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Errors sink Red Wings in extras

By: Mike Rose

Jake Alu went 4-for-5 on the night to lead the Red Wings offense. (Photo: Rochester Red Wings/Ethan Bissinger

ROCHESTER, N.Y.– The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders picked up their second win in a row taking down the Rochester Red Wings 8-7 in 10 innings. Despite jumping out to an early 4-1 advantage, a pair of Rochester errors ultimately cost them down the stretch.

"It's not a lack of work. Alu makes that play probably about 98% of the time but we're a team here. We are going to make mistakes, we gotta pick each other up. In the end, we just didn't make the plays and they did," Red Wings manager Matthew LeCroy said.

Jake Alu, sliding over to third base tonight, misplayed a ground ball that eventually led to a five-run fifth. In the tenth, it was catcher Luis Torrens who misplayed a throw home from Richie Martin that allowed the eventual game-winning run to come in, marking the sixth unearned run of the game for the RailRiders. Alu, despite playing his third different position this series, says it's a play he has to make.

"It's part of the game, it's part of the whole learning curve just moving around. If that's gonna be my role then that's part of my job. So every day I just have to try to get better at every spot," Alu said.

Both teams traded runs to start the game in the second before Rochester pulled ahead in the third thanks to an RBI triple from Alu and a two-run home run from Franmil Reyes. Reyes, a two-time 30+ home run hitter at the big league level, hasn't found his power surge yet this year but LeCroy hopes this gets him rolling.

"He looks like he's trending in the right direction, he's having a lot better at-bats and swinging at better pitches to hit to drive the ball. I know he's working harder than anybody to get going. He knows what can happen if he gets hot so hopefully this homer will help him start driving the baseball. He's hit a couple of doubles but home runs are his thing and he knows he's gotta hit them to go back up," LeCroy said.

The unraveling came for Rochester in the fifth. After the Alu error, Andrés Chaparro drilled a bases-clearing double and Carlos Narvaez followed with a home run to give the RailRiders control with a 6-4 lead.

Luis Reyes struck out three in two innings of relief Saturday. (Photo: Rochester Red Wings/Ethan Bissinger)

Luis Reyes come on to pitch two scoreless innings to settle things for the Red Wings but the offense couldn't get rolling again until the seventh.

Rochester got one back thanks to an RBI single from Alu who went 4-for-5 with two RBI on the night but Scranton/Wilkes-Barre got it right back with a Estevan Florial home run in the seventh. It was the lefty Florial's fourth home run of the series, all coming against left-handed pitching.

In the ninth, Blake Rutherford appeared to be the hero in his Red Wings debut when he tied it in the bottom of the ninth with a two-run home run. The ball initially appeared to caromed back into play off of Brandon Lockridge but after a conference from the umpire crew, it was ruled a home run which led to the game heading to extras.

In the top half of the tenth, it was the Torrens error that allowed the ghost runner Jesús Basitdas to score. The Red Wings gave one last push but a diving effort from Lockridge robbed Nomar Mazara of extra bases before Jake Noll struck out to end it.

"The guys fought hard. We had the momentum and just didn't get it done in the end," LeCroy said.

The Red Wings will try once again to take the series as they wrap up with the RailRiders tomorrow afternoon, June 18, with first pitch scheduled for 1:05 pm.

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