Chris Rahl's double and Dan Rohlfing's home run were the key hits in an eighth inning rally, as the Rochester Red Wings beat the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders 5-2 Saturday night at Frontier Field.
A pair of left-handers matched up Saturday night, with Sean Gilmartin making his sixth start for the Wings since being promoted from Double-A New Britain. Gilmartin's mound opponent, Nik Turley, was making just his third appearance of the 2014 season.
Eric Farris worked Turley for a walk to open the Red Wings' half of the first inning, and Farris moved to second on a groundout by James Beresford. Deibinson Romero ripped a RBI double over the head of left fielder Jose Pirela, and the Wings took an early 1-0 lead.
John Ryan Murphy singled with one out in the fifth inning, and took a wide turn past second base when Taylor Dugas blooped a single. Left fielder Rahl made a strong throw to Beresford to tag out Murphy for the second out. Dan Fiorito doubled, with Dugas coming all the way around to score and tie the game at 1-1.Through the first four innings for the RailRiders, Rob Refsnyder was their only baserunner - drawing a walk off Gilmartin in the first, and hitting a single in the fourth. Catcher Rohlfing threw out Refsnyder on a steal attempt in the fourth.
Turley worked around a lead-off single by Rahl in the fifth inning, and when Rahl was stranded at third base Turley had completed five innings - his longest outing of the season so far.
The RailRiders mounted a bid to take the lead in the top of the sixth. Jose Pirela walked and Refsnyder singled to put runners at first and second with none out. But Adonis Garcia grounded to Romero at third base, and Romero stepped on third to force Pirela then threw to Beresford in time to put out Refsnyder for a double play. Clean-up hitter Kyle Roller flew out to Farris and the RailRiders were kept off the scoreboard.
Turley issued a two-out walk to Wilkin Ramirez in the sixth, and Daniel Burawa took over on the mound. With Doug Bernier batting, Ramirez stole second and went to third on an error by Refsnyder. Burawa walked Bernier, then walked Nate Hanson to load the bases. Rahl was caught looking at a third strike and the Wings had missed out on a solid scoring chance of their own. Turley pitched 5 2/3 innings and allowed just three hits, an earned run and four walks while striking out two. He threw 94 pitches, 50 for strikes.
In the seventh, the RailRiders had runners at first and second with one out when Gilmartin exited the game, relieved by Ryan Pressly. Pressly got a groundout for the second out of the inning, but Carmen Angelini's broken bat single brought in a run and provided a 2-1 lead for the RailRiders.
Gilmartin's 6 1/3 inning outing included six hits and two earned runs, three walks and three strikeouts. He threw 92 pitches, 58 for strikes.
With one out in the seventh, the Wings pulled off a perfect hit and run with Farris at first base after a single. Farris took off for second and Beresford slapped an opposite field single through the hole at short, with Farris hustling to third base. Romero's hard hit bid for a single up the middle was turned into an inning-ending double play and the game moved to the eighth inning.
Pressly set down the RailRiders in order in the eighth, then the Wings put the tying run at third base with two outs in the bottom of the frame. Francisco Rondon came out of the bullpen to face pinch-hitter Brad Nelson, and Rondon's wild pitch allowed pinch-runner Pedro Florimon to score and the game was tied at 2-2. Nelson walked, and Rahl lifted a long flyball that hit the wall in left-center. Nelson hustled all the way around from first base on Rahl's double to put the Wings back up 3-2. Rohlfing followed with a line drive home run over the left field fence, his second homer of the season.
Pressly picked up the win, his first of the season. He struck out four, including three in the ninth inning.