Intermittent rain showers couldn't dampen the enthusiasm of the Frontier Field crowd Wednesday night, nor the bats of the Rochester Red Wings.
After scoring 13 runs and 18 hits in Monday's regular season finale, Rochester racked up 16 more hits - including four by James Beresford - in a 7-1 win over the Pawtucket Red Sox Wednesday night, in the first game of the International League Governors' Cup Playoff series. Wings starter Cole De Vries struck out six over six innings. The series continues Thursday night with a 7:05 p.m. game at Frontier Field; call (585) 423-WING (9464) for tickets after 9 a.m.Thursday morning.
Expanded Governors' Cup Playoff coverage presented by Canandaigua National Bank & Trust - CNBank.com
Jackie Bradley, Jr. led off the game with a single against De Vries, and went to second base after a fly ball out from Brock Holt. But De Vries got a strikeout and ground out to strand Bradley, Jr. at second base.
Pawtucket had top pitching prospect Anthony Ranaudo on the mound, and Rochester lead-off hitter Antoan Richardson matched Bradley, Jr. with a base hit to open the frame. Beresford followed with a double that just snuck down the first base line and past first baseman Mark Hamilton, and the Wings were in business. Eduardo Escobar lofted a fly ball to left field, and Richardson scooted home for an early 1-0 Rochester lead. Ranaudo's wild pitch with Chris Parmelee at bat allowed Beresford to advance to third base, and Beresford scored when Parmelee went to left field on a Ranaudo pitch for an RBI single, making it 2-0 Wings.
Bryce Brentz, who hit 17 homers during the regular season, clubbed a long drive to left-center field to start the top of the second inning and make the score 2-1 Wings. Dan Butler followed with a ground rule double, but De Vries retired the next three batters - the last two with a strikeout.
The Wings tacked on more offense in the second inning. Second baseman Brock Holt took away a hit up the middle from Eric Farris for the first out, a brilliant defensive fielding and throwing play. Ray Olmedo followed with an infield hit, and Eric Fryer with a single, then Richardson flew out to left. That's when Beresford - who hit .350 in six regular season games against Pawtucket - picked up his second hit of the night, driving in Olmedo for a 3-1 Rochester lead. Escobar drew a walk to load the bases with two outs, but Ranaudo got Parmelee to fly out to end the inning.
Pawtucket's Alex Hassan hit a two-out double off De Vries in the top of the third inning, but a nice running grab by Aaron Hicks took away a hit and possible RBI from Hamilton.
Jeff Clement popped up to the infield to open the bottom of the third, and the ball dropped in for an infield hit. Pawtucket manager Gary DiSarcina decided to pull Ranaudo (0-1), and Brock Huntzinger took over on the mound. Hicks bunted for a hit, and Farris' sacrifice bunt attempt resulted in a fielder's choice with Clement thrown out at third base. Hicks and Farris pulled off a double steal, and Fryer stroked an 0-2 pitch up the middle for a two-out, two-run single that put the Wings ahead 5-1.
Rochester put a pair of runners on base to open the bottom of the fourth, courtesy of singles by Beresford and Escobar. Parmelee popped out, but Clement walked to load the bases with one out. With rain starting to fall steadily, Hicks drove a long fly ball to the warning track in right field. Beresford tagged and scored to extend the Rochester lead to 6-1.
Huntzinger walked Farris to reload the bases, and that prompted another pitching change with Jose De La Torre taking the mound in relief. De La Torre got Olmedo on a checked swing third strike to end the inning.
The PawSox had a runner on first with two outs in the fifth inning, when Holt's hard-hit ball deflected off De Vries' glove toward second baseman Beresford. A quick scoop and throw by Beresford just beat Holt to first, and the fine defensive play ended the top of the fifth.
With the rain resuming, Escobar led off the sixth inning with a double. Parmelee grounded out to second, moving Escobar over to third. Clement then walked to put runners on the corners for the Wings. After Hicks popped out in front of the Wings dugout, Farris singled past the shortstop to score Escobar from third. Olmedo walked on four pitches to load the bases, which brought out pitching coach Rich Sauveur. De La Torre got Fryer to ground out to short to end the inning and leave the bases loaded.
De Vries (1-0) threw 93 pitches over six innings and allowed five hits, one run and a walk, while fanning six batters. Aaron Thompson took over to start the seventh inning, and defense played a role in Thompson's first inning on the mound.
