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Red Wings hold Toledo scoreless

By: Liam Hoffmann

ROCHESTER, NY-- The Red Wings improved to 7-6 and over .500 with their Tuesday night 2-0 shutout of the Toledo Mud Hens. After losing 17-0 to Buffalo on Sunday, tonight was Rochester's first time holding their opponents scoreless in this season. Travis Blankenhorn's third-inning two-run homer scored the game's only runs.

"Anytime I can put some runs on the board it's definitely a plus," Blankenhorn said. "Trying to battle, I think I was 0-2 at every at-bat tonight, so at that point I'm just trying to battle and see what I can do."

Travis Blankenhorn rounding the bases on Apr. 16 2024. Photo Credit: Joe Territo, Rochester Red Wings

Blankenhorn finished a triple shy of the cycle. He's reached base in all but one game this year. Darren Baker, though, did have a stand-up triple in which he'd eventually be driven in by Blankenhorn's bomb. Joan Adon earned the win for the Wings on the back of six strikeouts with two hits and three walks without allowing a run in five innings pitched. Jacob Barnes earned the save in his two innings of play that secured the shutout.

To start, Toledo's two-hole hitter Justyn-Henry Malloy hit a ball that struck pitcher Joan Adon and allowed Malloy to reach first. Adon struggled with the next few batters walking Jace Jung and then advancing the two runners by way of a wild pitch. Adon escaped the first with back-to-back strikeouts of Keston Hiura and Justice Bigbie.

"We pitched out of some jams early on, Adon did, and after he got hit in the calf I thought we were in trouble," Red Wings manager Matt LeCroy said. "But he bounced back, he fought through it, did a nice job."

In the bottom of the first, James Wood walked to first base before a force out at second got Toledo their second out. Devin Sweet, pitching to Alex Call, spiked the ball midway between the mound and home plate and Dillon Dingler stepped to it and fired to third, catching Juan Yepez on the run and ending the inning.

Akil Baddoo doubled in the third but no other Mud Hens reached base in the inning. Baker led off the bottom by tripling into the right field corner. Blankenhorn punched in with his shot over the tallest part of the fence at Innovative Field.

"I'm definitely comfortable being back here in the ROC," Blankenhorn said. "No matter what now, I'm just trying to play my game; get good pitches ahead, play defense."

Darren Baker and Travis Blankenhorn celebrate their game-winning runs on Apr. 16 2024. Photo Credit: Joe Territo, Rochester Red Wings

A quick top of the fifth went 1-2-3 to put the Wings back up to bat. Call's single advanced Yepez to third in the bottom half. But, Jake Alu grounded out to Buddy Kennedy and the runners were left on base.

Amos Willingham entered for Rochester in the sixth and immediately logged two strikeouts of Malloy and Jung before then allowing back-to-back singles to Huira and Bigbie. The strikeout of Bligh Madris ended the inning.

Toledo saw runners in scoring position twice more in the contest. In the seventh, Kennedy got to second but Baddoo lined into an unassisted double play by Yepez. An inning later, Malloy walked and got to second due to a wild pitch by Barnes. Rochester retired the next three batters.

"The leaders down in that bullpen are keeping everybody's head straight and in the right spot," LeCroy said.

It'll be an early start tomorrow with an 11:05 a.m. first pitch. Jackson Rutledge (1-0, 3.86) will be on the mound for the Red Wings. Keider Montero, who has 16 strikeouts and a 1.00 WHIP in 2024, will start for the Mud Hens.

Travis Blankenhorn celebrating in the dugout on Apr. 16 2024. Photo Credit: Joe Territo, Rochester Red Wings

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