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Red Wings begin home stretch with win
Eric Fryer's two-run double keyed a four-run fifth inning, leading the first place Red Wings to a 7-3 win over the Louisville Bats Saturday night at Frontier Field. With the win and second place Pawtucket's loss to Buffalo, the Wings now hold a two-game lead over the PawSox. The series continnues Sunday night with a 6:05 p.m. game; the gates open at 4:30 p.m. for a cooking demonstration with celebrity chef Carla Hall, plus post-game fireworks on Wegmans Nite.
Scott Diamond made his first home start since being optioned to Rochester from the Twins on August 1. Diamond worked an effective, six-pitch first inning on Saturday, getting a pop out and two ground outs. Diamond's mound opponent, former Wing Yohan Pino, allowed a pair of singles to Darin Mastroianni and Eduardo Escobar. Pino then got a pair of outs, but Jeff Clement stroked an opposite field single to score Mastroianni and put Rochester ahead 1-0.
Louisville got a run back in the top of the second inning, taking advantage of a fielding error by third baseman Deibinson Romero on a ball hit by Denis Phipps. Henry Rodriguez followed with a ground rule double, and Mike Hessman's sacrifice fly scored Phipps to tie the score at 1-1. Rochester second baseman James Beresford made a leaping grab on a line drive over his head to end the inning following Diamond's strikeout of Felix Perez.
The Red Wings responded in the bottom of the second inning to retake a one-run lead. With two outs, Fryerdoubled into the gap in left center field. Mastroianni followed with a base hit up the middle, allowing Fryer to score from second, and giving Rochester a 2-1 lead.
In the top of the third, the Bats' bats came to life as Billy Hamilton sparked the offense with a one-out single. After Hamilton swiped second base, his 71st stolen base of the season, Derrick Robinson then singled to score Hamilton from second and tie the game at two. After a Neftali Soto flyout, Denis Phipps launched a double to the center field wall that scored Robinson, giving the Bats their first lead of the game. Fortunately for Rochester, Phipps was greedy and was thrown out trying to stretch his hit into a triple, as an 8-4-5 relay ended the top of the third.
The Red Wings trailed 3-2 until the bottom of the fifth inning, when the Wings put together an offensive explosion. In his first game back in Rochester since being optioned on Friday, Chris Colabello ignited the Wings' rally with a one-out double off the left field wall. Clement then drew a walk to give to give Rochester runners on first and second with just one out. Romero singled to left field and Colabello rounded third on the play, but was thrown out at home for the second out of the inning. However, the Wings offense didn't quit there as Beresford and Eric Farris smacked consecutive RBI singles to give the Wings a 4-3 lead. Fryer then roped a two-out, two-run double down the left field line, pushing the lead to 6-3 for Rochester through five innings of action.
After an error and a single allowed the first two batters to reach base to start the sixth inning, Diamond was relieved by A.J. Achter. Diamond finished the night having allowed just three runs (two earned) in five innings of work while scattering seven hits. Achter continued his dominant streak as of late, forcing a fly out before striking out the following two hitters to put a damper on the Bats rally. In the seventh inning, Achter allowed two hits but worked himself out of a jam, holding the Bats scoreless once again. With the scoreless two-inning performance, Achter has allowed just two earned runs and seven hits in his last 17 2/3 innings of relief.
In the bottom of the seventh, Romero led off the inning with a walk. The following two batters, Beresford and Farris, both grounded out, but Fryer stepped up once again as he delivered a two-out RBI single to increase the Rochester lead to 7-3 through seven innings.