By IAIN HIGGINS
The Rochester Red Wings were hopeful heading into the eighth and final game of their homestand. Having toppled Toledo 5-3 the night before, they were looking for one more win to get them back to .500.
Former Red Wing Sean Douglass blanked Rochester on the mound through the first seven innings. He held them to a meager two hits. Toledo was having no such trouble finding runs early. A wild pitch from Wings starter J.D. Durbin gave the Hens their first run in the second. Future Silver Slugger and three-time MLB All-Star Curtis Granderson faced Durbin down on a 3-2 count in the third and found the gap at right center for a double, giving the Mud Hens three more.
Luck would change for the 10,158 fans at Frontier Field as catcher Corky Miller hit a two-run bomb off Craig Dingman past the left field wall with one out in the eighth — Miller’s sixth homer as a Red Wing. Luis Maza tripled with two outs, putting him in scoring distance. Jason Bartlett hit one in the dirt up the third base line, but Toledo third baseman Mike Hessman botched the throw to first, allowing Maza to slip into home.
Jason Tyner singled to left with bases loaded at the bottom of the ninth, tying the game and sending the night into extra innings.
Terry Tiffee had worked his way to third base by way of a leadoff double and a sacrifice from Josh Rabe in the bottom of the 11th inning. Toledo’s Matt Roney intentionally walked the next batter, Dunwoody, but opted to throw to Miller. With one out and Tiffee perched on third, Miller looked for the suicide squeeze.
Miller laid Roney’s high fastball down perfectly, sending it right back towards the mound. Tiffee scrambled for home on the squeeze as Roney fumbled the scoop and throw. Tiffee jumped and slid to put the Mud Hens away. The dugout cleared as the Wings stormed the field. They had fought their way back to .500.
“When we work on these things in BP (batting practice), Corky always makes sure he gets the bunt down,” said Red Wings Interim Manager Rich Miller. “I had faith in him.”
Red Wings 5, Mud Hens 4
|Hooper 2b||5||1||2||0||Tyner cf||4||0||1||1|
|Wise lf||5||1||1||0||Maza 2b||5||1||1||0|
|Pena 1b||4||0||1||0||Bartlett ss||5||0||2||0|
|Thames rf||4||0||0||0||Jones 1b||4||0||0||0|
|Raburn dh||4||2||1||0||West lf||5||0||1||0|
|Grndrsn cf||3||0||1||3||Tiffee 3b||4||1||1||0|
|Hessman 3b||5||0||2||0||Heintz dh||4||0||1||0|
|Dawkins ss||5||0||2||0||Rabe pr||0||1||0||0|
|Harper c||4||0||0||0||Dunwdy rf||3||1||1||0|
E: Hessman. DP: Toledo 1, Rochester 1. LOB: Toledo 7, Rochester 9. 2B: Tiffee, Bartlett, West, Hessman 2, Pena, Raburn. 3B: Maza, Granderson. HR: Miller (6). SB: Bartlett. CS: Hooper. S: Rabe, Granderson.
|Roney L, 1-1||1.1||3||1||1||2||0|
|Kemp W, 2-3||3||0||0||0||1||2|
Time: 3:08. Attendance: 10,158.
Also on this day: 1976- pitcher Scott McGregor shut out the Richmond Braves in his debut with the Red Wings. McGregor, who had come to the Wings in a trade between the Baltimore Oriole and New York Yankee organizations, scattered seven hits in nine innings in the 1-0 victory… 1933- This time the Albany Senators took both ends of a doubleheader at home against the Red Wings, 4-3 in both games… 2006- The Red Wings out-hit the Toledo Mud Hens 13-9 Monday night at Frontier Field, but the numbers that mattered most: the 3-2 final score in Toledo’s 11-inning win over the Wings, the third straight loss for Rochester. J.D. Durbin struck out nine in five innings, and Luis Maza hit a two-out, ninth inning solo home run to send the game into extra innings.