The Rochester Red Wings fell to the Omaha Storm Chasers on Saturday, 4-1, as Rochester batters were largely stifled by the the Kansas City Royals farm club.
The loss would come largely because of the pitching performance of the four pitchers that Omaha would use during the “bullpen game.” Ultimately, the four would combine to allow only five hits and a single earned run while walking four and striking out 11.
“Offensively, we got us some good counts, we got outside the zone a bit, [but] we didn’t get enough good contact, we didn’t hit back the ball enough,” said manager Matthew LeCroy. “They did a nice job making pitches when they were behind, [but] we didn’t make adjustments.”
Rochester would start off well, with a quick top of the first by Logan Verrett and then two hits in the second. With Josh Palacios at the plate, Andrew Stevenson stole third, his 21st on the year but first in July. The Red Wings would fail to bring him home, however, and the first inning ended in a scoreless tie.
Omaha would then strike first with a two-out rally in the second inning. After two quick outs courtesy of Verrett and the Rochester defense, Angelo Castellano walked. Jimmy Govern followed up with a double to the right to put two men in scoring position. Finally, Gabriel Cancel hit a single to bring both of them in to make it 2-0 Storm Chasers. While Verrett was able to strike out Saul Garza to end the inning, the damage had been done.
Aside from the second inning, Verrett was spectacular, and he ultimately would go six innings of three-hit ball, striking out five and walking just one. The two runs given up in the second were the only ones he’d give up on the game.
“He gave us a chance,” said LeCroy.
“He pitched well enough for us to win, when you only give up two runs in six innings, it’s a solid effort,” he said. “We just didn’t make the adjustments offensively.”
Rochester would finally get on the board in the bottom of the sixth courtesy of Palacios. With two outs, the left fielder sent a 1-1 pitch from Colten Brewer deep to left into the Omaha bullpen for his ninth home run of the season. The solo shot made it 2-1 and moved his on-base streak to 23 games, the longest for the Red Wings this season and the longest currently-active streak in the International League. The streak has included both familiar division foes, as well as new opponents like Omaha, who the Wings had not faced since many members of the team had even been born
“It’s a little harder when you don’t know the guys you’re facing, we’re really just trying to focus on our approaches,” said Palacios post-game. “We’ve built up by looking at video, looking at what the guys throw, and then trying to relate what those guys are doing to guys we’ve already faced.”
“It’s always tough when you see a guy for the first time, but we’re learning how to do it.”
Ultimately, Palacios’ home run would be all the Wings would score on the game. The Storm Chasers would score two more runs in an eighth inning that saw the Red Wings commit three errors, and former big leaguer Brad Peacock shut down the Wings in order after a leadoff single by Jake Alu.
The loss moves the Wings to 47-42 on the season. With the loss, the Wings are now a game out of first in the East Division, behind Lehigh Valley and potentially other teams pending the results of some games that remained in progress during this writing.
The Wings will conclude their final series before the All-Star Break on Sunday at 1:05 p.m.