Scoring A Rarity in Rochester Red Wings Double-Header Split
The Rochester Red Wings were forced to play a double-header after yesterday’s game against the Syracuse Chiefs was postponed because of rain. Game 1 continued the road woes of the Red Wings, but an outstanding pitching performance in the makeup game was just what the doctor ordered to end the five-game losing streak.
Game 1 was a pitching duel. The Red Wings Alex Meyer and the Chiefs A.J. Cole each threw six shutout innings to send the game into its final inning (double-headers are just seven inning games at the minor league level) a scoreless tie. Evan Meek (1-0) relieved in the seventh for Syracuse, and allowed a lead-off single to Reynaldo Rodriguez. Danny Ortiz then struck out, and Rodriguez was thrown out by Syracuse catcher Steven Lerud trying to steal second. Jose Martinez then struck out swinging.
A.J. Achter (2-2) took over the mound in the bottom half of the inning. The first batter he faced was Jason Martinson, who promptly took an Achter delivery and deposited over the centerfield wall for the walk-off homerun.
Meyer was absolutely dominant for Rochester. The right-hander struggled in his first two starts of the season, allowing eight runs in 8.2 innings pitched, but on this day he was virtually unhittable. Meyer allowed two singles on the day, both lead-off hits (in the fourth and sixth) to Michael Taylor, and allowed three others to reach via the base on balls. His stuff was really on fire as he struck out 11, including four in a row at one point. The righty struck out at least one batter in every inning, and struck out two in the fourth, fifth and sixth, and three in the second. It was a very impressive outing to say the least.
Cole was nearly as effective. The right-hander allowed five hits and no walks, while striking out three. He has three no-decisions early on in the season, despite posting a 2.40 ERA.
In the makeup game the Red Wings needed a big pick me up from someone on their roster to break the five game losing streak, and left-hander Taylor Rogers came through for them. The lefty pitched six shutout innings of four-hit ball, striking out six on route to his first win of the season.
Richard Bleier pitched well for the Chiefs. He allowed just two runs in four innings of work, but it was the third inning that became his undoing. Doug Bernier led off the inning with his first double of the season. Argenis Diaz then came to the plate and lined a single into center field that scored Bernier, and gave the Red Wings the 1-0 lead. Aaron Hicks followed with a single that allowed Diaz to advance to third, however, Hicks was picked off for the first out of the inning. Eric Farris then popped out and it looked like Bleier may get out of the inning, but Eddie Rosario then hit a grounder to shortstop Emmanuel Burriss, but the Chiefs infielder had no play and Diaz scored.
The two runs were plenty enough for Rogers. He responded to the two-run lead by taking the mound in the third and striking out the final two batters of the inning.
Michael Tonkin took over in the seventh. He walked the lead-off batter, but then struck out Martinson before retiring the final two batters for his fourth save of the year. The scoreless inning lowered his ERA to 1.59.
The two teams will square off again tomorrow at 1:05 EST in an afternoon International League tilt. They will play two more games in Syracuse before the Chiefs come to the Rochester Red Wings for a two-game set over the weekend.
By Robert Pannier