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Double domination: Wings sweep double header with pair of 6-1 wins
The Red Wings swept the Buffalo Bisons in a Sunday doubleheader at Frontier Field. Brad Nelson smacked a pair of homers to back Kris Johnson's complete game effort in a 6-1 game one win; a six-run first inning and a strong start from Mark Hamburger gave the Wings a matching 6-1 victory in the nightcap. The series continues with a 7:05 p.m. game Monday; the first 500 kids age 12 and under get a free hot dog, snack and drink.
After using a total of seven pitchers in a 16-inning contest Saturday night, the Wings sent in left-hander Kris Johnson for the first game of the doubleheader. Entering the contest, Johnson was undefeated at home, going 4-0 at Frontier Field with a 2.20 ERA over 5 starts. He last pitched against the Bisons on June 20 when he yielded seven hits and three runs in 6 2/3 innings of work, but he held a 4-2 all-time record in 10 career games against Buffalo heading into Sunday's game.
Deck McGuire got the nod for the Bisons coming off a no-decision Tuesday in Syracuse where he allowed two home runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings of work. He last pitched against the Wings on June 21, also in the first game of a doubleheader, when he conceded seven hits in 6 innings.
After Daniel Ortiz doubled to lead off the Wings' half of the second inning, Brad Nelson floated a 1-0 pitch over the fence in right-center, his fourth homer of the season, to give the Wings a 2-0 lead.
The Bisons mounted their first offensive threat in the top of the fourth when Kevin Pillar led off with a single. He advanced to second on a wild pitch and then to third when Eric Kratz grounded out. Dan Johnson walked to give the Bisons runners on first and third, but A.J. Jimenez popped up to Deibinson Romero to end the inning and strand the runners.
The Wings offense came alive in the bottom of the sixth. Romero led off with a single before Wilkin Ramirez blasted one to left field, his third home run of the season. Then, still with no outs and Ortiz on base, Nelson hit his second home run of the game to put the Wings ahead 6-0.
Austin Bibens-Dirkx came in to pitch the end of the sixth inning for the Bisons. McGuire allowed nine hits and six runs, including three home runs, in 5 1/3 innings.
Jimenez homered in the top of the seventh to give the Bisons their only run of the game.
Johnson pitched all seven innings and allowed just two hits, an earned run and a walk to go with five strikeouts.
Game One Box Score
Mark Hamburger was called up from the New Britain Rock Cats Sunday morning to start the second game of the doubleheader, his third appearance for the Wings this season and first start. He has pitched 16 innings in New Britain this season, posting a 3.38 ERA.
The Bisons sent southpaw Raul Valdes to the mound for the second game, who is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA as a starter this season. He last pitched against Scranton-Wilkes Barre, allowing five hits and a run in five innings of work while striking out seven.
Pillar and Cory Aldridge both singled in the top of the first before Dan Johnson did the same to plate Pillar and give Buffalo an early 1-0 lead with runners still on first and second. Pedro Florimon, James Beresford, and Nelson then teamed up and turned a double play off Kratz to get out of the inning.
The Wings countered in a big way in their half of the first. Beresford singled and stole second before Valdes walked Ramirez. Ortiz singled to bring home Beresford and Nelson also produced a base hit to plate Ramirez and, on an error by the Bisons catcher, Ortiz, giving the Wings a 3-1 lead. After Eric Farris gave the Wings their fourth single of the inning, Nate Hanson hit his first homer since joining the Wings to give his team three more runs. The Wings' batted through their entire lineup in the inning, with Florimon, the lead-off hitter, grounding to third base for the final out.
Valdes was yanked after giving up six hits and six runs in the first inning and was replaced by Mike Zagurski in the bottom of the second.
The Bisons got into scoring position again in the top of the fourth when Kratz doubled after Johnson had walked to give Buffalo runners on second and third with no outs, but three consecutive pop-outs got the Wings out of danger.
Hamburger provided exactly what the Wings needed badly: solid innings on the mound. He worked five innings, allowing just the first inning run while scattering five hits and a walk. He struck out four. Ryan Pressly came on to start the sixth for the Red Wings. He allowed a single to the first batter he faced, then retired the next three batters - two with strikeouts.