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RailRiders Out-Slug Red Wings In High-Scoring Affair

Wood, Gallo, Mejia, and Call Each Go Yard in Loss
May 9, 2024

The Rochester Red Wings offense combined to log 14 hits on Thursday night, but it was not enough as Scranton/WB came out on top in a back-and-forth affair, 14-12. Offensively, LF James Wood homered for the third time in two games and finished the contest 2-for-4. DH Joey Gallo, 2B

The Rochester Red Wings offense combined to log 14 hits on Thursday night, but it was not enough as Scranton/WB came out on top in a back-and-forth affair, 14-12. Offensively, LF James Wood homered for the third time in two games and finished the contest 2-for-4. DH Joey Gallo, 2B Erick Mejia, CF Alex Call each launched long balls of their own to bring the team total to four, the most by a Wings team on the road since April 5, 2023 at Syracuse.

After two quick outs in the top half of the first, James Wood scooped a 1-0 slider to right field that carried over the fence to give Rochester an early 1-0 lead. This was his fifth home run of the year, and third in his last four at-bats after a two-homer game on Wednesday afternoon.

Scranton/WB responded quickly with a barrage of hits in the bottom of the first. CF Greg Allen led off with a first-pitch single, and 3B Caleb Durbin followed with a single of his own. The next batter, 1B T.J. Rumfield chopped a base hit to left field to make it three-straight knocks, bringing Allen and Durbin around to score to give the RailRiders a 2-1 lead. LF Everson Pereira replaced Rumfield at first base on a fielder’s choice, and DH Jose Rojas then joined the hit parade with a double down the left-field to put runners on second and third. Former Red Wing SS Jeter Downs then roped a two-out triple into the right field corner that scored Pereira and Rojas, making it 4-1 in favor of Scranton/WB. 2B Josh VanMeter then brought Downs around to score on a line-drive single to left field, capping off a five-run half inning.

Rochester answered in the top of the third inning courtesy of a lead-off homer off the bat of Erick Mejia, his first of the year to make the score 5-2. This was his first homer since September 8, 2023 at Syracuse, and he became the ninth Red Wing to go deep this season.

The RailRiders added on to their lead in the bottom of the third. After a walk and a wild pitch put Jose Rojas in scoring position, VanMeter reached base after being hit by a pitch two batters later to set Scranton up with runners on first and second. A batter later, RF Brandon Lockridge lined a ball into right field that bounced over the fence for a ground rule double, scoring Rojas from second base to make it 6-2.

This back-and-forth contest took another turn when Joey Gallo cranked a double into right field to set the Red Wings up with a runner in scoring position with no outs in the top of the fourth inning. 1B Juan Yepez then flew out to right field, and Gallo moved to third on the play. C Drew Millas stepped up to the plate with one out and grounded a ball to the left side of the infield, scoring Gallo from third and cutting into Railriders’ lead, 6-3.

Rochester turned the game around in the top of the fifth inning, beginning with a 3B Carter Kieboom double to put a runner in scoring position for the second inning in a row. Two batters later, Alex Call lined a single into left field, scoring Kieboom from second to pull the Red Wings to within two runs. After a pitching change, Alex Call stole second base and SS Jack Dunn worked a walk on seven pitches to put two more runners on with one out in the inning. A batter later, James Wood singled on the first pitch he saw, scoring Call from second and putting Dunn on third base. Wood then stole second base, and Joey Gallo launched a long-fly ball to right-center field for a three-run home run, erasing the deficit and putting the Red Wings up 8-6.

The scoring barrage continued in the top of the sixth as Rochester continued to add to their lead. Back-to-back singles from Kieboom and Mejia began the inning with two on and no outs, and Alex Call subsequently hit the Wings second three-run home run of the night to extend their lead to five runs. The action wouldn’t stop there as Jack Dunn laid down a bunt to the third base side, forcing an errant throw that allowed Dunn to move all the way to third base with still no outs in the inning. James Wood drove in Dunn on a sacrifice fly to left field a batter later for his third RBI of the day, adding to the lead, 12-6.

Scranton/WB began to cut into the lead in the bottom of the sixth. A walk and a hit-by-pitch set up runners at first and second with no outs. Jose Rojas followed suit with his sixth home run of the season, a three-run shot that sailed over the right-center field fence and cut the lead in half, 12-9. Rochester was able to escape the remainder of the inning unscathed, pushing the game to the seventh with a three-run lead.

RailRiders pitching was able to hold Rochester scoreless in the top of the seventh and went back to work offensively in the bottom half. Greg Allen worked a one-out walk, and moved to second base on a wild pitch two batters later. In that same at bat, T.J. Rumfield grounded a seeing-eye single through the right side and Allen scampered home to make the score 12-10.

Scranton/WB completed the comeback in dramatic fashion in the bottom of the eighth, putting runners on first and second after back-to-back walks from Jose Rojas and Luis Torrens. Jeter Downs then connected on his second extra-base hit of the night, a three-run home run into the visitor’s bullpen in left field to give the RailRiders the lead, 13-12. Scranton then added an insurance run when Oscar Gonzalez doubled and scored on an RBI single from Caleb Durbin to make the score 14-12 going into the top of the ninth.

Drew Millas worked a leadoff walk to start the Red Wings final turn at-bat and stole his second base of the season to put himself on second base. Three consecutive outs stranded him in scoring position, handing Rochester their second loss of the series, 14-12.

RHP Thaddeus Ward took the ball for Rochester on Thursday evening for his seventh start of 2024. The right-hander allowed six earned on seven hits, while striking out two and walking two over 2.2 innings. LHP Joe La Sorsa was first out of the bullpen. The southpaw from St. John’s University worked 1.2 innings of scoreless relief, allowing one hit while striking out one batter. RHP Adonis Medina took the ball from La Sorsa with one out in the bottom of the fifth and finished the frame scoreless while giving up one hit. LHP Tim Cate relieved Medina in the sixth and allowed three earned runs on one hit, with two strikeouts and one walk before turning the ball over to RHP Luis Reyes in the seventh. The right-hander logged 1.0 inning and allowed an earned run on one hit, with a strikeout and a walk. RHP Stephen Nogosek was the fifth arm out of the ‘pen for the Red Wings. The former New York Met was relieved after 0.2 innings and allowed four earned runs on three hits while walking one and striking out two. LHP Richard Bleierwas tasked with getting the final out of the eighth inning and did so without throwing a pitch, as Wings’ catcher Drew Millas threw out a runner attempting to steal second.

Thursday’s Diamond Pro Player of the Game goes to CF Alex Call. The former Cleveland Guardian launched his seventh home run of the season to place him second on the team, highlighting a 2-for-4 night at the plate with four RBI, a walk, and two runs scored. This is his second four-RBI game of the season (4/20 vs. TOL), giving him 21 total this season which is also second-most on the team.

Rochester looks to even the series at 2-2 Friday afternoon, the fourth of a six-game set against Scranton/WB. RHP Joan Adon takes the ball for the Wings in what will be his sixth Triple-A start of 2024. The RailRiders counter with LHP Edgar Barclay. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.

Find the box score attached here.