The Red Wings came back from an early 2-0 deficit to beat the Buffalo Bisons 6-5 Saturday night at Frontier Field. Wild card leading Norfolk won the first game of their doubleheader Saturday; a Norfolk loss in game two would put the Wings in a tie for the wild card spot, with two games remaining. The Red Wings host Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Yankees) Sunday at 6:05 p.m. and Monday at 1:05 p.m, the last two games of the regular season.
After easy first innings for both Red Wings starter P.J. Walters and Drew Hutchison of the Bisons, Buffalo went ahead in the top of the second inning. With the bases loaded and one out, catcher Eric Fryer was charged with a passed ball that allowed Luis Jimenez to score. A second Buffalo run scored on a fielder's choice, and the Bisons took an early 2-0 lead.
Hutchison, making just this fifth start with Buffalo after joining them on a big league rehab assignment, ran into some two-out trouble in the bottom of the second inning. Aaron Hicks blooped a single to left field, and Hutchison (0-3) walked Eric Farris to put the tying runs on base. Ray Olmedo fell behind 0-2 before popping out to shortstop to end the threat.
The Wings started another two-out rally in the third after the inning was kept alive when first baseman Mauro Gomez made a fielding error allowing James Beresford to reach safely. Eduardo Escobar doubled to right,t putting runners at second and third for Rochester. Chris Parmelee brought both runners in with a double to left field that tied the game at 2-2.
In the fourth, Hicks led off the inning with a double to the right field gap. Hicks got his first stolen base with the Wings when he stole third base. With one out, Olmedo hit a bloop single to left that scored Hicks and gave the Wings the lead for the first time in the game. Eric Fryer hit an infield single to put runners at first and second with one out. The Wings added more two-out runs when Beresford doubled on a 3-2 count to left field, scoring both Olmedo and Fryer and extending the Wings lead to 5-2.
After giving up the two runs in the second inning, Walters settled down and pitched three scoreless inning. In the sixth, Walters gave up a lead off single, then a two out walk to putt runners in scoring position. Walters got a weak ground ball in front of the plate that Fryer picked up and fired to first to end the inning.
With one out in the sixth, Fryer hit a first pitch home run to left field, his fourth of the year, and extending Rochester's lead to 6-2.
Aaron Thompson took over on the mound for Walters (7-5), who pitched six innings and gave up two runs on five hits. Thompson gave up a lead off walk to start the seventh inning. After getting a pop out to Beresford at second and a strike out, Thompson gave up a single to Escobar at short. Escobar threw the ball past Parmelee at first and into the Wings dugout, advancing the runners to second and third. Shairon Martis came into relieve Thompson with two outs in the seventh. Martis threw a wild pitch that allowed a run to score, before getting a ground ball to third that ended the inning.
In the bottom half of the seventh inning, Parmelee reached second on a error by the Bisons left fielder Clint Robinson. Deibinson Romero singled, which put runners at the corners with one out. Buffalo went to John Stilson to take over on the mound. Stilson recorded a pair of strikeouts to end the inning.
Martis struck out the first batter he faced in the ninth inning. Martis walked the next batter, then got a called third strike for the second out. Mike McCoy singled to bring the tying run to the plate in Jim Negrych, who singled up the middle to make it a 6-4 game. Mauro Gomez followed with a hit to drive in another run, and it was a 6-5 game with runners at second and third base. The Wings brought in Michael Tonkin to face power-hitting Luis Jimenez, and Tonkin walked Jimenez intentionally to load the bases. Tonkon got a fly out from Andy La Roche to end the game, and Tonkin picking up his 13th save.