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Buffalo deals blow to Wings playoff hopes, Rochester falls 3-0
The Buffalo Bisons scored early and beat the Rochester Red Wings 3-0 Saturday night at Frontier Field, in the final home game of the regular season. Syracuse beat Pawtucket Saturday, so the Wings remain two games behind the PawSox while the Bisons have pulled within a game and a half of Pawtucket. To grab the wild card spot, the Red Wings will need to beat Pawtucket in Rhode Island the next two days, and have Buffalo lose one of their two remaining games at Syracuse.
Coming into Saturday's game, the Red Wings controlled their wild card playoff chances. Wins in each of their final three games would clinch the wild card spot, regardless of what any opponent did. Right-hander Alex Meyer started for the Wings Saturday, making his fifth start against the Bisons this season (one loss, three no decisions).
The Bisons took an early lead for the second straight night, taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on a sacrifice fly by Cole Gilliespie.
In the second inning, things quickly took a downward turn for Meyer and the Wings. Meyer walked Dan Johnson, and Matt Hague followed with a double. Meyer, whose velocity appeared to be down from his usual numbers, had a mound meeting and then was lifted from the game. Mark Hamburger took over for Meyer, and the Bisons added another run on a sacrifice fly to take a 3-0 lead.
Meyer (7-7) was charged with three runs (two earned) and allowed two hits and a walk with no strikeouts. He threw 28 pitches, 15 for strikes in his shortest outing of the year, and the only start in which he did not strike out a batter.
Buffalo starter Brad Mills worked around a walk in each of the first two innings, before Eric Farris and Chris Herrmann hit back-to-back singles with one out in the third inning. Josmil Pinto grounded into a double play which ended the threat and sent play to the fourth inning.
Pressed into an unexpected early appearance, Hamburger excelled - striking out six and not allowing a hit until Brett Wallace singled with two outs in the sixth inning. Hamburger also made a nice defensive play in the seventh, leaping high to snag a line drive hit by Ryan Goins.
Through six innings, Mills (2-1) had allowed just the two singles in the third inning, along with three walks. In the bottom of the seventh, Chris Colabello led off with a double to give the Wings a scoring opportunity. Deibinson Romero grounded out to third, and Goins took away a hit from Wilkin Ramirez with a great defensive play at shortstop. Pedro Florimon lined out to left to end the inning.
Mills allowed just three hits in seven scoreless innings, walking three and striking out four. He threw 76 pitches, 47 for strikes. Blue Jays pitcher Brandon Morrow, who joined the Bisons on rehab assignment Saturday, pitched the eighth inning and allowed an infield single to Farris. Goins made another leaping catch to rob Herrmann of a second hit to end the eighth inning.
Hamburger's relief performance was outstanding: seven shutout innings, with just two hits and a walk allowed. Hambruger struck out six while throwing 86 pitches, 55 for strikes. Deolis Guerra worked the ninth for the Wings.
All-Star reliever and former Wing Bobby Korecky pitched the ninth for the Bisons. With two outs, Daniel Ortiz blooped a pinch-hit single to put runners at the corners for Florimon, who flew out to left to end the game.