Beresford and Parmelee combined for a fine fielding play to retire Jeremy Hazelbaker, but Olmedo was charged with a fielding error on the next play. Escobar, Beresford and Parmelee teamed up for a double play to end the inning and negate the error.
Bradley, Jr. led off the Pawtucket eighth with a single against Thompson. After a fly out, Hassan drilled a shot toward the right field wall, but Farris made an outstanding running catch for the second out of the inning, Thompson struck out Hamilton to end the inning.
Thompson struck out one and allowed a hit in two relief innings, giving way to A.J. Achter to start the ninth. Achter got two quick outs before Hazelbaker tripled over the head of Hicks. Achter walked Jonathan Diaz, and Heiker Meneses flew out to Jermaine Mitchell in right field to end the game.
|NOTES: Durham beat Indianapolis 2-0 in Game One of the other IL Governors' Cup playoff series...Minnesota Twins farm director Brad Steil is in town for the Wings' playoff series...The Class A Advanced Fort Myers Miracle lost 2-1 to Charlotte Wednesday night, in Game Two of their Florida State League playoff series. The Miracle lost the best of three series 2-0. All-Star LHP Taylor Rogers worked nine shutout innings, allowing three hits while striking out nine...Class A Cedar Rapids lost the first game of their Midwest League playoff series, 2-1 to Quad Cities Wednesday night. Starter Madison Boer struck out six in five innings for the Kernels.
"Extra Bases" - beat writer Jim Mandelaro's blog
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This Day in Red Wings History: 1976 - Rochester second baseman Rich Dauer went 2-for-5 in an 11-6 loss to the Syracuse Sky Chiefs, clinching the International League batting title by one point over Charleston's Miguel Dilone. Dauer became the 17th IL batting champion in Red Wings history with his .336 batting average... 2005 - Garrett Jones' two-run homer capped a four-run eighth inning as Rochester rallied past Ottawa 7-4 on Sunday afternoon at Lynx Stadium. With the Red Wings trailing 4-3, Luis Rivas tied the game with a sacrifice fly and Brian Buchanan gave Rochester the lead with a RBI groundout. Jones followed with his team-high 23rd long ball. Corky Miller went 2-for-4 with a solo homer and two runs scored, while Luis Rodriguez went 2-for-4 with a double and scored twice. Jason Miller (2-0) picked up the win, allowing one run on two hits in two innings.
This Day in IL Baseball History: 1995 - In its third season as the home of the Norfolk Tides, Harbor Park hosts its first postseason game. To reach the playoffs, Norfolk matched a franchise record with 86 wins, matching a feat of 20 years earlier. It is the first trip to the postseason since 1988 for a club that graduated more than a dozen players to the New York Mets, earning Norfolk designation by "Baseball America" as the Minor League Team of the Year. Unfortunately for the hometown fans, the playoffs don't begin well on this night, as Bobby Valentine's Tides are blanked 2-0 by the Richmond Braves in Game 1 of the semi-finals. The tense five-game series would ultimately be won by Norfolk, but the Tides' couldn't complete their dream season, losing in the Governors' Cup Finals to Ottawa three games to one
Born On This Day: 1960 - Damon Wayans... 1968 - Mike Piazza... 1981 - Beyonce Knowles
It Happened This Day in Baseball: 1908 - Due to a rule that will not be changed until 1920, Germany Schafer becomes the only player in major league history to steal the same base twice in one inning, and one of the only two players to ever steal first base from second. The Tiger second baseman, after successfully swiping second hoping the throw would allow the runner from third to score, goes back to first base by stealing it so he can try the play again, which he does, stealing same bag for the second time in the frame... 1995 - Robin Ventura becomes the eighth player to hit two grand slams in the same game. The third baseman's blasts in the fourth and fifth innings power the White Sox past Texas at The Ballpark in Arlington, 14-3... 2010 - Jim Thome hits a pair of homers to pass Mark McGwire for eighth place on the all-time career list with 584. The Twins designated hitter's historic round-trippers, which he blasts in the third and fourth innings off Colby Lewis at Target Field, contribute to Minnesota's 12-4 victory over Texas.
#1 Song On This Day: 1979 - Knack "My Sharona"... 1990 - Jon Bon Jovi "Blaze of Glory"... 2012 - Taylor Swift "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together"