Scott Diamond turned in his best outing of the season and Chris Parmelee continued his torrid stretch at the plate as the Rochester Red Wings topped the Syracuse Chiefs, 5-2, in a Monday matinee from NBT Bank Stadium in Syracuse.
With the victory, the Red Wings (9-8) earned a split of the four-game set against the Chiefs after dropping the first two games of the series.
Diamond (1-2), who entered the day tied for the league lead in hits allowed, runs and earned runs allowed, yielded just two runs on seven hits and two walks over six innings to pick up his first victory of the 2014 season.
The southpaw looked much more like the pitcher Wings fans had been accustomed to seeing over the past two seasons, when Diamond went 8-1 with a 2.50 ERA in 12 Triple-A starts.
Parmelee gave his pitcher the lead before he ever toed the rubber as the red-hot slugger launched a two-run homer off Chiefs starter Danny Rosenbaum in the first inning. Parmelee, who had a tied for career high four hits on Sunday, went 3-for-4 on Monday and finished the series 10-for-17 with two home runs, a double, four runs scored and five RBI.
After Syracuse tied the game with single runs in the second and third innings, Doug Bernier’s lead-off double in the fifth - his third double in two days - ignited a two-run rally. James Beresford brought home Bernier with a sac fly, and three batters later, Wilkin Ramirez roped a double off the left field fence that scored Wings leadoff hitter, Danny Santana, giving Rochester a 4-2 lead.
An inning later, the Wings played small ball to plate their fifth run. Eric Farris led off with a single before stealing second base and moving to third on a deep fly out by Eric Fryer. Bernier then laid down a perfectly executed safety squeeze bunt to score Farris easily from third.
Just when it looked as if Diamond had tired, walking back-to-back hitters to lead off the sixth inning, he battled back to strikeout Chiefs clean-up hitter Brock Peterson and then got Jhonatan Solano to hit a groundball to short that turned into a 6-4-3 inning-ending double play.
The southpaw was the benefactor of three double plays over his six innings including a spectacular 7-4-3 twin killing in the fifth inning. With a runner on first and one out, left fielder Chris Rahl made a running grab in the gap before firing to the second baseman Beresford who relayed on to Parmelee at first to get Josh Johnson who was running on the pitch.
The three double plays turned by the Red Wings marked a season high.
Diamond turned things over to A.J. Achter in the seventh, who tossed three scoreless innings to earn his second career Triple-A save. He allowed just one hit while striking out four over his 50-pitch outing.
The Wings are off to Pawtucket to begin a four-game series on Tuesday night against the Paw Sox from McCoy Stadium. Rochester will send lefty Logan Darnell (0-0, 0.90) to the hill in Game One. First pitch is set for 6:15 p.m.