Deibinson Romero knocked in three runs, to back a strong start by Logan Darnell in a 9-2 Red Wings win over the Toledo Mud Hens Saturday night at Frontier Field. It was the eighth straight home win for the Wings.
The series continues Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m., with a belated Mother's Day celebration; kids can play catch on the field with their moms after the game, and then kids can run the bases with Spikes and Mittsy.
Wings left-hander Darnell struck out four over the first two innings, setting the stage for the offense to take an early lead. With one out against Toledo starter Duane Below, Josh Willingham doubled down the left field line. James Beresford grounded to shortstop, but it went through the legs of Hernan Perez; Willingham hustled home for a 1-0 Rochester lead.
Toledo threatened in the third with two singles and wild pitch from Darnell, but the Wings lefty got Perez staring at strike three, for his fifth strikeout of the game to escape the jam.
In the home half of the third, the Wings tacked on as Eric Fryer led off the inning with a single andEric Farris followed by smacking the 1-1 pitch into the left field visiting bullpen for a two-run homer, his second home run on the season giving the Wings a 3-0 lead.
The Wings added to their lead in the fourth inning. Beresford and Dan Rohlfing started the inning with singles and Doug Bernier bunted them over. Fryer grounded a single just out of the reach of shortstop Perez chasing home Beresford and Rohlfing pushing the Wings lead to 5-0.
Darnell added to his strikeout total in the fifth inning by striking out the side, putting his total at eight.
The Wings added to their offensive surge in the fifth inning when Oswaldo Arcia walked to lead off the inning and Romero blooped a ball down the right field line that got by the right fielder Ben Guez which led to a Romero RBI triple. Willingham ripped a run-scoring base hit to increase the Wings' lead to 7-0. After a fielder's choice and a flyout, Bernier dribbled a ball down the third base line leading to a single and moved to second on the bad throw from Wade Gaynor.
The error from Gaynor chased Below (3-1) from the game after 4 2/3 innings pitched allowing seven runs (six earned) on 10 hits including the home run to Farris, while walking one and striking out four batters. Left-handed reliever Casey Crosby came on in relief and got Fryer to fly out to end the inning.
In the sixth, Toledo got on the board against Darnell (1-1) with a two-out rally. A walk and back-to-back singles from Gaynor and Tyler Collins and an error from Romero on a ball hit by Luis Exposito allowed two runs to score, putting the score 7-2 in favor of the Wings.
The error from Romero put an end to Darnell's night as he pitched 5 2/3 innings allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits while walking two and striking out a season-high eight batters on 96 pitches--58 for strikes. Darnell's previous season-high was six, last accomplished April 27 against Charlotte.Matt Hoffman came on in relief to get the final out and strand both inherited runners in the sixth.
The Wings struck back in the bottom of the sixth with a two-out two-run home run from Romero that was hit on a line and snuck over the wall to the right of the left field foul pole. Romero's third home run of the season and third of the homestand put the Wings ahead 9-2.
The Mud Hens got two baserunners on from a hit and an error, but Hoffman helped himself out starting a 1-6-3 double play to get out of the jam in the eighth.
Hoffman worked 3 1/3 relief innings to pick up a save, his second of the season.