The Pawtucket Red Sox made a three-run second inning stand up, defeating the Red Wings 3-0 Sunday afternoon at McCoy Stadium. The loss ends the season for the Red Wings, while Pawtucket advances to the Governors' Cup final against Durham.
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For the second straight game, Red Wings lead-off hitter Antoan Richardson drew a walk to open the contest, this time against Sunday Pawtucket starter Charlie Haeger. Richardson stole second base, but was hung up on a ball hit back to the mound by Eduardo Escobar. Richardson was tagged out, then Haeger got the final out to end the Rochester half of the first.
Virgil Vasquez got the start for the Wings Sunday; his last playoff appearance was against the Wings in 2006, while a member of the Toledo Mud Hens. Vasquez set down the Sox in order in the first inning, notching two strikeouts.
The PawSox took the early lead with two outs in the second inning. Jeremy Hazelbaker ripped a hit down the first base line, just out of the reach of a diving Jeff Clement at first base. Hazelbaker hustled his way to a triple, and scored when Dan Butler followed with a single. Justin Henry doubled, and Heiker Meneses' two-run single made it 3-0 Pawtucket after two innings.
Eric Fryer reached on an infield hit with one out in the third inning, the first Rochester hit of the game. Richardson grounded into a double play to end the inning. James Beresford led off the fourth with an infield single, his playoff-leading eighth hit. Through four innings, the Wings managed baserunners in each inning but couldn't get a breakthrough hit.
Vasquez was lifted in favor of Logan Darnell in the bottom of the fourth. Vasquez allowed four hits and the three runs in three innings, striking out three while not walking a batter.
Wings pitchers combined to limit Pawtucket to just one base runner between the third and fifth innings, a two-out single by Butler in the fourth inning. Haeger through five innings had allowed just two hits while walking three.
Richardson led off the sixth against Haeger with a single to right, the fourth time the Wings got the lead-off hitter aboard in an inning. Beresford was hit by a pitch, giving Rochester two baserunners for the first time all game. Third baseman Jonathan Diaz couldn't handle a hard hit ball by Escobar, and the infield hit loaded the bases. Haeger struck out Clement swinging in an eight-pitch at-bat, then Pawtucket went to the bullpen and Chris Martin took the mound replacing Haeger. Chris Parmelee pinch-hit for Deibinson Romero, and Martin got a strikeout. Aaron Hicks followed with a fly out to left, and Pawtucket had escaped a major scoring threat by the Wings.
Haeger finished with 5 1/3 scoreless innings pitched, four hits and three walks. He struck out four.
Darnell had retired nine straight batters when Henry singled with two out in the seventh. Darnell attempted to pick off Henry at first base, but Darnell was charged with a throwing error with Henry moving to second base. Manager Gene Glynn called for Shairon Martis out of the Rochester bullpen, and Martis hit Meneses with a pitch then got a ground out to retire the side. Darnell pitched 3 2/3 relief innings, allowing just two hits while striking out three.
Martin faced two batters in the Rochester eighth, getting a pair of outs before giving way to Ryan Rowland-Smith. Martin didn't allow a hit in his 2 1/3 innings, walking one and striking out two.
In the ninth, Rowland-Smith retired the first two Rochester batters then was lifted in favor of Anthony Carter. An outstanding play by Meneses robbed Eric Farris of a hit, and ended the game and the season for the Red Wings.
NOTES: The Wings had at least one runner on base in every inning except the eighth and ninth...Pawtucket out-hit Rochester six to four...The PawSox managed just two hits after their three-run second inning...The Red Wings had not been shut out in a game since June 30 in Syracuse...Durham will open the Governors' Cup Finals at home on against Pawtucket Tuesday night... Popular former Red Wing Tommy Watkins, hitting coach at the Twins' Class A Cedar Rapids club, has joined the big league coaching staff for the remainder of the season. Red Wings manager Gene Glynn is expected to also join the Twins' coaching staff for the final weeks of the season, once the Wings' season has concluded.
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