By PAUL GOTHAM
ROCHESTER — For a fleeting moment Monday night the name of Doug Deeds was heard in the Frontier Field press box. Not to be confused with the Adam Sandler character from the 2002 movie, Mr. Deeds, the aforementioned Deeds played with the Rochester Red Wings during the 2007 season. His spot in history consists of being the last Wing to hit a walk-off home run on the road.
Yes, while playing with the local nine, Deeds connected on a solo shot, and the Wings walked off at an opposing team’s stadium.
That possibility existed again Monday night when the Gwinnett Stripers’ Sean Kazamar reached with a leadoff single in the seventh inning.
Wings reliever Casey Crosby retired the next three batters and the chance of giving up a walk-off at the friendly confines never became a reality.
Had the occurrence happened, though, it would have fit the recent trials of Joel Skinner‘s club.
Consider this: Wings pitchers held opposing batters to five hits over the two games prior to Monday’s nightcap and came away with two losses.
Rochester, which scored eight runs in the first inning of Friday’s 13-5 win over Columbus, has crossed home plate five times since then.
For those keeping score at home – that’s five runs in 32 innings including Monday’s two seven-inning affairs.
And one of those runs came in the first inning of game two without the virtue of a hit.
“We’re not scoring and we’re in every game,” Skinner noted after Monday’s doubleheader split with the Stripers. “That’s something we can fix. They’re stringing together quality at-bats.
“The rough waters aren’t affecting their defense or how they go about the game.”
The Wings managed just seven hits on the night. They collected three in a 1-0 loss in the opener and four in a 2-1 win for the split.
“I know we’re not scoring runs, and we’re not swinging the bats the way we’re capable of doing,” Skinner added. “But the way they go about it. The way they’re playing defense in these games you can tell they have an approach.”
Leonardo Reginatto collected two of the hits in the nightcap. In a game where he played shortstop to give Gregorio Petit a break, Reginatto brought home Jermaine Curtis with the eventual game-winner on a two-out double in the second.
“He’s been doing a good job,” Skinner said of his player. “His defense tonight, too, at shortstop to pick up Petit who gets the night off on game two.”
John Curtiss picked up the win out of the bullpen. The right-hander stuck out two, walked one and allowed one run on one hit over two innings.
Casey Crosby, making his first affiliated appearance since 2014 when he was a member of the Toledo Mud Hens, worked a scoreless seventh for the save.
Dietrich Enns took the loss in game one. The Wings starter allowed one run on two hits in the complete-game (seven innings) effort. The southpaw struck out four and walked four.
“For him to log seven innings the way he did. That’s a step in right direction for him. It was a positive for him tonight.”
Ronald Acuna reached on a leadoff walk in the fourth. He stole second and then third before coming home with the game’s only run on a Tyler Flowers groundout.
Only one Wing reached base in the last three innings of game one.
“For as many home games as we’ve had, we’ve haven’t had that many home batting practices,” Skinner added. “There’s a lot that goes on in the cage that you don’t see. The guys do video work. There’s a process to this.”
Recently acquired Jose Bautista made his IL debut with Gwinnett. The six-time MLB All Star finished 0-for-6 on the night with two strike outs.
Doug Deeds hit a walk-off solo shot on July 23rd, 2007 in Charlotte when the Wings beat the Knights in the eighth inning of a rescheduled game. The final score was 1-0.
Rochester’s record is 6-8 with the split. The Wings host Gwinnett for two more games – a 6:35 start on Tuesday and an 11:05 AM scheduled first pitch on Wednesday.