Chris Rahl hit a two-run homer, scored two runs, and made a pair of outstanding catches as the Red Wings thumped the Syracuse Chiefs 10-5 Monday afternoon at Frontier Field.
A season-high crowd of 10,169 saw the win, which hopped the Wings over Syracuse and into first place. Buffalo is in first place, too. The Bisons began the day tied with Rochester for second place--a half game behind Syracuse-- and Buffalo knocked off Indianapolis on Monday
Wings starter Trevor May brought a 14-inning scoreless streak into Monday's game, and after a quick first out that streak appeared to be in jeopardy. May walked Will Rhymes, and Steven Souza, Jr. reached on a high fly ball to left that Rahl lost in the sun. Cleanup hitter and former Wing Brock Peterson struck out swinging, and when Jhonatan Solano lined out to Rahl in left the Chiefs' early threat was over.
The Chiefs threatened again in the second, putting a runner into scoring position with two outs. Rahl making a nice diving catch for the third out of the inning, taking away a hit from Emmanuel Burriss.
The Wings struck first for the 30th time in 49 games this season when Doug Bernier scorched a pitch right up the middle, scoring Brad Nelson from third and putting the Wings up 1-0 in the second inning. The Wings were held to just the one run, as Taylor Jordan was able to retire the next two Wings to get out of the jam.
In the top of third, Peterson got revenge as he lined a double into the gap in right center, which scored Souza from first, evening the score at 1-1. The run ended May's scoreless streak at 16 1/3 innings.
The Wings took the lead right back in the home half of the fourth inning, when Nelson lined a single to lead off the inning and was put in scoring position following a single by Wilkin Ramirez. Nelson came home when Dan Rohlfing grounded into what appeared to be a double play ball, until the throw to first sailed wide. Rohlfing came home when Bernier recorded his second single of the game.
Bernier didn't remain on the base paths too long himself, as Rahl brought him home with his second home run of the season. James Beresford widened the Wings' lead with a single with still only one out, scoring Eric Fryer from third. Farris was promptly brought home on a Deibinson Romeroground rule double. In total in the bottom of the fourth, the Wings were able to tally six runs on seven hits, giving them a 7-1 advantage.
Jordan (0-1) was charged with seven runs (six earned), on nine hits, two walks, and two strikeouts (68 pitches, 40 strikes).
The Wings added one more to their total in the next inning on a Fryer double that scored Bernier.
May's day was done after five innings, turning in yet another impressive start. May (4-3) gave up one run, which was unearned, on five hits with three strikeouts. May totaled 107 pitches, 65 of which were for strikes. He walked three batters.
The Chiefs closed the gap in the top of the sixth when Destin Hood lofted the first pitch that relieverMatt Hoffman threw over the center field fence. Hoffman settled down to retire the next three batters, keeping the Wings' lead at 8-2.
The Wings answered right back in the bottom of the inning when Romero hit his second ground rule double of the day and was brought home on a Ramirez sacrifice fly, giving the Wings a seven-run lead once again at 9-2 after six innings.
The trading of runs continued in the top of the seventh when Souza blasted a pitch over the left center field fence for a solo home run, his fifth home run of the season. Once again, Hoffman was able to limit the damage to just the solo home run, making the Wings' lead 9-3.
Farris doubled against reliever Daniel Stange in the bottom of the seventh, scoring Rahl for a 10-3 Red Wings lead.
Michael Tonkin came on to start the eighth inning, and was helped out by Rahl - who raced back to the wall to catch up to a long flyball by Hood. Tonkin followed by walking the eighth and ninth place batters, followed by a single and a bases loaded walk to bring in a run.
Aaron Thompson worked the ninth and retired the first two batters before allowing a home run to Hood. However, Hood's home run was the last of the Chiefs scoring, as Thompson recorded the final out, getting Sandy Leon to pop out to Bernier to end the game.
Five different Red Wings had two hits, as the Wings out-hit the Chiefs 13-10.