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Red Wings Rally Falls Short In Buffalo, 6-5

Wood Doubles Twice to Tie IL Lead, Yepez and Lindsly Post Multi-Hit Performances
(Ethan Bissinger)
April 9, 2024

In the opening tilt of a six-game set at Buffalo, the Rochester Red Wings dropped a close one-run battle with the Bisons, 6-5. LF James Wood continued his production on offense with two doubles, one of which came off the bat at 109.8 MPH for the Wing's hardest-hit base knock

In the opening tilt of a six-game set at Buffalo, the Rochester Red Wings dropped a close one-run battle with the Bisons, 6-5. LF James Wood continued his production on offense with two doubles, one of which came off the bat at 109.8 MPH for the Wing's hardest-hit base knock of the season. C Brady Lindsly and 2B Darren Baker also recorded two hits apiece, with Lindsly knocking in a run and Baker driving in a pair.

Rochester jumped on the Bisons’ pitching in the first inning. Wood slapped a ball down the left-field line and hustled into second for his fourth double of the season with one out. Two batters later, RF Travis Blankenhorn drove him in with a hard-hit single to center field. That would be all for the Rochester offense in the opening frame, with the Wings gaining a 1-0 lead.

Red Wing pitching ran into trouble in the bottom half of the first. The first three Bison batters reached base, 1B Spencer Horwitz and LF Rafael Lantigua on walks and CF Nathan Lukes on a hit-by-pitch. With the bases loaded, DH Addison Barger grounded into a force-out but was able to score Horwitz in the process. However, Rochester would induce a double play, limiting the damage with the score tied at one after an inning.

The Bisons would continue their momentum in the bottom of the second as RF Will Robertson roped a double into the left-center field gap with one out. C Payton Henry then dunked a single into right field to score Robertson, giving Buffalo a 2-1 lead. Lukes then flared a broken-bat single in shallow left, increasing the Buffalo lead to two runs heading into the third inning.

The Wings cut into the Buffalo lead in the fourth, kicked off by a one-out walk from DH Carter Kieboom. After a ground ball moved him into scoring position, Lindsly laced a fastball off the base of the wall down the left-field line to trim the Bisons' lead to one.

James Wood started the fifth inning with a scorching 109.8 MPH double into the right-center field gap, his second two-bagger of the game. A batter later, 1B Juan Yepez knocked him in with a line drive up the middle, tying the game at three runs apiece while sneaking into second on the throw at the plate. The scoring threat would end there after Buffalo’s pitching produced a trio of flyouts, keeping the score tied at three after four and a half innings of play.

Robertson answered with a hard hit of his own in the bottom of the sixth inning, a 106.0 MPH solo home run to center field. The long ball was his third of the season and third hit of the game, giving Buffalo a 4-3 advantage at the end of six innings.

The Bisons added a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh, started by a SS Leo Jimenez walk and a Horwitz single up the middle. A passed ball then allowed the two baserunners to move up 90 feet, putting the pair at second and third with one out. Lantigua then chopped a ground ball to third with the infield in, he was subsequently thrown out at first but Jimenez came around to score on the play. Barger followed up with a two-out single to center field that plated Horwitz. The two-out scoring threat continued, as 2B Orelvis Martinez ripped a double to left field and 3B Damiano Palmegiani took ball four to load the bases, but LHP Joe La Sorsa was able to escape the jam with a strikeout. When the dust settled, the Bisons found themselves with a 6-3 lead heading into the eighth inning.

Not going down without a fight, the Rochester offense responded immediately in the top of the eighth. Kieboom walked for the second time, and SS Jack Dunn followed behind him, hustling down the line for an infield single. Lindsly then grounded out, but the Bisons only had the play at first, setting up runners at second and third for Baker. He took advantage of the scoring opportunity, clearing the bases on a grounder through the left side and making it a one-run ballgame at 6-5 in favor of the Bisons.

After holding the Bisons scoreless in the bottom of the eighth, the Wings offense came up short in the ninth, going down in order and falling in game one of the series by one run.

RHP Thaddeus Ward took the ball for his second start of the season with Rochester, coming off 4.0 scoreless innings in his Triple-A debut. The former Boston Red Sox draft pick hurled 3.2 innings, allowing three earned runs on five hits with three walks and a pair of strikeouts. LHP Richard Bleier took the ball first in relief with two outs in the fourth, recording the final out of the inning, and finished his outing with a scoreless fifth while striking out one. RHP Amos Willingham followed with 1.2 innings, surrendering three earned runs on four hits while walking two and striking out one. La Sorsa pitched the last out of the seventh and later worked a 1-2-3 bottom of the eighth, ending his night with three strikeouts while facing the minimum.

Tuesday night’s Diamond Pro Player of the Game goes to RF James Wood. The Nationals' No. 2 ranked prospect ( roped a pair of doubles and finished the night 2-for-5 with two runs scored and a pair of doubles. The two-baggers were his fourth and fifth of the season, the most on the team, and tied for most in the International League.

Rochester returns to action Wednesday night at Sahlen Field, looking to pick up their first win of the series. RHP Robert Gsellman takes the ball for the Red Wings in what will be his first start in MiLB since June 29, 2022, with Triple-A Iowa (CHC). First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m.

Find the box score attached here.