Jason Wheeler allowed just two hits, none after the second inning, retired the final 10 batters he faced and 13 of the final 14 as the Rochester Red Wings beat the Norfolk Tides 6-0 Tuesday night at Harbor Park.
He got some amazing help in the 4th. With a runner on first, a groundball ricocheted off Wheeler’s leg.
Tommy Field dove from the shortstop position and flipped to second with his glove. James Beresford spun it into a double play.
Wheeler (11-4) received some early run support as Kennys Vargas fouled off five pitches before hitting the ninth pitch of his at-bat in the first inning for a three-run home run to give the Red Wings (73-58) a 3-0 lead. The homer came off Richard Rodriguez (6-2) who had to start in place of Tides (56-75) scheduled hurler Joe Gunkel. Gunkel was scratched an hour before the game.
Adam Brett Walker added to the lead in the third with an RBI triple that hit the wall in straightaway center. Daniel Palka followed with an RBI single to make it 5-0 Rochester.
The Wings didn’t score again until the eighth when Leonardo Reginatto drove in Mitch Garver with a single. Garver doubled in the eighth to cap a 4-for-4 night, matching a career-high for just the second time and first since coming up to Triple-A.
D.J. Baxendale allowed a single but tossed a scoreless ninth inning to preserve Rochester’s 13th shutout of the season.
Reginatto finished with three hits while Vargas was 2-for-4 with a homer, a walk, three RBI and two runs scored.