It took 18 days, two stadiums and two pitchers, but the Red Wings finished a no-hitter against the Durham Bulls with six nearly perfect innings from Logan Darnell Monday night. The 3-0 win was the first of two as Rochester swept by winning the originally scheduled game 5-4. It was only a seven-inning contest.
This was a resumption of a game started back on July 24, suspended by rain with the Wings leading 1-0 and the Bulls coming to bat in the bottom of the fourth as the "home" team. Trevor May pitched the first three innings back in July. Darnell, making his first start at Frontier Field in over a month, took over for the Wings in the bottom of the 4th. Doug Mathis started on the mound for Durham, opposite Darnell.
The Red Wings scored the first run in the game in the 3rd inning, when James Beresford drove in Doug Bernier on a single. Beresford started the game 2-2, recording two singles before the rain stopped play.
Darnell worked a 1-2-3 4th inning, striking out Jeremy Moore to end the inning, keeping the Bulls hitless.
The Wings struck first on this day as well. Beresford doubled to lead-off the top of the sixth, his third hit in the game. Beresford moved to third on a sacrifice fly then was brought home on a Chris Colabello single, putting the Wings ahead 2-0.
The Red Wings stretched their lead to three in the eighth inning on a Josmil Pinto double. Bernier doubled to begin the frame, and then scored his second run of the game to put the Wings up 3-0.
Mathis was taken out of the game in the eighth inning, turning in 3 1/3 innings. Mathis gave up two runs, on four hits, throwing 60 pitches (38 strikes). Jake Thompson took the ball from Mathis, recording the final two outs in the eighth inning.
Darnell retired the first 15 batters he faced and gave up his first baserunner in the ninth, when he walked Hak-Ju Lee. The next hitter, Justin Christian grounded into an around the horn double play to complete the no-no.
Darnell finished the game pitching six innings, walking one, and striking out five. Darnell used 68 pitches (42 strikes) to finish off the Bulls.
Even though it was the second no-hitter finished by the Wings at Frontier Field, it officially goes into the books as a road game because it was started in Durham.
In game 2, Virgil Vasquez, making his first start with Rochester this year, tried to duplicate Darnell's efforts in game two of the doubleheader. Vasquez, who was 4-7 with a 4.41 ERA for the Red Wings last season, was promoted Monday from Double-A New Britain. Making the start for Durham was Mike Montgomery, a 2014 IL mid-season all-star for Durham. The 25-year old lefty came into the game at 9-4 with a 4.05 ERA.
Colabello led off the second inning with a solo home run, giving the Wings a 1-0 lead. The home run was Colabello's first since July 6th with Minnesota against the Yankees.
Following the home run, Wilkin Ramirez extended his hitting streak to eight games with a single. A pair of two-out walks gave the Wings runners on each base. Bernier then snuck a grounder by the third baseman, scoring Ramirez and Deibinson Romero. Montgomery walked Aaron Hicks to load the bases once again, but the Wings had to settle for just the three runs, taking a 3-0 lead into the third.
The Bulls finally recorded their first hit of the night in the top of the third inning in game two. Mike Fontenot doubled to begin the inning and was promptly moved to third on a sac fly. However, the Bulls threat came to end without any harm, as Vasquez was able to retire the side, stranding Fontenot at third.
Montgomery's night was done after 2 2/3 innings. Montgomery gave up three earned runs, on three hits, throwing 73 pitches (41 strikes). Steve Geltz came on in relief to finish the third inning.
Vasquez stranded a runner at third for the second straight inning in the fourth. Wil Myers, the reigning AL Rookie of the Year on rehab from Tampa Bay, started the inning with a single. Myers moved to second on a wild pitch, then Myers stole third. Third was as far as Myers got, as Vasquez retired the side, keeping the Bulls scoreless.
The Wings extended their lead in the fourth inning on a Pinto triple. Pinto blasted a pitch deep to center field, which was dropped by a diving Justin Christian. Romero and Hicks both scored easily on the play, as Pinto hustled to third for a triple. The hit gave Rochester a 5-0 lead.
Durham got right back in the game with one swing in the top of the fifth. Vasquez found himself in a jam once again, loading the bases after he hit Christian. The next batter, Myers, launched the first pitch he saw well over the left field fence for a grand slam. Despite the four runs in the inning, the Wings still clung to a 5-4 lead.
Vasquez (1-0) worked five innings, allowing five hits and four earned runs. He walked one, struck out one, and threw 82 pitches - 48 for strikes. Lester Oliveros took over for Vasquez in the top of the sixth inning. Oliveros struck out the side in the sixth, but walked Mike Fontenot to start the seventh. A lineout and strikeout put the Wings within an out of a victory with Robby Price at bat, and Myers on deck. Price popped out to Florimon to end the game and give the Wings a sweep. Oliveros picked up his third save.