Offense sputters; Wings fall to Columbus

Engelb Vielma collected two of Rochester’s six hits in a loss to Columbus. (Photo: SUE KANE)

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The Rochester Red Wings managed just one run on six hits and fell to the Columbus Clippers 4-1 Thursday afternoon at Huntington Park.

Kennys Vargas and Engelb Vielma each had two hits for the Red Wings (71-53), who had their Wild Card lead drop to 1.0 game as Lehigh Valley beat Norfolk.

Drew Rucinski (2-6) had to make a spot start for Rochester as the scheduled starter, Aaron Slegers, was added by the Twins as the 26th man for their doubleheader vs. Cleveland.

Rucinski set the Clippers (64-60) down in order the first two innings but ran into trouble in the third. Erik Gonzalez started the inning with a single and stole second base. After a groundout, Rucinski issued a walk to Nellie Rodriguez, batting .168, and Michael Martinez doubled in a run to open the scoring. Yohan Pino entered from the bullpen and surrendered a sacrifice fly to give Columbus a 2-0 lead.

Rochester cut the deficit to 2-1 as Matt Hague doubled and scored on a Niko Goodrum sac fly in the fourth.

Gonzalez homered off Pino in the fifth to make it 3-1. The Clippers added another run in the sixth as Tyler Naquin singled with two outs and later scored when Richie Shaffer singled to cap the scoring at 4-1.

The Red Wings wasted an early scoring chance against Plutko, putting runners at the corners with nobody out in the 2nd but didn’t score. Rochester finished 2-for-6 with runners in scoring position but neither hit drove in a run.

Mason Melotakis (1.2 IP) and Luke Bard (0.2 IP) fired scoreless relief for the Wings.

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 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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