BUFFALO, NY – It was Bullpen Day for the Rochester Red Wings, and five pitchers combined for 13 strikeouts and only one earned run against. That, along with an offense that scored early and often, helped Rochester down the Buffalo Bisons 10-2 last night in an International League game Wednesday at Sahlen Field.
The Wings’ hitters got rolling almost immediately. Willians Astudillo, the second batter of the game, homered to left field to give Rochester a lead they never relinquished.
Bisons’ starter Sean Reid-Foley never showed good stuff in his three plus innings, giving up six hits, walking two and hitting three batters.
The Wings made it 2-0 in the second. Zander Wiel hit his league-leading 39th double and later scored when Ian Miller beat out a potential double-play grounder.
After the Bisons scored in the third on Jonathan Davis’ RBI single, the floodgates opened in the fourth. Rochester loaded the bases against Reid-Foley with nobody out, then Ramon Flores greeted reliever Connor Fisk with a two run single up the middle to make it 4-1. The Wings piled on with a two-run single by Tomas Telis and a sacrifice fly by Wiel for a 7-l lead.
The pitching staff made the lead stick. Bullpen Day was necessitated, in part, by projected starter Randy Dobnak being called up to Minnesota late Tuesday. Manager Joel Skinner nominated closer Preston Guilmet to be the opening pitcher; Guilmet responded by using his splitter to strike out six (including the first four hitters he faced) and allowing one run in 2 2/3 innings ofwork. Ryan O’Rourke followed; he was a bit shaky but held Buffalo scoreless over 2 1/3 innings and was awarded the win. Jorge Alcala, Zach Littell and Ryne Harper (just sent down by the Twins) finished the job; the Bisons only managed to score
an unearned run off Harper (due to his own error) in the ninth.
Rochester added a run in the sixth when Alejandro De Aza doubled and came home on Tomas Telis’ sacrifice fly (his third RBI of the game.) They tacked on two more in the ninth on Miller’s RBI triple and a run-scoring ground out by Astudillo. All in all, six different Wings had two hits each.
The two clubs meet again tonight to conclude their season series. which Buffalo leads 8-7.
The win up upped Rochester’s record to 67-68; Buffalo fell to 69-66. Mathematically, the Wings’ “tragic number’ remained at one game in the North Division, but as a practical matter, they’ve effectively seen their ultra-slim playoff hopes extinguished. First place Scranton/Wilkes-Barre was rained out, but with the Railriders concluding their season with four games against Buffalo (who is now two games ahead of Rochester), it would obviously be impossible for both teams to lose out the remainder of their season.
For the second-straight year, Brandon Barnes was named an IL Post-season All-Star. Barnes leads the league with 92 RBI, and joined the Wings midway thru the season … In addition to leading to leading the league in doubles, Zander Wiel leads the IL with 66 extra-base hits.
Once again, Buffalo played the game as the Buffalo Wings, in homage to the city’s chicken wing heritage. This made for confusion amongst fans, writers and broadcasters as the Red Wings were playing the Wings: therefore, we took the liberty of still referring to Buffalo as the Bisons. (One can can imagine the confusion in the CFL in years past when the Ottawa Rough Riders played the Saskatchewan