Red Wings withstand Worcester
By: Mike Rose
It was a wild night at Innovative Field, but the Rochester Red Wings came out the other side and got back in the win column knocking off the Worcester Red Sox 7-6. Darren Baker and Matt Adams led the offensive charge for the Red Wings as Baker went 2-for-5 with a three-run double while Adams went 2-for-4 with a run and two RBI, including the game winner. It was Baker's team leading 17th multi-hit effort. On the mound it was a joint effort on a night where things did not go according to plans for the pitching staff.
Rochester saw projected starting pitcher Joan Adon scratched about forty minutes before first pitch due to the Washington Nationals potential need for a spot starter after their game was rained out earlier in the afternoon. This led to Tommy Romero stepping in to get the spot start for Rochester. Romero was up to the task, working three shutout innings before he exited with cramps.
The offense got going early once again for the Red Wings to give their staff an early cushion. It was a two out rally in the second inning that sparked the scoring. Derek Hill worked a walk, Kevin Plawecki singled and Cody Wilson walked leaving the bases loaded for Baker. He delivered with a double into right field that cleared the bases and gave Rochester a 3-0 advantage.
Worcester would get on the board in the fifth on a high arching home run from Edwin Diaz, his first home run of the season, off of Luis Reyes. The home run had the highest launch angle of any AAA home run this season. In the bottom half of the fifth the offense came alive once again for Rochester.
After Corey Dickerson was retired to start the inning the Red Wings strung together four consecutive hits. Travis Blakenhorn ripped his second double of the game and came around to score on an Adams RBI single. Franklin Barreto followed with an opposite field two-run home run to push the lead out to 6-1. It was Barreto's secede home run in as many days and his sixth of the season. Richie Martin would follow with a double but was left stranded at second base to end a three run inning for the Red Wings.
Worcester once again not go away quietly. After two quick outs in the bottom half of the sixth their bats woke up. Wilyer Abreu worked a long at-bat that was paid off with a single. The next batter Ronaldo Hernandez worked a walk that would end the night for Reyes. Anthony Banda would enter the game and the first batter he faced, Daniel Palka, drilled an infield single to load the bases for the Red Sox. Nick Sogard would then come through with a two-run double to cut the deficit down to three, a deficit that would be completely wiped away one batter later when Ryan Fitzgerald launched a three-run home run to tie the game at six.
The Red Wings punched back in the seventh to take a lead they would not relinquish. Blankenhorn reached on a hit by pitch to lead off the inning and came around to score on a go-ahead RBI double from Adams. In a wild sequence that followed the ball was thrown into center field which allowed Adams to try and advance to third base. He was thrown out on a close play at third by David Hamilton and in the ensuing argument both Adams and Red Wings manager Matt LeCroy were thrown out of the game. LeCroy believed Adams was probably out but wanted to back up his player.
"[David] Hamilton made an unbelievable athletic play. That's probably one of the most pathetic plays I've ever seen on a baseball field. Once he started arguing I figured I'd better go out there and take it for my player. I kind of went out there already thinking he was ejected but had to argue it anyway," LeCroy said.
Adams postgame had some regret on his decision to stretch out the play to third.
"Not my brightest moment. Just saw the throw get by and I thought I had it easy but their guy made a really good play. I thought I was in there but kind of a bang-bang play and I just lost my cool. I don't like doing that but it was a big moment and just the emotions got the best of me. Thankfully the team came out on top and we got the big win," Adams said.
With the victory the Red Wings move to 14-22 on the season. They still reside in last place in International League East standings. Despite the struggles, LeCroy has been happy with his team's effort and hopes it can spark a run.
"Just a crazy evening. It was one we deserved to win and I'm glad we won it. It was a big win for us. I know we're in a big hole but we are going to fight to the end and see where we get to, but really proud of everybody," LeCroy said.
Adams believes the team is finally starting to hit its stride.
"It's still early and we're still coming together as a team," Adams said "I think we're building this chemistry right now and you're starting to see the play on the field turn around. We're stringing together some really good wins and it just gives us confidence. This isn our family and we're here for a long part of the season and the games hard. Anyway we can push runs across, get good pitching, play good defense behind our pitchers and come out with big wins like this, these are momentum swingers. We're just taking it day-by-day, go 1-0 and try to stay present. We got a a lot of good guys on this club and a lot of guys with experience so it's fun and you're seeing it come together."
The Red Wings will next be in action Sunday, May 14 in the final game of the six game home-stand against Worcester before they head on the road for a six game set against the Buffalo Bisons beginning on Tuesday.