By CHUCKIE MAGGIO
After all that has gone wrong for the Rochester Red Wings in Syracuse this season, Sunday’s win served as a role reversal.
The Red Wings scored first and batted 3-for-8 with runners in scoring position. Starting pitcher Sean Nolin provided 5.1 effective innings and surrendered just two runs to close a week Rochester began by allowing 18. Not only did Rochester stay error-free, center fielder Carlos Tocci’s diving catch saved a run. When the bullpen loaded the bases, it found its way out of the jam rather than relinquishing a late lead.
The Red Wings won the matinee 6-2 in front of 4,071 paying customers, still losing the series four games to two but snapping a three-game losing streak as it left NBT Bank Stadium.
Ali Castillo’s speed sparked the scoring in the third inning. Castillo beat out a two-out infield single, stole second base and scored on Adrian Sanchez’s double to put Rochester in front. Jake Noll drove Sanchez in, continued his scintillating hot stretch with a liner to right.
Noll went 3-for-4 with two RBI, his fourth multi-hit game in the last five games and his second consecutive two-RBI showing. He doubled to plate Castillo in the eighth, extending the lead to 4-2.
Daniel Palka provided the insurance with a two-run home run into the left field bullpen, his second homer of the series. His 11 homers rank second on the team to Luis García’s 12.
Nolin cruised through five innings, maintaining a shutout and scattering just four during that period. The lefthander found trouble in the sixth, as Patrick Mazeika’s home run snuck over the right field wall and started a string of four consecutive hits. Matt LeCroy sent for reliever Nick Goody after Drew Jackson’s RBI single into shallow center field thinned the margin to just one run.
Goody induced a Martin Cervenka flyout and struck out pitcher Nick Tropeano to strand two baserunners and end the inning. He retired five of the six batters he faced, but Rochester still faced one more jam in the ninth.
Gabe Klobosits loaded the bases in the ninth inning, hitting Cheslor Cuthbert and walking Cameron Maybin before walking Khalil Lee two outs later. Klobosits escaped the situation by forcing an Albert Almora foul pop-up, which Castillo snagged for the final out.
Rochester is now 27-37 heading into its Monday off-day. The Red Wings open a week-long series at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Tuesday evening.