A two-run home run by Fayette County native Niko Goodrum in the bottom of the eighth inning propelled the Rochester Red Wings (9-7) to a come-from-behind 5-4 win over the Gwinnett Braves (11-6) in game one of their three-game series on Tuesday night at Frontier Field.
Gwinnett had taken an early lead by scoring a run in the top of the third off Rochester starting pitcher Jose Berrios on a passed ball with the bases loaded that allowed Blake Lalli to score. Then Gwinnett went up 2-0 in the top of the fourth when Rio Ruiz took a Berrios pitch deep to right for a one-out solo homer, his first of the season.
Thanks to the pitching of Gwinnett starter Sean Newcomb, that 2-0 lead lasted most of the game. However, in the bottom of the seventh, the G-Braves bullpen let the lead slip away for the first time.
Gwinnett reliever Kevin Chapman, in his second inning of work, walked Rochester's Tommy Field, the first batter in the bottom of the seventh. Goodrum followed with a double to left, moving Field to third. G-Braves left fielder Mel Rojas Jr. misplayed the ball in left, allowing Field to score from third to cut the lead to 2-1. J.B. Shuck then singled to center, moving Goodrum to third. Caleb Dirks was called in from the Gwinnett bullpen and he gave up a single to Ehre Adrianza, which scored Goodrum to tie the game at two. After a sacrifice bunt, Matt Hague gave the Red Wings the lead with a sacrifice fly, scoring Shuck with the go-ahead run.
A half inning later, the G-Braves were back in front. With one out, Johan Carmagosingled to right center and scored from first on a double to left by Rojas Jr. to even the score at three. Ryan Howard then broke the tie with a single to left against the Red Wings infield shift, scoring Rojas Jr. from second for a 4-3 Gwinnett lead.
In the bottom of the eighth, Rhiner Cruz entered out of the Gwinnett bullpen and retired the first two batters he faced. But he then gave up a double to right to Field and then the two-run home run to Goodrum, which proved to be the game winner.
Newcomb was solid in 5.0 scoreless innings. He allowed two hits with four walks and six strikeouts. Chapman went 1.0 inning with three hits, three earned runs, one walk and one strikeout. Dirks worked 1.0 inning with one hit and one strikeout. Cruz (L, 1-1) pitched 1.0 inning with three hits and two earned runs to take the loss.
For the Red Wings, Berrios went 6.0 innings with four hits, two runs (one earned), three walks and 10 strikeouts. D. J. Baxendale went 1.0 inning with one strikeout. Trevor Hildenberger (W, 1-0) pitched 1.0 inning with three hit, two earned runs and two strikeouts. J. T. Chargois (S, 1) worked a scoreless top of the ninth with one hit to earn the save and finish the win.
Camargo led the Gwinnett offense with a 2-for-3 night and one run. Kyle Kubitza and Lalli were each 1-for-3. The solo homer by Ruiz was his only hit in four at-bats. In his second game with the G-Braves, Howard finished 1-for-4 with the RBI single.
For Rochester, Goodrum was 2-for-4 with a double, a two run homer and two runs, Daniel Palka was 2-for-3 and Shuck was 2-for-4 with a triple and a runs scored.
Gwinnett and Rochester will meet in game two of the three game series Wednesday afternoon at Frontier Field. RHP Luke Jackson (0-1, 6.23) will start for the G-Braves. The Red Wings have LHP David Hurlbut (1-1, 0.00) scheduled to take the mound. First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. Tony Schiavone has the play-by-play call on 97.7 FM "The Other Side of the River" beginning at 1:05 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.