The Charlotte Knights jumped out to an early lead and defeated the Red Wings 9-4 Saturday at Frontier Field. Danny Santana and Oswaldo Arcia each had three hits for the Wings.
The teams meet again Sunday at 1:05 p.m.; the Red Wings pitchers will be part of a post-game autograph session on the field, and kids can run the bases with Spikes and Mittsy after the autograph session.
Rochester left-hander Scott Diamond was coming off a solid start, a win in Syracuse April 21. But the Knights jumped on Diamond early Saturday, racking up four hits and a 3-0 lead.
Santana led off the bottom of the first with a double against Knights starter Eric Surkamp, but Surkamp retired the next three batters to leave Santana stranded.
Diamond needed just 12 pitches to set down the Knights in order in the second inning, notching a pair of strikeouts.
The Wings put a pair of base runners on with none out in the second, but again fell short of cashing in on the scoring threat. Arcia led off with a single, and Surkamp hit Deibinson Romero in the foot with a pitch. Surkamp induced a double play ground ball from hot hitting Eric Farris (eight-game hit streak coming into Saturday), and another ground out ended the inning.
Both pitchers had solid third innings; Diamond and Surkamp both allowed one hit, and both struck out two. For Diamond, it gave him four strikeouts in the game which tied his previous season high from the April 16 game against Pawtucket.
Charlotte put together a scoring opportunity with one out in the fourth, using a pair of singles that just snuck past diving Wings infielders. With Blake Tekotte at third base, Jared Mitchell hit a fly ball to shallow left field. Wings left fielder Chris Rahl caught the ball for the second out then made a strong throw home, but catcher Eric Fryer couldn't handle the one-hop throw and Tekotte slid home to make it 4-0 Charlotte.
The Wings got a pair of singles in their half of the fourth, on another hit by Arcia and a single by Romero on which Arcia hustled to third base. That allowed Arcia to score on Farris' sacrifice fly, getting Rochester on the scoreboard and making it a 4-1 game.
Matt Davidson drilled a two-run homer in the fifth inning, which extended the Knights' lead to 6-1.
With one out in the Rochester fifth, Santana and Bernier both picked up their second hit of the game.Chris Parmelee's single over the glove of first baseman Andy Wilkins brought in Santana, making the score 6-2 and extending Parmelee's hit streak to 11 games. A sacrifice fly by Wilkin Ramirezscored Bernier and the Wings trailed 6-3.
Diamond (1-3) allowed nine hits in his five innings pitched, was charged with six earned runs, and struck out four. He did not walk a batter.
Edgar Ibarra replaced Diamond to open the sixth and worked around a problem situation that eventually had the bases loaded, but the Knights didn't score.
Surkamp (1-2) also allowed nine hits over five innings, and struck out six for the second straight start.
A.J. Achter struck out two in 1 1/3 relief innings, and Ryan Pressly worked the ninth for Rochester. Pressly allowed a single and walked two to load the bases with one out, and the Knights added three more runs to finish the scoring.
Charlotte out-hit Rochester 14-13. The Red Wings were 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position.