Sixth inning surge leads Wings over Durham
By: Mike Rose
ROCHESTER, N.Y.– The Rochester Red Wings saved their best for last against the Durham Bulls, posting a convincing 8-2 victory Sunday. The win clinched a 4-2 series result in favor of the Red Wings. Rochester used a six-run sixth inning to break the contest open. Shortly thereafter the game was called in the bottom of the eighth to unplayable field conditions from a sudden rain storm.
Red Wings Manager Matthew LeCroy had high praise for his team's winning effort.
"I'm super proud of how we fought today, Just a good team effort, they responded and we stayed at it. That game could have gotten ugly early but Wily (Peralta) made some good pitches. It's just a big win for us going into a series Worcester who is hot as a firecracker so maybe this will give us some life going in there," LeCroy said.
Durham jumped on top early, scoring runs in the first two innings to mount an early 2-0 lead. However, from there Peralta and the Red Wings bullpen put together a dominant effort. Durham did not see a runner reach base again the rest of the way as Peralta, Luis Reyes, and Luis Cessa combined for six perfect innings to close it out. Peralta would finish with five innings pitched, allowing five hits and two runs with one walk and seven strikeouts.
"They executed the game plan," LeCroy said. "They put their best effort against a good club and it shows that if you pitch well you can keep guys from hitting. I'm really proud of everybody for their efforts today, they showed a lot with how they threw the baseball."
The Red Wings offense joined the party in the fourth when Jacob Nottingham launched a two-run bomb into left field to tie the game up at two. Nottingham, who has endured some struggles at the plate this season was happy to see his extra work pay off.
"I've been really working the last week trying to get right at the plate and just feel comfortable. The past couple of days I've felt like I've been hitting the ball kind of hard and I just got a good pitch to hit and put a good swing on it," Nottingham said.
The score would remain tied until the sixth-inning onslaught began.
Derek Hill led off the inning against Andrew Kittredge, who had worked 2.1 perfect innings in the series on his rehab stint entering play today. Hill doubled to start the parade to the plate. Erick Mejia and Jake Alu each followed with singles before Nottingham roped a two-run double into the right-field gap. Matt Adams, Drew Millas, and Jack Dunn all followed with base hits before. Richie Martin's sac fly and one more hit for Hill put a bow on the inning. In total 11 batters came to the plate in the inning for Rochester.
The Red Wings were well on their way to wrapping up the victory before mother nature ultimately cut the game short. LeCroy mentioned it would've been Gerson Moreno to finish the game off in the ninth if they had played to completion.
The win now puts Rochester (11-10/45-49) back over .500 in the second half. They'll enjoy an off day before embarking on a 12-game road trip that will begin in Worcester Tuesday against the first-place Red Sox. LeCroy hopes a series win over perennial Triple-A powerhouse Durham can provide some momentum for his team.
"I hope we can go in and win both series. I think we have the team to do it, everything is lining up well. We're going to get (Darren) Baker back and maybe (Jake) Noll will be back on this trip as well. So we're adding pieces and guys are coming back. We are making ourselves better all-around so hopefully, this will help us go in there with some weapons and be ready for a fight," LeCroy said.