Red Wings pick up big 3-2 win in Lehigh Valley
ALLENTOWN, PA - Byungho Park broke a tie with a two-out solo home run in the eighth inning and the Rochester Red Wings beat the Lehigh Valley IronPigs 3-2 Friday night at Coca-Cola Park.
Park's homer was his 10th since joining the Red Wings (65-49) but his first in five games after homering three times in a game on July 28 at Pawtucket. His 10 home runs rank him third on the team despite playing in just 27 games. The South Korean-slugger's blast was to the opposite field against IronPigs (68-45) reliever Colton Murray (1-2).
Nick Greenwood (3-2) earned the win after allowing two runs and scattering eight hits with two strikeouts. One of the runs was unearned after a passed ball in the third frame.
Rochester struck first against Lehigh Valley starter Anthony Vasquez. Vasquez started in place of Jake Thompson who will make his major league debut on Saturday for Philadelphia. Trevor Plouffe doubled with two outs and scored on a single by Park. The game remained 1-0 until the passed ball in the third tied the game.
The Wings didn't trail for long as Adam Brett Walker crushed a mammoth home run to straightaway center field to open the top of the fourth inning giving Rochester a 2-1 advantage. The home run was measured, according to the Lehigh Valley broadcast, at over 430 feet. Walker's blast was his International League-leading 22nd of the season.
The IronPigs tied the game in the fifth inning but it could have been much worse for Greenwood and the Red Wings. Cedric Hunter opened the inning with a double and moved to third on a bloop single to right field by Jesmuel Valentin. With runners at the corners and nobody out, Darnell Sweeney grounded into a fielder's choice to score Hunter and the game was tied at 2-2. Greenwood got the next batter to ground into a double play to end the inning.
Ryan O'Rourke took over for the Wings after Park's homer in the eighth. The lefty needed only 10 pitches to retire the IronPigs in order while striking out a pair. Pat Light earned his first save with Rochester with a perfect ninth inning. Between Greenwood, O'Rourke and Light, the final 10 Lehigh Valley batters were retired.
Park was the lone Wing with two hits. He factored in all three runs, driving in two while scoring the other.
The win moves Rochester within 3.5 games of the IronPigs for the wild card lead. Division-leading Scranton/Wilkes-Barre also won Friday night so the Red Wings remain 5.5 games behind in the North.