Red Wings bring their A-game in 10-0 season opening win
Syracuse, NY - The Red Wings pounded out 12 hits, including a grand slam by Ben Paulsen, in a 10-0 win over the Syracuse Chiefs Saturday afternoon in Syracuse. It was the season opener for both teams, who meet again Sunday in a 1:05 p.m. doubleheader.
After stranding two runners in the top of the first inning, the Red Wings took the lead in the second against Joe Ross. Daniel Palka led off with a single, and came around to score on a double by Mitch Garver.
The Wings loaded the bases against Ross in the top of the third, combining a single and two walks with two out. Garver drilled a two-run double to left, boosting the Wings' lead to 3-0 and chasing Ross from the mound in favor of Neal Cotts. The Wings picked up another run on a fielding error, making the score 4-0.
Ross threw 75 pitches in 2.2 innings pitched, 47 for strikes; he allowed six hits, four runs (three earned), and three walks while striking out three.
Berrios set down the first seven Chiefs batters he faced, but a walk and a double put runners at second and third with two outs in the third inning. Berrios struck out Brian Goodwin to end the threat and the inning.
Through six innings Saturday, Berrios allowed three hits and a walk to go with seven strikeouts. Berrios came into the game with a 3-0 record and a 1.41 ERA in four previous starts against Syracuse.
In the top of the seventh against Dustin Antolin, the Wings loaded the bases with none out. Palka stroked a single up the middle to bring in a run, and a walk to Garver forced in another run and made the score 6-0. Michael Broadway relieved Antolin, and Paulsen launched a 2-2 pitch over the right field wall for a grand slam and a 10-0 Wings lead.
Berrios (1-0) worked six strong innings, allowing three hits and a walk to go with seven strikeouts. Berrios threw 77 pitches, 48 for strikes. D.J. Baxendale took over in the seventh inning for Rochester.
Baxendale struck out three and allowed one hit in three relief innings, picking up the save.
The Red Wings out-hit the Chiefs 12-4. Garver finished 2-for-2 with four RBI and a run scored, Hague had three hits, and ByungHo Park and Palka each had two hits.
The game time temperature was 41° with a wind chill factor of 33°, so Chiefs GM Jason Smoral's "53° Guarantee" fell far short; this puts the Red Wings in good shape for our own "50° Guarantee" at the Friday, April 14 home opener at Frontier Field. Check out the heightened stakes in the Battle of Thruway GM's in this video...The first pitch of the 2017 Red Wings season: a strike from Joe Ross to J.B. Shuck at 1:05 p.m....Tommy Field recorded the Wings' first hit, a one-out single off Joe Ross in the first inning...Pitchers Nick Greenwood, Yohan Pino, Jake Reed, and outfielders Ryan Strausborger and Zach Granite open the season on the Red Wings disabled list...SS Niko Goodrum went 1-for-5 with an infield hit in his Triple-A debut.
The Chiefs roster includes pitching coach Bob Milacki, who pitched for the Red Wings in 1988 and 1992... The Wings beat the Chiefs 7-4 in 2012, the last time the teams opened their season together in Syracuse. SS Brian Dozier was the Wings' lead-off hitter in that game, and RHP P.J. Walters was the starting pitcher...Only three players - Jose Berrios, Buddy Boshers and Kennys Vargas- on the 2017 Opening Day roster were with Rochester to begin the season last year. However, 15 of the 25 players on the active roster spent time with the Red Wings at some point last season...
At 22, Jose Berrios is the youngest Red Wings Opening Day starter since Rocky Coppinger in 1996...16 Wings have MLB experience; eight are on their first Triple-A Opening Day roster; 10 have never played in the International League... Former Red Wing Tommy Watkins won his managerial debit Friday, as Class A Cedar Rapids beat Beloit 4-0 in the first game of a doubleheader to open the season. Beloit beat the Kernels 3-2 in the second game Friday..
Express Mart Thruway Cup Series: The Red Wings are now 1-0 in the season-long competition for the Thruway Cup
The Messenger Post Media Pics of the Day: check out photo galleries from Opening Day in Syracuse in our Multimedia section.
Next up: RHP Nick Tepesch starts for the Wings against Chiefs RHP Jacob Turner in the first game of a doubleheader Sunday at 1:05 p.m. game.
April 9 DH at Syracuse 1:05 p.m. RHP Nick Tepesch vs. RHP Jacob Turner; TBA vs. RHP Taylor Hill
April 10 at Buffalo 1:05 p.m. LHP Jason Wheeler vs. LHP T.J. House
April 11 at Buffalo 1:05 p.m. RHP Aaron Slegers vs. RHP Jarrett Grube
Next Home Game: Opening Day Friday, April 14 vs. Syracuse Chiefs (Nationals) at Frontier Field, 1:35 p.m.
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