Wings win, move into wild card lead

Stephen Gonsalves (1-0) surrendered just one run on four hits and two walks with eight strikeouts over 6.0 innings. The left-hander has pitched to a 2.08 ERA (3 ER, 13 IP) in two starts with Rochester since being promoted from Double-A Chattanooga. (Photo: Bare Antolos/Rochester Red Wings)

Courtesy of RedWingsBaseball.com

Stephen Gonsalves earned his first Triple-A win and Matt Hague drove in three runs as the Rochester Red Wings beat the Columbus Clippers 6-2 Tuesday night at Huntington Park.

The win, coupled with Lehigh Valley’s loss at Norfolk, means the Red Wings (70-52) are in sole possession of the Wild Card for the first time since early May.

Gonsalves (1-0) surrendered just one run on four hits and two walks with eight strikeouts over 6.0 innings. The left-hander has pitched to a 2.08 ERA (3 ER, 13 IP) in two starts with Rochester since being promoted from Double-A Chattanooga.

The Wings used four hits in the first inning, the last a two-out RBI single by Hague to take a 1-0 lead on Clippers (63-59) starter Jarrett Grube (5-7). Hague would deliver another run-scoring hit with two outs in the 3rd to make it 2-0.

Columbus was set down in order in each of the first two innings as Gonsalves struck out five batters, including the side in the second. The Clippers got on the board in the third as Michael Martinez doubled, Erik Gonzalez walked and rehabbing Lonnie Chisenhall doubled to cut Rochester’s lead to 2-1. The Red Wings caught a break on Chisenhall’s as the ball hopped over the centerfield fence for a ground-rule double. Gonsalves stranded both runners in scoring position.

Niko Goodrum wasted little time answering in the fourth, launching a massive home run to right-center on the first pitch of the inning to make it 3-1. Kennys Vargas homered with two outs in the fifth to extend the lead to 4-1.

Gonsalves ended his night in style by striking out the side in the sixth.

Hague’s third hit and RBI of the night made it 5-1 in the seventh, though a runner was thrown out at the plate on the play. The Clippers cut their deficit to 5-2 and brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom half against Drew Rucinski but a double play ended the threat. Rochester answered once again the next half inning as J.B. Shuck‘s RBI double capped the scoring at 6-2.

John Curtiss fired a scoreless 8th and Michael Tonkin tossed a scoreless 9th to preserve the win.

The Red Wings reached their 70th win in game 122, quicker than any Rochester team since the 1997 squad did so in 114 games. The Wings won the Governors’ Cup that season.

Next Home Game: The Red Wings begin a crucial seven-game homestand with a four-game set against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Yankees) on Monday, August 21 at 7:05 p.m. at Frontier Field.

Tickets: Order tickets online, anytime at RedWingsBaseball.com/Tickets or call 423-WING (9464) to charge by phone, Mon-Fri. 9 am-5 pm and weekend game days starting at 10 a.m.

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