Wings starting pitcher Zack Littell found himself in an early hole after allowing a leadoff walk to Dalton Pompey that was followed up with a double from Dwight Smith Jr. With a pair in scoring position and no outs, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. grounded out to bring home the game’s opening run to put Buffalo ahead 1-0.
The Bisons increased their lead to two in the third after Littell was tabbed for three consecutive singles from Pompey, Smith Jr., and Guerrero. A sacrifice fly from Rowdy Tellez with the bases loaded brought home Pompey and increased the Buffalo lead to 2-0.
Despite the early deficit, the Red Wings came back took the lead in the bottom half of the third after erupting for five hits. Buffalo starter Jacob Waguespack allowed consecutive singles to Alex Perez, Byron Buxton, and Nick Gordon which set up Gregorio Petit for a two RBI double to tie the score at 2-2. Rochester took the lead on an RBI single from LaMonte Wade and extended their lead to 4-2 on a sacrifice fly from Zander Wiel.
Buffalo fought back to tie the game in the top of the fourth after a two out rally against Littell allowed for the visitors to score two. After the first two batters of the inning were retired, Buffalo erupted for for three consecutive hits, including a single from Tellez that scored a pair of runs to tie the game at 4-4.
After Littell worked a scoreless sixth inning, Rochester retook the lead after Juan Graterol doubled with one out. Graterol moved to third on a groundout from Perez and scored after Buxton roped his second double of the game (third hit) to put the Wings on top 5-4.
The sixth inning run set Littell up for the win as Rochester went to the southpaw Andrew Vasquez to pitch the seventh. Littell went 6.0 innings allowing four runs on eight hits while walking one and striking out five. He threw 91 pitches, 65 strikes.
Buffalo threatened against Vasquez after Smith Jr. was hit by a pitch to open the inning. Vasquez then induced what looked to be a routine double-play ball that bounced off the glove of Perez into the outfield. The error allowed for Guerrero to reach second; putting a pair in scoring position with no outs. Petit then saved a run after bare handing a soft ground ball to cut down Smith Jr. at the plate. After Vasquez struck out Anthony Alford for the second out of the inning, the Wings decided to intentionally load the bases in order to face the left-handed hitting Reese McGuire. Vasquez used his slider effectively and struck out McGuire to end the game and end the Buffalo threat. Vasquez picked up his first Triple-A save.
Winning pitcher: Littell (6-6)
Losing pitcher: Waguespack (5-8)
Save: Vasquez (1)
BOX SCORE: Click here for the Game One box score and play-by-play narrative.
Rochester threatened in the first against Bisons starting pitcher Sean Reid-Foley. After issuing a leadoff walk to Johnny Field that was followed up with a base hit from Nick Gordon, Reid-Foley got Gregorio Petit to ground into a double play and followed up with a strikeout to end the threat.
After working out of the first inning jam, Buffalo took the lead against DJ Baxendale in the second following an RBI single from Alberto Mineo.
The Red Wings took the lead in the bottom half of the second after Jeremy Hazelbaker doubled to the left-centerfield gap allowing for Zander Wiel to score to tie the game at 1-1. With two outs, Alex Perez added a double of his own that brought home Hazelbaker to put the Wings ahead 2-1.
The third lead change of the game came in the bottom of the third after Roeman Fields singled to leadoff the inning. Anthony Alford then also singled down the rightfield line and was thrown out after trying to stretch a single into a double; leaving Fields at third base. Following the play, Baxendale was lifted from the game and replaced by Nick Anderson. Fields then scored on a single from Rowdy Tellez, tying the game at 2-2. Darnell Sweeney gave Buffalo the lead after his double brought home Tellez, making the score 3-2. Baxendale ended the night with a final line of 2.1 innings pitched allowing two runs on five hits while walking one and striking out one. He threw 44 pitches, 25 for strikes.
Rochester pushed across three runs in the bottom of the third after Gordon and Petit each singled to begin the inning. With a pair on, Kennys Vargas doubled into the left field gap as the Wings retook the lead 4-3. Vargas increased his average to .317 (13-for-41) with 10 RBI over his last 12 games. After Wiel walked to put runners on the corners, Hazelbaker picked up his second RBI on the day on a single that scored Vargas to make the score 5-3.
Conor Fisk came on for Buffalo to begin the forth inning in replace of Reid-Foley. The starter went 3.0 innings allowing five runs on eight hits while striking out four and walking three. He threw 72 pitches, 43 for strikes.
The Wings added an insurance run and increased their lead to 6-3 in the fifth after Gordon singled home Jordan Pacheco, who was hit by a pitch earlier in the inning.
John Curtiss came on for Anderson to begin the sixth inning, Anderson went 2.2 innings and allowed just one run on two hits while striking out four.
Winning pitcher: Anderson (7-2)
Losing pitcher: Reid-Foley (7-5)
Save: Curtiss (10)
Box Score: Click here for the Game Two box score and play-by-play narrative.