In this edition of Live From Rochester, the Wings pick up a huge win on Monday night. Weather made this one only a five inning game, but it turned out to be a big win, as the Wings picked up a game on Toledo and Ottawa.
It was a dismal rainy night in Pawtucket. By all rights the game should have never started. But after more than a 90 minute delay, the game did indeed start in a steady drizzle. The Wings started well enough, scoring 2 runs in the top of the 1st. But Mike Smith
couldn't find his rhythm or his footing in the bottom of the 1st. The Pawsox sent 10 men to the plate and scored 4 times, helped by 2 Wings errors, a couple of walks and 3 hits. Smith went to a full count on 5 of the 10 men he faced and threw over 40 pitches.
Then a strange thing happened, if you are a Red Wing fan...the figurative sun broke thru 4 days of gloom and suddenly things started going right for the beleaguered Wings. They went right back to work against an equally as ineffective Sox starter, knuckler Charlie Zink, and scored 3 times in the 2nd to regain the lead 5-4. They tagged on 3 more in the 3rd and added a single tally in the 5th. Kevin Cameron had come on with one out and one on in the bottom of the 4th and retired the side.. Then in the home half of the 5th, the first two Sox reached base. But Cameron reached back and struck out the next 3 batters. With the score 9-4 Wings, the rains intensified and play was called. After another 45 delay, the umpires called the game.
What do you know! They managed to get in the required 5 innings and the Wings came away with a much needed victory, to stop their 3 game slide. They banged out 12 hits and the offense was spread out nicely throughout the lineup. Every player had at least one hit and 6 of the RBI came with 2 outs. Garrett Jones had only 1 hit but his 2 out single in the 2nd drove in the tying and eventual winning run. A little vindication for the struggling Jones who now has 88 RBI. Tommy Watkins hit his 4th home run in the 1st inning. Kevin Cameron got the win to improve to 5-4 on the season.
Wings Notes:On a night when a win was so crucial, the Wings continued to get some help. Ottawa lost to Buffalo; Toledo was beaten by Durham and Scranton lost to Syracuse. Indy's game with Richmond was suspended with Richmond leading 3-1 in the 3rd inning. The only blemish in the night was Louisville's win over Norfolk. Thus with 7 games left to play, Rochester trails Scranton by 3 ½ games for the IL North lead; but they now lead Louisville and Toledo by 3 games and Ottawa by 4. A bit more breathing room.Wings finish their season series against Pawtucket tomorrow and then they move on to Buffalo for 2 games. That series shifts to Rochester for 2 games on Friday and Saturday. Scranton began a 6 game home and home series with the last place Chiefs tonight. For the final 2 game showdown with Scranton to be meaningful for the division title, the Wings must gain 2 games in the next 5 days. Scranton will play one less game than Rochester due to their rainout with Buffalo yesterday that can't be made up. If the Wings can shave Scranton's lead from 3 ½ to 1 ½ by Sunday, then they would still have a shot at the Northern Division title by sweeping the final 2 games with the Red Barons. A tall order. A more reasonable goal is to keep the lead in the wild card race. They took a giant step towards that goal tonight with the 9-4 win.
Who says the sun doesn't shine thru the rain?