Diamond for two more runs. Ortiz singled for the second time in the game, and Peterson followed with a towering shot over the left-center field wall for his fifth home run of the year.
In the top of the fifth Durham got a run back. With one out Luke Maile walked, and Lee doubled to move Maile to third. Vince Belnome followed with a sacrifice fly scoring Maile and bringing the Bulls back within two.
Rochester responded by extending the lead back to three in the bottom of the fifth. Back-to-back singles by Eric Farris and Argenis Diaz put runners at first and second. A fly ball moved Farris to third base. With Nate Hanson at the plate Diaz attempted to steal second, but the catcher’s throw sailed into centerfield enabling Farris to score, making the score 4-1.
Hu’s day was done after six innings. He pitched incredibly well in his AAA debut, allowing just 2 hits and 4 walks in 6 innings, while striking out 6 batters. Hu would earn his first win.
To do so he was going to need a little help from the bullpen, and the Durham Bulls had no intention of going down quietly. Mark Hamburger took over in the top of eighth and Alexi Casilla greeted him with a double. One out later back-to-back singles by Mikie Mahtook and Jake Elmore scored Casilla. Hamburger would give up another single, but he struck out the last two batters of the frame to end the threat.
In the top of the ninth the Rochester Red Wings turned to closer A. J. Achter. He was not greeted warmly by Lee, who ripped a home run over the right field fence to make it 4-3. Achter remained poised, retiring the final three batters to record his fifth save.
Both Ortiz and James Beresford had two hits for the Red Wings. Peterson scored two runs and drove in two. Lee had two hits for Durham out of the No. 9 spot.
The Durham Bulls struggled to put runs on the scoreboard in Game 1, but that was not going to be the case in the night cap. With one out Jake Elmore singled off Rochester starter Alex Meyer. Eugenio Velez doubled into the gap in right field scoring Elmore to make it 1-0. Mikie Mahtook then singled into left field to put runners at the corners. A ground out by Taylor Motter plated Velez to put the Bulls up by two.
In the third the Bulls extended their lead. Elmore walked to lead-off the inning and Meyer hit Velez. Mahtook then singled in Elmore for the second time in the game to make it 3-0. A single by Motter scored Velez. Mahtook moved to third and Motter reached second on the throw. This inning looked like the game would be blown wide open, but Meyer really settled down, striking out the next three batters to end the threat.
Enny Romero started for Durham, and he was on top of his game. He gave up a single and walk in the first inning, then retired the next five batters, before giving up a one out single to Eric Farris in the third. In the fourth he struck out the first two batters of the frame, then retired the final batter on a ground out.
Romero would go just four innings. He threw 52 pitches, which was closing in on his pitch count for the evening. The lefty allowed just 2 hits and a walk while striking out 3. He lowered his ERA to 2.70 with the performance.
Jhan Marinez took over for the Bulls, and he was even more difficult for the Red Wings to hit. Marinez pitched three hitless innings, walking two batters while striking out three of his own. The Durham reliever has been unbelievably difficult to hit since joining the Bulls. In eight appearances he has allowed just 5 hits in 16.1 innings pitched, while striking out 21. At this rate, the right-hander should find himself in a Major League uniform quite soon.
Meyer was removed in the fifth inning. He allowed 7 hits and 3 walks in 4.2 innings pitched. All four runs he allowed were earned and he struck out 7.
Lester Oliveros took over in relief of Meyer and pitched two outstanding innings, allowing a hit and two walks while striking out 5. Ryan O’Rourke and Logan Darnell also pitched very well in relief for Rochester. Combined the Red Wings bullpen pitched 4.1 innings, allowing a single hit and 3 walks. They struck out 9 batters.
Rochester was getting nothing going on offense until the eighth inning. Preston Guilmet took over the mound for Durham. He gave up a lead-off single to Farris. Two batters later Josmil Pinto ripped a line drive into left field for a double that scored Farris all the way from first. Two batters later an error allowed Pinto to score and it was 4-2.
Ronald Belisario came on in relief for the Durham Bulls in the eighth and struck out the final two batters of the inning on just six pitches. He gave up a single in the ninth, but ended the threat for his seventh save of the season. His save total is fourth in the International League.
Marinez (2-0) earned the win, while Meyer (2-3) took the loss.
The Rochester Red Wings continue their series against the Durham Bulls tomorrow night at 7:05. Matt Andriese (0-0, 0.00) starts for the Bulls against Jason Wheeler (1-2, 5.23).
By Robert Pannier