Red Wings Outlast Stripers in 14-inning Home Opener

7-6 game decided under new extra-inning rules

Mike Soroka pitched 5.2 innings of two-run ball, allowing no walks while striking out eight in his Stripers' home debut. (Karl Moore / Gwinnett Stripers)

By Dan Reiner / Gwinnett Stripers | April 13, 2018 12:21 AM

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. - The Rochester Red Wings pushed two runs across in the top of the 14th inning to take the Gwinnett Stripers' home opener at Coolray Field, 7-6.

The back-and-forth marathon game, which lasted 4 hours, 10 minutes and used a combined 14 pitchers, was decided by RBI singles from Rochester's Gregorio Petit and Jake Cave, respectively. Both hits came off the Stripers' Jaff Decker, an outfielder by trade called upon in the 14th.

Right-hander Mike Soroka (ND) shined again in his second Triple-A start for the Stripers. The 20-year-old went 5.2 innings, allowing five hits and no walks while striking out eight.

Soroka allowed both runs in the second inning. Left fielder Nick Buss got on with a lead-off single and scored on a triple by second baseman Taylor Featherston. He would score two batters later on a groundout by catcher Willians Astudillo.

After the second inning, Soroka went into cruise control and struck out six of the next eight batters he faced.

The Stripers' first run came in the second inning, when shortstop Sean Kazmar Jr. doubled, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Rio Ruiz groundout. 

Gwinnett tied the game in the fourth inning when third baseman Johan Camargo, playing his fourth rehab game from Atlanta, lined a ball off the high bench in the Stripers' bullpen. It was his second home run for Gwinnett this year.

An RBI double off the wall by designated hitter Carlos Franco in the sixth inning scored center fielder Ezequiel Carrera and gave the Stripers their first lead. It remained 3-2 until the ninth inning, when Rex Brothers (BS) hit Nick Buss with a pitch. Buss was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Featherston, then Astudillo singled to right. Brothers walked the next two batters to load the bases, but Evan Phillips came in to strike out Leonardo Reginatto and escape further damage.

The game went to extra innings, where the teams experienced the newly-implemented extra-inning rules set by Minor League Baseball. Under the rules, a the batter who made the last out in the previous inning begins on second base and, if he scores, the run is unearned.

In the 10th inning, Kennys Vargas scored the intentional man, Reginatto, with a ground ball making it 4-3 Rochester. But the Stripers fought back and tied it again with an RBI double from catcher Rob Brantly. With the bases loaded, left fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. stepped up and flew out to left. Brantly tagged and tried to score, but was thrown out by Buss.

In the 13th, the teams again traded blows. The Red Wings' Jermaine Curtis scored Vargas on a sac fly, then Franco knotted it in the bottom half of the inning with an RBI double.

The Red Wings scored their two runs in the top of the 14th and the Stripers were able to get one back on an RBI single by Brantly, but pitcher Tyler Duffey was able to close it out.

Decker, who had two previous pitching appearances as a professional (2015 with Pittsburgh and 2016 with Durham) took the loss. Duffey got the win after going 1.1 innings with three strikeouts and one unearned run allowed.

The Stripers will look to bounce back Friday at 7:05 p.m. against Rochester. Left-hander Max Fried, transferred from Double-A Mississippi on Thursday, starts for Gwinnett, while the Red Wings will pitch lefty Adalberto Mejia (0-0, 0.00). Tony Schiavone has the play-by-play call on 97.7 FM The Other Side of the River beginning at 6:35 p.m.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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