This Day in Red Wings History: Wings inch closer to wild card with season’s 16th shutout

Glenn Williams. (Photo courtesy of Rochester Red Wings)

By PAUL CIFONELLI

When the Red Wings showed up to the field on September 1, 2006, they needed a win and a loss by either Indianapolis or Toledo to secure a wild card spot. While they had been scoreboard watching, Rochester still needed to win games to help lock up its spot. The Red Wings did just that, defeating Buffalo 3-0 behind the team’s International League-leading 16th shutout.

Mike Smith was given the ball for Rochester on only three days rest after Scott Baker, the day’s scheduled starter, was called up to Minnesota. Smith had struggled recently and figured he had nothing to lose by toeing the slab a day earlier than he expected.

“When they told me I was pitching, I said ‘Sure, I’ll do it,'” Smith told the Democrat & Chronicle. “I’ve had an off streak the last couple of outings, so it was go pitch well tonight.”

That was exactly what Smith did, hurling five scoreless frames with four strikeouts. He worked around runners in scoring position with one out in both the fourth and fifth innings to hold the Buffalo offense down.

Smith, who picked up his 11th win of the season, threw 103 pitches in the game, five more than he threw just four days prior.

Henry Bonilla and Levale Speigner both threw two innings to close out the contest. Bonilla escaped runners on the corners with two outs in the sixth inning unscathed, then stranded two more in the seventh by picking up his only strikeout of the day.

Speigner had much less difficulty, allowing one hit over two innings en route to his first AAA save.

All of the Red Wings’ offense came by way of the long ball. Glenn Williams cracked a two-run shot in the second inning to give his team the early advantage. He nearly did the same thing a pitch earlier but got just out in front and hooked it foul. Williams finished the game a triple shy of the cycle.

Josh Rabe popped another ball over the fence in the fifth inning to provide Rochester with an insurance run.

The 2006 Red Wings ended up defeating Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in the first round then falling to Toledo 3-2 in the championship series.

Buffalo hitting

Player AB R H BI
Gutierrez CF 5 0 0 0
Francisco RF 5 0 1 0
Alfaro SS 5 0 1 0
Kouzmanoff 1B 4 0 1 0
Dubois DH 4 0 0 0
Merloni 2B 3 0 1 0
Cooper LF 3 0 2 0
Gautreau 3B 4 0 2 0
Camacaro C 4 0 0 0

Rochester hitting

Player AB R H BI
Torres CF 3 0 1 0
Watkins SS 4 0 0 0
Rabe RF 4 1 1 1
Jones 1B 4 0 0 0
Tiffee 3B 4 1 2 0
McCracken DH 4 0 0 0
Williams 2B 4 1 3 2
Maza 2B 0 0 0 0
Romero LF 3 0 0 0
Wooten C 2 0 2 0

E- Watkins, Rabe  DP- Buffalo 1  LOB- Buffalo 12, Rochester 7  2B- Cooper, Wooten, Williams  HR- Williams, Rabe  SB- Torres

Buffalo  0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0- 0
Rochester  0 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 0- 3

Buffalo pitching

Player IP H R ER BB SO
Bell L(9-10) 6 9 3 3 2 4
Stanford 2 0 0 0 0 1

Rochester pitching

Player IP H R ER BB SO
Smith W(11-5) 5 4 0 0 1 4
Bonilla 2 3 0 0 1 1
Speigner S(1) 2 1 0 0 0 1

Time- 2:38  Attendance- 10,385

Also on this day: Pitchers Ricardo Delgado and Michael Adamson both pitched complete game victories, as Rochester swept the Bisons 8-1, 7-0, in a double header in Buffalo in 1967. The wins put Rochester back into a tie with Richmond for first place in the International League with 2 games remaining in the regular season… Red Wings winning pitcher, Dutch Henry, held the Bisons of Buffalo to just one hit, as the Wings won 7-1 in 1933. Ray Pepper led the way for the Wings with a home run and three hits.

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