By CARSON WERNER
LAWRENCEVILLE, GA. — After dropping two straight to the Gwinnett Stripers, the Rochester Red Wings started Sean Poppen (5-0), on the mound. A shaky third inning followed by a disastrous fourth allowed Gwinnett to take a nine-run lead and hand Poppen his first loss of the season.
Down 2-0 entering the fourth, Poppen got the first batter to fly out to right field. Ten batters later, reliever Jake Reed got Jonathan Morales to pop out in foul territory for the third out. Poppen was pulled from the game after giving up three hits, three walks and three runs to the seven batters he faced in the inning. Alex Jackson was the only Striper who did not reach base in the inning, instead driving in a run with a sacrifice fly to make it 9-0.
Poppen’s day ended with eight runs off six hits and four walks through three and a third innings of work.
After being set down in order the first time through the lineup, Nick Gordon picked up the Wings’ first hit of the game in the fourth.
Rochester managed to break up the shutout with a lone run in the eighth. Zander Wiel led off with his 26th double of the season and Alejandro De Aza singled to put men at the corners with one out. Brian Schales followed De Aza with a sacrifice fly, scoring Wiel and putting the Wings on the board.
Gabriel Moya threw an inning and two thirds of relief, giving up two hits, two walks and striking out two. Using only seven pitches, Carlos Torres threw the only 1-2-3 inning for the Red Wings in the eighth.
Gwinnett outscored Rochester 25-6 in the series. The Red Wings will look for redemption at home with another three-game series against the Stripers. First game is on August 6th.
The Wings (48-52) will be back in action at home on Tuesday, July 23rd against the Norfolk Tides. Last week, Rochester took 3-of-4 games at Norfolk.