Red Wings eliminated from playoff contention, 7-1
The Lehigh Valley IronPigs used a five-run first inning to top the Red Wings 7-1 Friday night at Frontier Field. The standing room only crowd of 12,889 was the largest home crowd since the final game of the 2009 season.
The loss eliminated the Wings from wild card playoff contention, with just three games left in the regular season.
Red Wings starter Jason Wheeler set down the first batter he faced, then got into a bases loaded situation after a single, hit batter, and walk. A single to right field by Cam Perkins drove in two runs for an early 2-0 Lehigh Valley lead. Another walk loaded the bases again, and a two-run single from Brock Stassi boosted the lead to 4-0. A run-scoring single from Cedric Hunter put the Wings in a 5-0 deficit, and chased Wheeler from the game with D.J. Baxendale taking over. Baxendale got a strikeout and flyout to end the scoring. Wheeler was charged with five earned runs with two walks and four hits in 0.1 innings pitched.
IronPigs starter Ben Lively took the mound after a lengthy top of the first inning, but easily set down the Wings in order in the bottom of the first.
Nick Williams extended the IronPigs lead to 6-0 by launching a long home run off the scoreboard in right field. Andrew Knapp followed that up with a double down the right field line, setting up Lehigh Valley again in the second inning. But Baxendale worked around the one-out double and got some help in the form of a nice running catch from Adam Brett Walker to keep the deficit at six.
The bottom of the second inning ended with John Ryan Murphy striking out looking. He took exception to the call and was ejected from the game. Mike Quade then came over to have a conversation with home plate umpire, Jeremie Rehak, and quickly joined Murphy with an ejection of his own. Mitch Garver came in and took over for Murphy as the catcher in the top of the third.
Baxendale returned for the third inning after all the ejections and worked the first 1-2-3 inning of the night for the Wings keeping the score at 6-0.
Although the score remained 6-0 for the IronPigs, the Red Wings continued to make stellar plays in the field. The fifth started with a tremendous scoop and throw by Wilfredo Tovar and the inning ended with a beautiful diving play from Tommy Field.
Through five innings, Lively had struck out nine and not allowed a hit. The only baserunner he allowed was Walker, who reached on an error in the second inning.
Baxendale provided 4.2 relief innings, allowing three hits and striking out four. Neil Ramirez took over to start the sixth inning. Ramirez struck out the first two batters he faced, and Tanner English made a long running catch in center to take away a hit from Taylor Featherston.
Ramirez struck out four and allowed a hit in 1.2 innings on the mound, with Jake Reed coming out of the bullpen with two outs in the seventh.
Lively had set down 14 straight Red Wings to finish his time on the mound. He threw 79 pitches - 57 for strikes - in his six hitless innings, with 10 strikeouts. Joely Rodriguez took over mound duties to start the bottom of the seventh inning. Rodriguez walked Reynaldo Rodriguez, then got help from shortstop J.P. Crawford - who took away a hit from Kennys Vargas with a great play, which turned into an inning-ending double play.
The IronPigs picked up a run in the top of the eighth after an RBI single from Jesmuel Valentin. In the bottom of the eighth, Joely Rodriguez set down the first two batters, walked Mitch Garver, then struck out Tovar to keep the Wings hitless through eight,
Alan Busenitz pitched the ninth inning, setting down the side. With Elvis Araujo on the mound in the bottom of the ninth, English lofted a long flyball to left, which was caught by the warning track. Field grounded out, and James Beresford worked Araujo for a walk. Beresford took second on indifference, and Rodriguez drilled a single to end the no-hitter and shutout.
Winning Pitcher: Lively (11-5)
Losing Pitcher: Wheeler (11-6)
NOTES: The last time the Red Wings were no-hit was on Sept. 3, 2006 when Jeremy Cummings did it at Frontier Field while pitching for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre...The Red Wings announced their 2017 schedule on Friday, with a home opener scheduled for April 14. Click here for all the details...Because of Wednesday's weather delay fans can use their August 31 dated tickets as a rain check for either the Sept. 1 or 2 home game, or any April or May 2017 home game. Call the ticket office at 423-WING (9464) for more information...LHP Buddy Boshers was recalled from his rehab assignment with the Red Wings and joined theTwins in Minneapolis.