The Red Wings split a doubleheader with the Pawtucket Red Sox Sunday afternoon at Frontier Field. In the first game, the PawSox rallied for a 8-1 win; in the second game. P.J. Walters pitched a complete game shutout and Ray Olmedo drove in both runs in a 2-0 Wings win.Kyle Gibson started the opener for Rochester, coming off of a quality start against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Tuesday night. In that game, Gibson allowed one early run in a six inning, five strikeout effort; Sunday, Gibson needed just 10 pitches to retired the PawSox in order in the top of the first.
Gibson's game one opponent Sunday was Graham Godfrey, who picked up a win in relief against the Wings last week when he struck out five in 3 2/3 scoreless innings. The Red Wings had an early scoring opportunity against Godfrey in the second inning Sunday, after Jeff Clement led off with a single. Joe Benson followed with what looked to be an extra base hit to the cetner field wall, but Pawtucket's Jackie Bradley, Jr. made an outstanding running catch to take away a hit from Benson.
Rochester had another opportunity in the fourth. With one out, Benson was hit by a pitch and Brian Dinkelman followed with a walk, but the next two batters flew out to right field to end the scoring threat.
The Red Wings took a one-run lead in the bottom of the fifth. Three consecutive base hits, including two bunt singles from Doug Bernier and Clete Thomas, loaded the bases with no outs. Chris Colabello broke the stalemate with a sacrifice fly to left field, driving in Bernier from third. Clement and Benson each flew out to center to end the inning with a 1-0 lead.
The Red Sox responded to take the lead in the top of the sixth as they batted around the lineup. Ryan Lavarnway and Mark Hamilton loaded the bases with consecutive singles. Luis Perdomo then came out of the bullpen in relief of Gibson, only to walk in the tying run and two batters later, Jose Iglesias drove in two more with a double to jump ahead 4-1. Perdomo was then relieved by Tyler Robertson, still with no outs in the sixth. Robertson induced the first out on an RBI groundout by Jonathan Diaz. After an intentional walk to Jackie Bradley, Jr., Henry grounded into a 3-2-3 double play with a 5-1 lead.
Pawtucket chased Robertson after he walked the bases loaded in the seventh; Daniel Turpen took over and the PawSox added three more runs to finish the scoring.Game two didn't feature any early scoring, either.
After neither team scored in the first inning, the Red Wings had a shot at jumping out to an early lead in the bottom of the second. Mark Sobolewski and Evan Bigley led the inning off with back-to-back singles and were immediately pushed into scoring position when Brandon Boggs loaded the bases with a walk. But the Wings batting problems with runners in scoring position (.151 team batting average coming into today's games) continued to plague them and, despite there being no outs in the inning, Rochester wasn't able to convert a run.
In the top of the third it looked like the Wings inability to score was going to immediately come back to bite them. With a runner on third and two outs, Mitch Maier came to bat for the PawSox. He hit a sharp ground ball up the right field side that looked like it was going to make it into the outfield and give the Sox the lead. But Wings second baseman Eric Farris made a fantastic diving stop, just grabbing the ball and sending it to Colabello at first, ending the inning and saving the run.
Bigley worked a walk to start the bottom of the fourth and was able to advance to second on a wild pitch by Pawtucket starter Chris Hernandez during Boggs' at bat. Eric Fryer then singled him over to third, putting runners on the corners with one man out. Ray Olmedo then came to the plate and hit a scorching double between the left and center fielders, knocking Bigley and Fryer in to give the Wings the 2-0 lead.
Rochester starter P.J. Walters was dominant in his start, pitching the complete seven innings. He shut out the PawSox, only allowing two hits and a walk while striking out five.