Sean Burroughs' eighth-inning double rallied the Red Wings to a 5-4 win over the Louisville Bats Tuesday night at Frontier Field. Baseball Month in Rochester continues when the teams meet in a 7:05 p.m. start Wednesday.
After a scoreless first inning for both teams, Bill Rhinehart led off the top of the second inning by launching a home run to right field, giving the Bats an early 1-0 lead. Despite allowing the solo shot, Luke French proved to be in control as he retired six of the first eight batters he faced. The Red Wings couldn't respond with any offense of their own in the bottom of the second, and the Bats added more runs to their tally in the third inning.
In the top of the third, Brian Peacock led off the inning with a double and Willie Harris ripped a double of his own to score Peacock, giving the Bats a 2-0 lead over Rochester. Harris then advanced to third base after Kristopher Negron hit a deep sacrifice fly to left field. Danny Valencia then made a gold glove worthy play at third base as he dove to snag a line-drive off the bat of Denis Phipps, giving the Red Wings out number two of the inning. Despite getting Rhinehart to strike out swinging in the next at bat, a wild pitch on the strikeout allowed Harris to score from third base, making the lead 3-0 in favor of Louisville. However, Rhinehart was then caught stealing at second base as Rene Rivera tossed him out to end the top of the third inning.
Trailing by three runs in the bottom of the third inning, the Red Wings' offense began to come to life. Rivera and Ben Revere began the inning with consecutive singles, sparking the Rochester offense. A sacrifice bunt to third base from Pedro Florimon gave the Red Wings runners on second and third base with only one out. The sacrifice proved to be worthwhile as a ground out from Wilkin Ramirez allowed Rivera to score, cutting the Bats lead to 3-1 before the inning ended.
French shut down the Bats' offense in the top of the fourth, getting through the inning unscathed with a speedy 1-2-3 inning. In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Red Wings' bats stayed hot as Valencia started the inning with a single. Matt Carson then ripped a double to the gap in right-center field, improving his current hitting streak to 10 games while allowing Valencia to score. A line-out to left field from Burroughs then brought Tsuyoshi Nishioka to the plate for the second time in his first game back from the disabled list. Nishioka then hit a line drive to center field and Phipps reeled in out number two of the inning with a diving catch in which he injured himself. While Phipps was injured on the ground, Carson tagged up from second base and came all the way around to score, tying the game at three and giving Nishioka an RBI. Rivera then flied out to Felix Perez in left field to end the inning for the Red Wings.
The tie between the two teams didn't last for long as Perez led off the top of the fifth with a walk issued by French. French then struck out Peacock to seemingly regain his groove, but then issued another walk, this time to Harris. With runners on first and second, Negron connected on an RBI single, scoring Perez and giving Louisville a 4-3 lead. Neftali Soto, the replacement in the lineup for Phipps, then singled off of French to keep the Bats' rally alive. However, a double play off the bat of Rhinehart then stopped the Bats' rally in its tracks. A 1-2-3 inning from the Red Wings' offense in the bottom of the fifth kept the score at 4-3 in favor of the Bats going into the sixth inning.
In the top of the sixth, Esmerling Vasquez replaced French on the bump, and got through the sixth inning without allowing any runs and only one hit. Rochester couldn't create any offensive sparks in the bottom of the sixth as they recorded another 1-2-3 inning.
Vasquez again held Louisville scoreless in the top of the seventh. In the bottom of the same inning, singles from Nishioka and Revere eventually led to Nick Christiani replacing starter Pedro Villareal with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. With Nishioka and Revere on first and second, respectively, Christiani forced Florimon to fly-out to left field to end the inning for Rochester.
In the top of the eighth, Vasquez again held the Louisvile offense scoreless, this time for the third consecutive inning, to keep the score at 4-3 going into the bottom of the eighth. Knowing that the pressure was on with only six more offensive outs remaining, the Red Wings rose to the occasion in the bottom of the eighth. Wilkin Ramirez and Clete Thomas led the inning off with back-to-back singles, igniting the Red Wings' offense. After both runners advanced to third and second base, respectively, on the throw to third base on Thomas' single, Rochester had two runners in scoring position with no outs. Valencia then slapped a hard hit ball to first base, allowing Ramirez to score from third, tying the game at four, and advancing Thomas to third base in the process. Thomas was then thrown out at home plate after Carson hit a ball to third base, reaching base safely due to the fielder's choice. Burroughs then roped a double to the corner in left field to score Carson from first base, giving the Red Wings their first lead of the game at a score of 5-4. Nishioka was then intentionally walked to force the double play opportunity for Louisville, but the plan backfired as Rivera was hit by a pitch the following at-bat, loading the bases for Rochester. However, a line-drive to first from Revere ended the inning for the Red Wings.
Tyler Roberston came on to relieve Vasquez in the top of the ninth inning, and the lefty specialist struck out Danny Dorn in his one out of work. Casey Fien came into the game with one out in the top of the ninth, and secured the Rochested victory by allowing no hits and no runs, earning himself the save and the Red Wings a 5-4 victory.