This Day In Red Wings History: Rochester bests Richmond thanks to Valle’s late homer

John Valle. (Photo courtesy of the Rochester Red Wings)

By IAIN HIGGINS

John Valle went 4-for-4 with the game-winning home run. Danny Gonzalez provided the defense, and the Rochester Red Wings downed the Richmond Braves, 2-1 in front of 12,498 at Silver Stadium on San Diego Chicken night in 1980.

Valle singled in the first, doubled in the third and sixth, and connected on a solo shot in the eighth for the game winner.

Ed Putnam singled, advanced on an error and eventually scored on a Floyd Rayford double to give the Wings a 1-0 lead.

Gonzales’s defense in the seventh inning saved the Wings from a tie game. He first slid to rob Larry Whisenton of a leadoff single, then made a leaping catch at the wall with two outs and a runner on first, denying Steve Hammond a potential extra-base hit and an RBI.

Starter Steve Luebber worked himself out of trouble in the first and third before getting help from Gonzales. Luebber allowed one run in the ninth when Terry Harper singled with one out, worked his way to third on a wild pitch, and headed home on Harry Saferight’s double. With two outs in the ninth, Luebber gave way to Joe Kerrigan who retired Rafael Ramirez on a ground out after two pitches to earn the save.

The win put the Wings seven games over .500 heading into August and gave them an 18-11 record for the month of July, their best monthly record at that time since the 1976 championship season.

Also On This Day- 2006: Tommy Watkins ripped a go-ahead two-run double in the eighth inning as Rochester topped Durham 10-6 on Monday at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

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