Wings sweep first place ‘Riders

Courtesy of RedWingsBaseball.com

By Nick Sciarratta, Jim Erbland and Ben Weber

The Rochester Red Wings swept the first place Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders 5-4 and 1-0 in a doubleheader Wednesday evening at Frontier Field. With the sweep, the Wings moved to within 5.5 games of first place, and increased their lead to four games over Lehigh Valey for the wild card playoff spot. The series continues Thursday at 1:35 p.m.

Game One:

The RailRiders jumped out to an early first inning lead off Wings starting pitcher Aaron Slegers. A pair of sacrifice flies by Greg Bird and Billy McKinney gave Scranton/WB a 2-0 advantage.

The Red Wings cut into the deficit in the bottom half of the first. ByungHo Park hit an RBI single, scoring Daniel Palka to make the score 2-1.

In the top of the second, Scranton/WB increased their lead to 4-1 after two solo home runs from Mark Payton and Jonathan Diaz.

The Wings evened the score 4-4 in the bottom of the third inning. A lead off walk to Palka and single by Matt Hague was followed by a 3-run home run by Park. It was Park’s second consecutive game with a home run and 13th of the season.

After play resumed in the top of the fourth inning following Tuesday’s suspension due to inclement weather, Drew Rucinski replaced the starter Slegers. He inherited a one-out situation with runners on first and third, but left both stranded.

Slegers finished with 3.1 innings pitched, allowing four earned runs on eight hits, one walk and two strikeouts. He threw 70 pitches – 44 for strikes.

Lail’s outing was also over following the postponement. He threw 3.0 innings, giving up four earned runs on six hits, two walks and three strikeouts, throwing 69 pitches, 42 of which were strikes.

Buddy Boshers came in for Rucinski with two outs in the top of the seventh inning after Rucinski struck out an impressive five batters in 3.1 innings of work.

After recording the last out of the top of the seventh, Boshers was relieved by Alex Wimmers to begin the top of the eighth inning.

Rochester broke the tie ballgame in the bottom of the eighth inning on a Leonardo Reginatto RBI double, giving Rochester their first lead of the game at 5-4.

Wimmers stayed on in the top of the ninth inning to close out the game for Rochester and finished with two scoreless innings pitched.

The Red Wings out-hit the RailRiders 12 to 11.

Winning Pitcher: Wimmers (7-3)
Losing Pitcher: Gallegos (4-2)
Save: None
Box ScoreClick here for the box score and play-by-play narrative.

Game Two:

Rochester starter Felix Jorge looked impressive in his first Triple-A appearance, beginning the game with three scoreless innings. Scranton/WB starter Nestor Cortes matched with three perfect frames of his own, striking out five in the process.

Through six innings the game was still scoreless. The Wings had two runners on with none out in the bottom of the fifth, but Cortes set down the next three batters to end the scoring threat. The Wings also put two runners on to start the sixth, but a strikeout and double play erased the scoring bid and sent play to the seventh.

Jorge worked six shutout innings, allowing five hits and one walk with seven strikeouts. Jorge threw 93 pitches, 59 for strikes. Cortes pitched 5.1 innings, with no runs, five hits, no walks, and nine strikeouts. Cortes threw 76 pitches, 57 for strikes.

Michael Tonkin took over on the mound to start the seventh inning, and struck out the side. Ben Heller set down the first two Wings he faced in the seventh, before Leonardo Reginatto lined a 1-0 pitch just over the wall in left field to win the game.

Winning Pitcher: Tonkin (4-2)
Losing Pitcher: Heller (5-4)
Save: none
Box ScoreClick here for the box score and play-by-play narrative.

NOTES: RHP John Curtiss was called up to Minnesota today after Tim Melville was designated for assignment.

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