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Roller sparks IL rally, Triple-A All-Star win

Yankees prospect belts key single, named circuit's Top Star of game
July 16, 2015

OMAHA, Nebraska -- At the end of the Triple-A All-Star Game, things got really exciting.

The International League rallied for three runs Wednesday night for a come-from-behind 4-3 win over the Pacific Coast League at Werner Park.

The top of the ninth inning began with Syracuse's Jason Martinson (Nationals) drawing a leadoff walk. Then Round Rock right-hander Jon Edwards (Rangers) hit Columbus' Tyler Holt (Indians) with a pitch. Lehigh Valley's Tyler Henson (Phillies) singled to load the bases. Two batters later, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's Kyle Roller (Yankees) singled back up the middle to tie the game, 3-3, on a 2-1 offering by Edwards.

"These guys in front of me did a great job," Roller said, who was named the MiLB Top Star for the IL. "They did whatever they could to get on base and kind of set the stage for me. I was happy to be in that situation to try to help my team to victory."

The first baseman, who went 2-for-2 with a walk and two RBIs, said he hit a slider on the clutch single.

"He was throwing a lot of sliders," Roller said. "I knew once he threw me a 2-0 slider that it was his pitch, and I looked for a pitch in the zone to do some damage."

That knocked Edwards from the game. With Omaha's Louis Coleman (Royals) on the mound, Henson lofted a soft single to center on an 0-1 pitch for the go-ahead run.

"He's a sinker ball guy -- a ground ball guy, obviously, by his arm angle," Henson said. "With men on first and third, I was just trying to get a ball in the air and I got enough for it to fall in."

PCL/Storm Chasers manager Brian Poldberg didn't have any second thoughts about waiting to bring in Coleman.

"He was going to be our closer from the get-go," Poldberg said. "The plan was to get him in with two outs, but we had to cover the 10th inning in case there was a tie. Everything went right as planned, but some days you're going to get it done, and some days you're not."

The crowd of 9,023 barely had a chance to get settled into their seats in the first inning when Rochester's James Beresford (Twins) tripled for the IL and Buffalo's Matt Hague (Blue Jays) drove him in with a single up the middle for the first run of the game.

The PCL struck back in the sixth when Albuquerque's Cristhian Adames (Rockies) belted an opposite-field home run down the left-field line with the wind blowing in on the first pitch of the inning to tie the game.

Then Reno's Peter O'Brien (D-backs) gave the PCL its first lead of the night with a two-run homer to left field. On his 25th birthday and after falling short in the finals of Monday's Home Run Derby, Arizona's No. 7 prospect was named the Top Star for the PCL.

Iowa's Carlos Pimentel (Cubs) got the start for the home squad. He gave up one run on two hits in the first two innings. New Orleans' Andre Rienzo (Marlins), Memphis' Dean Kiekhefer (Cardinals), Fresno's Tyson Perez (Astros), Colorado Springs' David Goforth (Brewers), Oklahoma City's Ryan Buchter (Dodgers) and New Orleans' Nick Wittgren (Marlins) shut down the IL for the next six innings. Edwards took the loss.

Charlotte's Erik Johnson (White Sox) started for the IL. He tossed two innings of scoreless ball before IL/Syracuse manager Billy Gardner Jr. handed the ball to Norfolk's Michael Bowden (Orioles), Rochester's Taylor Rogers (Twins) and Gwinnett's Carlos Fisher (Braves) -- all of whom threw scoreless innings. The Red Wings' A.J. Achter picked up the win by securing the final out of the eighth.

"I think that's the definition of coming in and sneaking a win right there," Achter said. "For me, it was a little bit of redemption. I kind of had a rough All-Star Game in Durham last year. I didn't record an out -- faced two batters, so it's pretty rewarding.

"At the same time, it's a great time with a great group of guys."

Lee Warren is a contributor to