Wings rally to defeat Herd, stretch Wild Card lead to three
The Rochester Red Wings rallied to beat the Buffalo Bisons 4-3 Sunday afternoon at Frontier Field. The win, coupled with Lehigh Valley's loss in Pawtucket, increased the Wings' lead to three games in the wild card playoff race. The Red Wings return home Sept 1-4 to host the Pawtucket Red Sox, the final four games of the regular season.
The Bisons scored single runs off Red Wings starter Aaron Slegers in the first and second innings, one of them coming on a home run by Shane Opitz.
In the bottom of the second inning against Bisons starter Chris Rowley, Leonardo Reginatto's double scored Niko Goodrum to bring the Wings within a run at 2-1. The hit, Reginatto's ninth of the homestand, increased his hitting streak to six games.
Opitz added an RBI single in the fourth inning, making the score 3-1 Bisons.
Anthony Recker's RBI hit brought home Goodrum in the bottom of the sixth, after Goodrum had singled and stolen second base. The hit closed the gap to a run at 3-2.
Slegers struck out seven in the first six innings without a walk, allowing five hits. Working into the seventh inning for the 12th time in 22 starts, Slegers fanned the side to give him a season-high and career-tying 10 strikeouts.
The Wings took the lead in the bottom of the seventh on a strange combination of events. Engelb Vielma singled with two outs, followed by a single by Daniel Palka. Rowley backed up third base on an overthrow after an attempt to nab Vielma at third base; Vielma was safe, and Rowley threw wildly to second in an attempt to get Palka advancing. Vielma scored easily on the throwing error, and Palka came all the way around to score as well - putting the Wings on top 4-3.
Slegers worked 8.0 innings, with five hits and three earned runs allowed and 10 strikeouts. He did not walk a batter, and threw 101 pitches - 73 for strikes.
Michael Tonkin pitched the ninth inning, getting three quick outs to seal the victory and record his fifth save.
Winning Pitcher: Slegers (14-4)
Losing Pitcher: Rowley (3-5)
Save: Tonkin (5)
Box Score - Click here for the box score and play-by-play narrative.
Express Mart Thruway Cup Series: The Red Wings finish the season 23-11 against Buffalo and Syracuse to win the season-long competition for the Thruway Cup.
NOTES: Red Wings hitting coach Chad Allen was ejected by home plate umpire Robert Moreno during the Wings' at-bat in the sixth inning...With his 14th win of the season, Aaron Slegers took over the league lead in wins and became the first Red Wings right-hander with at least 14 wins since Mike Parrott won 15 games in 1977.