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Red Wings get crucial 5-4 comeback win

Doug Bernier's two-run double in the eighth inning rallied the Rochester Red Wings to a 5-4 win over the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Yankees) RailRiders Sunday afternoon at Frontier Field. With Pawtucket's loss to Buffalo, those two teams are in a virtual tie for the wild card spot while the Wings are just 1 1/2 games out of the wild card spot.

The Wings close the series against the RailRiders on Monday evening with a 7:05 p.m. start. It's the final Season Seat Holder Redemption Game, and the final Kids Eat Free Monday - plus post-game fireworks. Complete promotions details below...

Tyler Duffey started on the mound for the Wings, coming in with with a 2-0 record and 3.00 ERA. The righty last appeared on Tuesday against Buffalo and recorded his second straight quality start. He allowed just two runs on six hits in six innings to pick up his second Triple-A win in as many starts.

His mound opponent, right-hander Zach Nuding, was making his second start against Rochester this season. In his first appearance on May 24, he tossed eight scoreless innings and alllowed just three hits with six strikeouts. In his seven Triple-A starts, however, Nuding has compiled a 1-3 record with a 5.45 ERA.

The RailRiders took an 3-0 early lead in the top of the first inning. Jose Pirela singled to left field then Ramon Flores homered to the Wings' bullpen in right field. Duffey walked Rob Refsnyder, who later scored on a double to the left-center field gap.

Pedro Florimon started the Wings' offense in the first inning by beating out a groundball to shortstop. It looked like the Wings would put two runs on the scoreboard, but Pirela held onto a Josmil Pinto flyball as he ran into the left-center field wall.

Daniel Ortiz closed in on the RailRiders' lead with a solo home run, also to the Wings' bullpen, to make it 3-1 in the second inning. It was Ortiz's eighth homer of the year. Eric Farris and Aaron Hicks strung together two singles, but James Beresford left the pair on base by striking out looking.

The Wings set up another chance to catch up to the RailRiders in the third inning. Pinto started a two-out rally with a walk and Chris Colabello followed up with a single to center field. Ortiz, however, popped out to center field to end the inning and that opportunity.

Since the four-hit, three-run first inning, Duffey settled down, holding the RailRiders to one hit with three walks and three strikeouts through the fourth inning. Lester Oliveros came in to replace Duffey on the mound at the top of the fifth inning. Oliveros also didn't get off to a great start, allowing a double down the right-field line and a walk, but then he retired three in a row, including two strikeouts.

Oliveros gave up just one hit in the top of the sixth inning before Chris Herrmann made a good defensive play in right field, throwing out Pirela, who was aggressively running for home. That would be the extent of Oliveros' time on the mound for the day. In two innings, he allowed three hits and one walk with two strikeouts.

Chase Whitley came in to pitch for the RailRiders in the bottom of the sixth. Ortiz sparked the Wings' offense with a single to right field and Farris continued the trend with a single of his own to center field. Hicks and Bernier, however, both struck out and Beresford grounded out right back to the pitcher. The RailRiders still led 3-1.

It was a quick 1-2-3 top of the seventh when Aaron Thompson took the mound. The southpaw struck out Refsnyder, but allowed a single. The Wings then turned a double play. Both pitchers retired three straight opponents from the bottom of the seventh to the top of the eighth.

The RailRiders sent in Nick Rumbelow in the bottom of the eighth. Colabello led off with a single to right field that landed in front of a diving Flores. Colabello made it around the bases after an Ortiz groundout, and a Farris single up the middle. Hicks walked, and Bernier drilled a double over the head of Pirela in center - bringing home Farris and Hicks for a 4-3 Wings lead. Beresford doubled off the wall in right field, bringing in Bernier to make it 5-3.

The RailRiders took Rumbelow out after the Beresford hit, replacing him with Edgmer Escalona. Florimon flew out to left for out number two, then Escalona walked Herrmann to put runners at first and second with two out. Escalona caught Pinto looking at a third strike to end the inning.

Stephen Pryor came in the top of the ninth to close for the Wings. With two outs, Flores homered to right field, but the Wings persevered, winning 5-4.

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Washington Times