Dan Rohlfing's two-out, two-run single capped a five-run ninth inning rally as the Red Wings beat the Gwinnett Braves 6-5 Saturday night at Frontier Field. The series concludes with a 1:05 p.m. Father's Day contest Sunday; dads can play catch with their kids on the field after the game, then kids can run the bases with Spikes and Mittsy.
Rochester right-hander Kyle Gibson had four wins and a no decision in his last five starts coming into Saturday - including a win in Gwinnett June 4. Gibson needed just 10 pitches to retire the Braves in order in the first inning Saturday.
David Hale started for Gwinnett, who lost to the Red Wings on July 5 in Georgia. Hale worked around a walk to Chris Colabello to also post a scoreless first inning, helped by a nice catch by third baseman Joe Leonard which took away a potential RBI hit from Jeff Clement.
With one out in the second, Rohlfing doubled to right field, and an error on the right fielder allowed Rohlfing to advance to third. Hale proceeded to strike out the next two Red Wing batter, stranding Rohlfing at third.
Antoan Richardson worked Hale for a one-out walk in the fourth. The next batter, Brian Dinkelman also walked to put runners on first and second. Hale got a shallow fly ball to center, and a strikeout to avoid damage from the two walks.
A Jose Constanza bunt single started the fourth inning off for Gwinnett. Constanza stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by catcher Drew Butera. After a hard hit ball was hit to Doug Bernier at shortstop, Bernier threw home to catch Constanza in a run down, but Butera threw the ball over Deibinson Romero's head into left field that allowed Constanza to score. With a runner at second, Mejia hit a two-run homer, giving the Braves a 3-0 lead.
Rochester looked to cut into the three-run lead when Romero singled to start the fourth. With one out Bernier singled, which put runners on first and second. Back to back ground ball outs got Hale out of the inning.
For the second inning in a row, Gwinnett led the inning off with a bunt single. A Romero throwing error allowed Paul Janish to get to second. Todd Cunningham singled to score Janish, giving the Braves a four run lead.
Cole McCurry pitched three spotless innings of middle relief for Gwinnett, striking out three and not allowing a base runner.
Cody Eppley replaced Gibson in the seventh, Gibson pitched six innings, giving up four runs, of which three were earned runs. Eppley pitched a perfect seventh, getting three ground ball outs in his first appearance with Rochester.
The Braves got a two-out rally going against Eppley in the top of the eighth. After a hit and a walk, Stefan Gartrell singled in Mejia to extend the lead to 5-0.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, reliever Cory Rasmus walked the bases loaded with one out to bring the tying run to the plate in Romero. Rasmus struck out Romero for the second out, but Rohlfing drew a walk to force in a run and get the Wings on the board at 5-1.
Luis Perdomo pitched the ninth for the Red Wings. Rohlfing's double was the only extra base hit for Rochester.
The Wings made one last scoring bid in the ninth, when James Beresford singled off reliever Pat Egan. Chris Herrmann, just down from the Twins, followed up with a line drive, pinch-hit single to left field. When Richardson drew a walk, the bases were loaded again with Dinkelman stepping to the plate as the potential tying run. But Dinkleman popped up to the mound for the first out, setting the stage for Colabello to step in the batter's box. Colabello worked a full count before singling to left field, plating two runs with Richardson hustling all the way from first base to third base on the play.
Kameron Loe took over for Egan, with runners at first and third and only one out. Clement drilled the first pitch he saw from Loe to left field to score Richardson and pull the Wings to within a run at 5-4. Loe fanned Romero for the second out, and a wild pitch with Rohlfing at bat put runners at second and third. Rohlfing hit a 2-2 pitch to the gap in left center, bringing home the tying and winning runs.