Taylor Rogers Pitches Over and Out for Rochester Red Wings
In the span of about 17 minutes the Rochester Red Wings and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders scored three combined runs. For the rest of the one hour and thirty-nine minutes of the game, neither team could manager any offense at all, as the Red Wingnuts pulled out the 2-1 win.
The pitchers’ duel was the product of brilliant performances by the Red Wings Taylor Rogers and the RailRiders Bryan Mitchell. Mitchell was dominant through the first three innings, retiring all nine Rochester Red Wings hitters he faced. Only two of those balls reached out of the infield.
Taylor was looking nearly as good. He allowed a first inning single, then retired the RailRiders in order in the second. In the third SWB finally broke through with a run. With one out Ali Castillo lined a base hit to center, and moved to third on a single by Juan Graterol. Ben Gamel followed with a soft roller to second baseman James Beresford, but his only play was to first. That allowed Castillo to score, giving the RailRiders the 1-0 lead.
In the top of the fourth Mitchell saw his run come to an end as well. Danny Santana led off the frame by laying down a perfect bunt that he beat out for a base hit. Santana stole second and moved to third on a single by Beresford. That brought Danny Ortiz to the plate, who ripped a double to the wall in right field. That brought both Santana and Beresford in to score, and gave the Rochester Red Wings the 2-1 lead.
From there the two pitchers dug in and retook over the game. Over the next three innings Taylor retired eight of the next nine batters he faced. The only hit was a lead-off single in the fifth that was eliminated on a double-play.
The Red Wings looked like they would plate some more runs in the top of the fourth, but Mitchell got himself out of a jam. Argenis Diaz led off with a double and Eric Farris followed with a walk. A sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position, and brought the infield in. The right-hander hunkered down, getting Santana and Beresford to ground out to end the inning without any other runs scoring. Mitchell then retired the next six batters in order before being relieved.
SWB threatened in the seventh inning looking to tie the game. Rob Refsnyder singled to begin the frame. Two batters later Ramon Flores became the runner when he grounded into a fielder’s choice that cut down Refsnyder at second. Gregorio Petit singled to move Flores to second. Taylor then got Nick Noonan to ground softly back to the mound to end the inning. The Rochester left-hander retired the RailRiders in order in the eighth to keep it a one-run game.
In the ninth, A.J. Achter came on in relief. He struck out the first batter he faced before getting a fly ball and a ground out to end the game. That earned Achter his 1oth save of the season.
Taylor (6-4) pitched 8 innings, allowing 6 hits and just 1 run for the win. He struck out 8. Mitchell (4-5) allowed 4 hits, a walk, and 2 runs in 7 innings pitched. He fanned 5 in the tough luck loss.
By Robert Pannier