Offense explodes; Wings slam Bisons

Brandon Barnes (4) is congratulated after his second inning grand slam. (Photo: JOE TERRITO/Rochester Red Wings)

By PAUL GOTHAM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Three nights after being no-hit, the Rochester Red Wings scored more runs than they have in any game since 2004. Tomás Telis set a career-high. Zander Wiel matched a Twins-era record and the Wings gave hope to their playoff push.

Telis paced a 19-hit attack going 4-for-4 on the night, reached base all six times he came to the plate and set a personal best with six RBI. The Wings catcher cleared the bases with a two-out double as part of four-run first inning.

“To be honest, I didn’t see the ball too good the first two pitches he threw,” Telis said. “He was behind in the count and throw me a fastball that was knee high and I didn’t think I hit it that good, but it was a double. I’ll take it.”

Telis brought in Wilin Rosario, Brandon Barnes and Wiel with his 20th double of the season. It was the first of four separate innings when the Wings put a crooked number on the scoreboard.

“After that we got good momentum,” Telis added. “Everybody started relaxing and getting hits. Everybody was getting hits. That’s good for us.”

One inning later, Barnes connected on his fourth home run in Wings’ threads and his 28th overall this season – a grand slam as part of five-run second.

“My first at-bat I swung first pitch,” said Barnes who started the year with Columbus. “So I was going to take a pitch to see one. I had a feeling he was going to go off-speed. He threw me that change-up, and I just caught it out in front and lifted it out to left field.”

Willians Astudillo, Ramon Flores and Rosario all scored on the slam.

“It’s fun,” Barnes stated. “Being on the other end of a no-hitter, it’s not the side you want to be on. We’re professionals. We know at the the end of the day, it’s just a loss. We come out and get after it the next day. Tonight we came out ready to swing it. Guys had great at-bats. Everybody was putting the barrel on the ball tonight.”

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If the game wasn’t already out of reach, Rochester scored two more in the third and then sent 12 to the plate in a nine-run sixth inning.

“I don’t know what to say,” Wings manager Joel Skinner joked. “We’ve had a few of those this year. The guys swung the bats. It’s such a weird game. These guys are professionals. You get out there and sometimes this game gets a little whacky.”

Kohl Stewart picked up the win on the mound and improved to 8-5 on the season. The 2013 first round draft pick struck out two and allowed two hits over five shutout innings. After allowing a leadoff single to start the game, the right-hander retired 11 of the next 12 batters he faced including eight straight from the second inning through the fourth.

“He kept the ball down,” Skinner said of his starter. “His sinker ball was working. He got some ground balls, and we made all the plays behind him in the infield.

Willians Astudillo, on rehab assignment, made his second straight start for the Wings. (Photo: JOE TERRITO/Rochester Red Wings)

“He didn’t walk anybody. His last game I think he walked three and that was the big difference tonight.”

Wiel doubled in the sixth – his 35 two-bagger of the season which matches Luis Rodriguez for franchise record since the Wings have been affiliated with Minnesota.

The total runs fell one short of the franchise record during the Twins era. Rochester scored 21 in a win over Pawtucket on August 30th, 2004.

Buffalo scored all three of its runs against Wings reliever Ryan O’Rourke who left after two-thirds of an inning having walked three batters and throwing three wild pitches.

The Wings (65-64) started the night two games back of Buffalo (66-63) in the International League North standings. With Scranton (69-60) beating beating Pawtucket 4-3, the Wings remain four games out of first. Syracuse (67-61) had its game against Lehigh Valley suspended in the second inning.

The Wings play their next seven games on the road – three this weekend at second-place Syracuse and four at Buffalo next week. Rochester closes the season at home with four games against Syracuse. Buffalo has four games remaining against Scranton.

Note: Luke Raley started started his rehab assignment with the GCL Twins. Raley went 1-for-4 with a solo home run earlier in the day. Raley was hitting .302 with seven home runs and 21 RBI when he went to the injured list on May 19th.

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