By CHUCKIE MAGGIO
Sean Maloney, determined to get ahead in the count after issuing a leadoff ninth-inning walk, threw a split-finger fastball over the plate to Luis Lopez. Lopez took advantage, making solid contact for a line-drive single up the middle.
In 113 years of Rochester baseball, there had never been a combined no-hitter. On July 5, 2000, the Red Wings were two outs away from accomplishing the feat.
Syracuse recorded the elusive hit, but Rochester held on for a 3-1 win in front of 5,410 observers at Frontier Field.
Starting pitcher Gabe Molina led the group of four hitless pitchers, striking out nine and allowing just two baserunners – one on a walk and the other on a passed-ball strikeout- in five innings. He was relieved by B.J. Ryan, who allowed two walks but did not allow a hit in two innings. Ryan Kohlmeier, the next man up, tossed a perfect eighth.
“It was a little tough to leave (with a no hitter),” Molina acknowledged to the Democrat and Chronicle, “but we have a quality bullpen.”
Lopez’s hit not only erased the no-hit bid, it put the game’s outcome in doubt when Maloney walked Andy Thompson to load the bases with one out.
The Wings called on Brian Shouse, who walked in a run after recording the second out but recovered by striking out Ryan Freel, to earn the save.
“Any no-hitter is something special,” Maloney remarked. “But I walked the first guy and it’s a cardinal sin for a closer to walk the leadoff guy. The next guy I was just trying to get ahead and throw my split-finger for a strike and he hit it through the hole.”
Rochester earned its first combined no-hitter 11 years later. More on that game in a couple of days.
|Red Wings 3, Chiefs 1|
|Brent Abernathy||3||0||0||0||Jose Herrera||4||0||1||1|
|Vernon Wells||3||1||0||0||Howie Clark||4||0||1||0|
|Chad Mottola||3||0||0||0||Wayne Kirby||4||0||1||0|
|Luis Lopez||4||0||1||0||Karim Garcia||4||1||1||1|
|Andy Thompson||3||0||0||0||Tommy Davis||3||0||0||0|
|Kevin Witt||4||0||0||0||Wady Almonte||1||0||0||0|
|Kevin Brown||3||0||0||1||Francisco Matos||2||0||1||0|
|Ryan Freel||4||0||0||0||Rick Short||3||1||2||1|
|Cesar Izturis||2||0||0||0||Willie Morales||3||1||3||0|
E- Brown, Freel, Morales. DP- Syracuse 2. LOB- Syracuse 7, Rochester 5. 2B- Clark, Morales 2. HR- K. Garcia (21), Short (1). SH- J. Garcia. SB- Izturis, Kirby.
|Kerry Taylor (L, 5-7)||8||10||3||3||1||4|
|Gabe Molina (W, 1-2)||5||0||0||0||1||9|
|Brian Shouse (SV, 2)||.2||0||0||0||1||1|
WP- Maloney. PB- Morales.
Time- 2:20. Attendance- 5,410.
Also on this day: Pete Riggan’s go-ahead single in the eighth inning led Rochester past Ottawa in the first game of a doubleheader sweep in 1954… Jim Hutto’s grand slam lifted the Red Wings to a 10-8 win in Toledo in 1971… Jeff Tackett and Shane Turner hit home runs while Curt Schilling allowed just one run in seven innings as the Red Wings defeated Richmond 5-1 in 1989.