By JOHN LIKANJE
Eric Bell and Chris Padget had been mired in rough patches since June. Bell, a 6-foot southpaw in his fourth season with the Rochester Red Wings, had gone 11 consecutive starts without a victory. During the stretch, he shouldered an 0-2 record with a 6.67 earned run average and nine no-decisions.
Padget, who spent three weeks on the disabled list with a back injury, was looking to find his groove. On this day in 1990, both players broke out of their summer funks against the last-place Toledo Mud Hens.
Bell hurled eight innings of one-run ball and Padget finished a single shy of the cycle in a 6-1 win to secure the four-game sweep.
Padget’s base knocks came in his first three plate appearances. The 6-foot-1 first baseman doubled as part of a three-run opening frame. Padget continued with what would be his sixth and final homer he hit this season: a solo shot in the third to extend the lead to 4-0.
“I’m not a home run hitter,” Padget told the Democrat and Chronicle. “I never have been. I hit to gaps. Every once in a while, a line drive will go out.”
His double in the fifth inning ignited a two-run rally as the Red Wings took a commanding 6-0 advantage.
Despite only striking out two of the batters he faced, Bell pitched to only one hitter over the minimum through his first six innings. The 6-foot southpaw limited the damage to a Milt Cuyler RBI single. For Bell, it was his first win since June 20th against Richmond.
“In the previous outings, I felt like I had thrown like the old me,” Bell said. “More than anything today, I was satisfied that that was the old me.”
Also on this day: 1982 – Leo Hernandez hit his 10th home run in a 4-2 Red Wings victory over Syracuse. This gave the Red Wings a total of nine players with 10 or more home runs on the season. The only other Rochester team to accomplish this was the 1962 squad, who also had nine; 2006 – Carlos Pena’s two-out home run in the eighth inning rallied the Pawtucket Red Sox to a 5-4 win over the Red Wings at Boston’s Fenway Park Saturday night. Kevin West hit a two-run homer and Shawn Wooten had two hits and an RBI for the Red Wings.