Hurlbut conducts Red Wings past Railriders
David Hurlbut and two relievers combined to surrender just four hits to the best offense in the league and the Rochester Red Wings avoided a four-game sweep with a 5-1 win over the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders Thursday night at PNC Field.
The Red Wings (78-60) kept their Wild Card lead at 2.0 games while the magic number to clinch a playoff berth went down to three with the win.
The RailRiders (86-51) took an early 1-0 lead as Hurlbut (10-8) walked rehabbing Matt Holliday with two outs and Miguel Andujar drove him in with a double. Andujar was thrown out at third base just ahead of the run scoring.
Rochester managed just one baserunner through the first three innings against Chance Adams (11-5), a two-out walk by Daniel Palka in the 1st. The Red Wings wasted listed time getting on the board in the 4th as Matt Hague led off the inning with a single and came around to score on Palka's RBI triple to tie the game. ByungHo Park followed with an RBI single to give Rochester its first lead of the four-game series, 2-1. After a strikeout and a walk, Anthony Recker doubled in Park to make it 3-1.
The Red Wings added two more in the 6th against Adams as Leonardo Reginatto doubled in a run and scored to extend the lead to 5-1.
Hurlbut, meanwhile, settled in. He retired 13 in a row before Tyler Wade blooped a single into center. Donovan Solano followed with another bloop hit to put runners at the corners. Hurlbut then got Holliday to line out to end the threat.
A one-out walk in the 7th chased Hurlbut from the game. Drew Rucinski entered and tossed 1.2 perfect innings while Michael Tonkin fired a 1-2-3 9th inning to secure the win.
Rochester tallied 11 hits as four different Wings had multiple hits, including Recker who drove in two runs.
The Red Wings finish the 2017 regular season with four games at Frontier Field against the Pawtucket Red Sox. Lehigh Valley will host Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in four games to end the year. A combination of three Rochester wins and IronPigs losses means the Wings will clinch a playoff spot for the first time since 2013.
Next Home Game: The Red Wings end the regular season home schedule with four games against Pawtucket (Red Sox) on Friday, September 1 at 7:05 p.m. at Frontier Field.