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Red Wings get back on track

By: Liam Hoffmann

Darren Baker safely on second base on May 14, 2024. Photo Credit: Ethan Bissinger / Rochester Red Wings

ROCHESTER, NY-- Back at home, the Rochester Red Wings topped the Buffalo Bisons 7-5. The win got Rochester back to .500 with an 18-18 record while Buffalo regresses to 23-17. After ending the previous series against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 1-4, the Red Wings start this homestand with a win.

The game was slated to begin at 6:05 p.m. but inclement weather meant the first pitch was delayed to 7:45 p.m. Also, Red Wings manager Matt LeCroy is temporarily away from the team, and development coach Billy McMillon was the acting manager on Tuesday.

"Today was definitely a weird day," Red Wings second baseman Darren Baker said. "But, we have a lot of fun playing together man, so no matter what time, we just go out there and enjoy."

The Red Wings got three hits each from Darren Baker and James Wood and multi-RBI evenings from Wood as well as Alex Call. Call's sixth-inning triple was the first of May for any Red Wing. Jack Dunn recorded his fourth home run of the season in the third inning. Adonis Medina, now 4-0 on the year, earned the win on the mound with two Ks and no runs surrendered in two innings while Rico Garcia was awarded the save behind his ninth inning showing that only allowed one Bison to score.

"As you go along in the season, you get a better idea of how you're getting attacked and sort of what you need to work on and be ready for," Wood said. "I think all of that plays a part in how I get ready."

James Wood running after a hit on May 14 2024. Photo Credit: Ethan Bissinger / Rochester Red Wings

Leo Jimenez got base hits in each of his first three plate appearances while Brian Serven accumulated three base hits as well. Spencer Horwitz was the only Bison with multiple RBIs as his fourth-inning single drove in two runners and set Buffalo out to a 3-1 advantage. Addison Barger reached base twice before eventually hitting a solo nuke in the seventh. The losing pitcher was Troy Watson who allowed four hits, two earned runs and walked two batters while also allowing Dunn's homer.

Buffalo first reached base in the third inning when Will Robertson and Jimenez started with back-to-back singles. Horwitz advanced Robertson to third with an infield fielder's choice that saw Jimenez forced out at second. Nathan Lukes then walked and loaded the bases for three-hole hitter Orelvis Martinez. But, he flied out to Blankenhorn in right field and retired the half inning with no harm done for the Red Wings. In the bottom half, Rochester broke the game's scoring seal through Dunn's solo home run.

Jack Dunn rounding the bases after his home run on May 14 2024. Photo Credit: Ethan Bissinger / Rochester Red Wings

The runs came in bunches in the fourth inning. Barger walked then Brian Serven and Damiano Palmegiani's ensuing singles loaded the bases and also ended Rochester starter Robert Gsellman's evening. Medina relieved him and allowed all three inherited runners to score but struck out two batters en route to the escape.

"We had six guys pitch today that kept us in the game and we played error-free baseball," McMillon said. "Those are things that you want any ballclub to do on a day-to-day basis."

After the intermission, Wood came up and extended his hit streak to 10 with a single. Joey Gallo and Millas reached base as well and eventually, Carter Kieboom came to the plate with the bases loaded. The ball was hit right back at Watson and bounced off the mound toward Martinez playing second base who couldn't field it cleanly. An error was assessed to Martinez allowing Wood and Gallo to score. The inning ended with Millas and Kieboom left on base.

In the bottom of the sixth, Juan Yepez led off with a ground rule double and then Dunn was walked. Call delivered with a two-out two-RBI triple. The triple nearly sailed over the wall for a home run but was knocked down at the wall by Lukes in left field. Then, Wood worked a nine-pitch walk that put runners on the corners for Gallo, but he grounded to first base and ended the inning.

"[Call] is another guy that has a good routine in the cages in early work and he's able to bring that into the game," McMillon said. "Having a guy with the combination of speed, power, and the ability to put the ball in play, it's really a testament to the type of person that he is."

In the next half-inning, Rochester reliever Joe La Sorsa had Barger in a 1-2 hole, one strike away from striking out the side. Barger had other plans though as he bombed it 432 feet to right-center and cut the deficit to 6-4.

Darren Baker celebrating with the Red Wings on May 14 2024. Photo Credit: Ethan Bissinger / Rochester Red Wings

Each team scored one more run before the expiration of the contest. The Wings will head into tomorrow's game ahead 1-0 in the series. The probable starter for Rochester Wednesday is Thaddeus Ward (1-1, 5.88). For Buffalo, it is Chad Dallas (1-2, 7.16). The first pitch tomorrow at Innovative Field is set for 6:05 p.m.

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