By CHUCKIE MAGGIO
The Rochester Red Wings and Ottawa Lynx were less than enthused at the prospect of playing baseball at 9:35 a.m. on Aug. 9, 2005.
“I don’t like games played before 12:05,” interim manager Rich Miller told the Democrat and Chronicle.
“We just have to do it and get through it,” said Lynx outfielder Bobby Darula, who played a 9:35 game at Frontier Field for Louisville the year before.
Rochester general manager Dan Mason conceived the breakfast-dinner doubleheader, rescheduling a postponed game for that evening in addition to the previously scheduled contest. The morning game was Rochester’s third in as many years, though Twins farm director Jim Rantz bristled against the early start time becoming tradition. Other major league clubs agreed, instituting a rule that prohibited minor league games from starting earlier than 11 a.m.
Rantz and Miller took comfort in their Triple-A ace being a self-described “early riser.” As relief pitcher Willie Eyre said, “It’s going to be tough on Ottawa. Having to wake up and face Liriano that early is no easy task.”
Francisco Liriano proved Eyre prophetic, allowing just four hits and three walks in seven innings to extend his personal shutout innings streak to 26 straight frames. Rochester followed Liriano’s lead, winning 7-3 in the first game of a doubleheader sweep.
Liriano struck out four, lowering his ERA to 1.46 with his sixth victory in seven outings. The performance was a welcome sight for a Wings squad that was shelled to the tune of 21 runs on 35 hits from the same Lynx team the previous weekend.
Josh Rabe homered, while Brent Abernathy drove in two runs and scored two more. Luis Maza also recorded two RBI, one on a double and the other on a sacrifice fly.
The Lynx tallied three runs off Eyre, including an Eddie Rogers homer, but left seven runners on base in defeat.
Liriano improved to 7-1 on the season. “Everything feels really good,” he said. “My pitches are working good. The guys are making plays behind me. This is fun.”
“(Liriano) can pitch in the morning, at 12:15 (afternoon) and definitely at night,” Miller said.
|Castro 2b||5||0||2||0||Tyner cf||4||1||0||0|
|Rogers ss||4||1||1||1||Rivas ss||4||1||0||0|
|Raines cf||4||0||1||0||Abernathy dh||2||2||2||2|
|Young dh||3||0||0||0||West rf||3||1||1||1|
|Cizdo 3b||3||1||1||0||Jones 1b||3||0||0||0|
|Darula lf||3||1||0||0||Rabe lf||4||1||2||1|
|Reed rf||4||0||0||0||Bowen c||4||1||2||1|
|Whiteside c||4||0||2||2||Maza 3b||3||0||1||2|
|Wilken 1b||3||0||0||0||Ojeda ss||3||0||0||0|
DP- Ottawa 1, Rochester 1; LOB- Ottawa 7, Rochester 7; 2B- Raines, Calzado, Whiteside, Maza, Abernathy; HR- Rogers, Rabe; SF- Maza; SB- Abernathy.
|Maine (L, 6-11)||4.1||3||2||2||3||3|
|Liriano (W, 7-1)||7||4||0||0||3||4|
Time-2:24. Attendance- 7,487
Also on this day: Rochester pitcher Ray Starr pitched two complete games in a doubleheader against Jersey City in 1932. He lost the opener 2-1, but came back to win the second decision in a 6-1 Red Wing victory.