Stripers starter’s wildness aids Wings

Photo courtesy of the Rochester Red Wings

ROCHESTER – Following their game one loss Monday in which the Gwinnett Stripers only run came without benefit of a hit, the Rochester Red Wings took a similar tack in the second game.

Thanks to four walks by Stripes starting pitcher Lucas Sims, the Red Wings took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. (Rochester was the visiting team for this game as the two teams were rained out last week in Georgia. When this series ends the teams do not see each other again in the regular IL season). Leadoff hitter Nick Boss scored the first run for the Wings after 18 scoreless innings. Brock Stassi was credited with the run batted in as he was the fourth Wing to walk.

Rochester went on to win the night cap 2-1 thanks to a two-out Leonardo Reginatto single which brought in Jermaine Curtiss who had doubled. The Wings received a total of six free passes but an early season pattern of failing to hit with runners in scoring position, nine Rochester runners were stranded on the base paths.

DJ Baxendale went the four innings for Rochester, allowing two hits while striking out two. However, since a starter must go five innings even in a seven-stanza contest, the win went to reliever John Curtiss. Earning the save for the Red Wings was Casey Crosby who was just added to the active roster Sunday. Crosby had been on the injured list for the first 11 games. The save was also his first in professional baseball. The 29-year-old was out of professional baseball in 2015 and ’16, and pitched in independent ball last season. Crosby’s last professional appearance came in 2014 at Frontier Field when he was with the Toledo Mud Hens.

Reginatto was the offensive star for the Wings, with two hits in three official at bats. He walked, singled and doubled to lead off the seventh, but could only advance to third as once more the Wings were unable to get a timely hit with a runner in scoring position.

Among the pitching highlights for the Wings came in the bottom of the fifth when Gwinnett scored a run and had the tying run on third with Bautista batting. Curtiss threw a 97-mph fastball in on Bautista’s hands to strike him out and end the threat.

Following the game Bautista said he was happy to be getting back in the swing of things, “especially defensively.” He was the DH in game two after playing third in the opener. He said he has not played third much lately but was excited to be in the infield where there is likely more action than in the outfield.

Over in the Red Wings clubhouse, manager Joel Skinner expressed his appreciation for the work Dietrich Enns put in during his seven inning, two-hit, one run loss. “He battled through it,” said Skinner. After pointing out the run came from a walk, two stolen bases and a ground it, the first year Red Wings manager noted “a play like that is magnified when you don’t score.” But the work of Enns was a “step in the right direction, it was a positive for him tonight.”

In the two games Rochester compiled seven hits. Skinner said he knows the team will eventually start hitting “like I know we can.”

Myles Jaye takes the mound for Rochester Tuesday night against Stripers lefty Max Fried. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. Wednesday will see scheduled starters Adalberto Mejia for Rochester and Andres Santiago for Gwinnett. The Wings are off Thursday before heading to Syracuse to face the Chiefs Friday.

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