Rochester Red Wings Unable to Soar Over Iron Pigs, Fall 6-5
The Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs may be in last place in the International League’s North Division, but that memo doesn’t seem to have reached the team. For the second night in the last three, the Iron Pigs beat the Rochester Red Wings in Rochester, this time by a score a 6-5. What made the victory even more impressive is that they did it by getting to Red Wings ace Pat Dean early, and holding on for the one-run victory.
It was the early outburst that put the Iron Pigs in the situation to walk away with the win. The club plated runs in each of the first three innings to stake themselves to a 4-0 lead. In the first Lehigh Valley scored two runs. Cody Asche and Russ Canzler singled. A wild pitch scored Asche, and Chris McGuiness drove Canzler home with a run-scoring single.
In the second inning, three straight singles by Jordan Danks, Cord Phelps, and Logan Moore to begin the inning loaded the bases with no one out. One out later Asche grounded out moving everyone up 90-feet, which scored Danks. In the third, Canzler led off the inning with his second home run of the season, and quickly Dean and the Red Wings found themselves trailing by four runs.
Rochester got a run back in the bottom of the third when Jose Martinez and Eric Farris led off with back-to-back singles. That was followed by back-to-back groundouts that moved the runners up a single base each time. Reynaldo Rodriguez’s ground out scored Martinez to make it 4-1.
In the bottom of the fourth, Iron Pigs starter Joely Rodriguez struck out the first two batters of the inning, but then allowed a double to Wilkin Ramirez. James Beresford, the hero of the previous night’s game, singled to right field scoring Ramirez, cutting the deficit to two-runs.
Two innings later the Red Wings would get back on the scoreboard. Josmil Pinto led off with a double, and moved to third on a single by Danny Ortiz. Brock Peterson then followed with a fly ball to right field that scored Pinto, and it was 4-3.
The Rochester bench was feeling the excitement as they were just a run down, but that enthusiasm was crushed in the top of the seventh. At least briefly. Logan Darnell took over for Dean. He retired the first two batters, then gave up three straight hits. The last of those, a McGuiness single to center field, scored Domonic Brown to move the score to 5-3. Mark Hamburger relieved Darnell and gave up a run scoring single to Tyler Hensen that scored Canzler to make it 6-3.
Down by three the game had the feeling like it was a bit out of reach, but Ortiz brought the Rochester crowd back to life in the bottom of the eighth inning. With Hector Neris on the hill, Pinto opened the inning with a walk. Ortiz then came to the plate and blasted his sixth home run of the season over the right-center field wall to make it 6-5.
Cesar Jimenez relieved in the ninth looking to close out the game for the Iron Pigs. If the Red Wings were going to battle back this was their opportunity. They had the top of the order coming up, but Jimenez was up to the task. He retired the first two batters on a ground out and fly ball, the struck out Rodriguez to end the game.
Jimenez earned his first save of the season with a perfect inning of relief. Rodriguez (1-3) earned his first win of the season by going 5.2 innings, allowing 9 hits and 3 earned runs, while striking out 5. Dean (3-3) took the loss. He pitched 6 innings, allowed 9 hits, a walk and 4 earned runs. He struck out just one.
Canzler had the big bat for Lehigh Valley. He was 3-5 with 3 runs scored and an RBI. McGuiness, Danks and Phelps each had two hits as well. Pinto, Ramirez and Beresford recorded two hits each for Rochester.
The two teams close out their series tomorrow with a 1:05 local time start. The Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs send David Buchanan (1-0, 3.55) to the hill to square off against Taylor Rogers (2-2, 3.56) for the Rochester Red Wings.
By Robert Pannier