Ah, home cookin;! Wings return home after an eight-game road trip and take three in a row from the Pawtucket Red Sox. In an 11:05 am Businessman’s Special, Jason Miller took the mound, replacing recently promoted Matt Garza, and pitched six strong innings to help the Wings on their way to a 6-3 victory. Kevin Cameron came on in the seventh and picked up the victory with three shutout innings, allowing only one hit and striking out four. His record improved to 4-3 as Manager Stan Cliburn continues to employ a closer by committee since the promotion of Patrick Neshek and the failure of rookie Robert Korecky to get the job done on a consistent basis.
The game started out like Pawtucket would get to Miller early. Leading 3-1 after 4 ½ innings, Sox starter Charlie Zink, the knuckle-baller, kept the Wings at bay, wriggling out of several jams. Zink’s record coming in was 7-1, with his only loss coming against the Wings back in July. Rochester finally broke through in the bottom of the sixrg to tie the game 3-3 on an RBI single by Kevin West and a groundout by Chris Heintz.
Rehabbing Keith Foulke came on to pitch in the 7th for the Pawsox and was greeted by a triple off the bat of struggling Luis Maza. Thomas Watkins promptly brought him home with a deep sac fly to center, giving the Wings their first lead of the day 4-3. It was enough to hang the defeat on Foulke. Wings added two insurance runs in the eighth and coasted to the 6-3 victory as Cameron shut the Sox down in the ninth.
Once again, Scranton beat Syracuse, so the Wings and Barons remain tied for first in the International League North.
Red Wings record improves to 68-51 with their 4th straight win. I erroneously reported yesterday that 17 over .500 was the Wings high water mark, but actually the team reached 18 over (43-25) on June 16th with a victory over Indianapolis. Next up for the Wings is a 4 game home and home series against the Buffalo Bisons. With the recall of of Garza and Bonser, the Wings have to once again adjust their starting rotation. Never a dull moment down on the farm.
Wings Notes:Red Wings have been involved in 23 shutouts in 2006. They have won 13 and lost 10. 6 of those shutouts have been 1-0 games, with the Wings winning 5 of them.Wings have scored 10 runs or more 11 times, winning 10 of those games. The one loss came against Richmond when Pat Neshek gave up a 2 out 3 run HR to Scott Thorman in the bottom of the 9th to turn a 10-8 win into a tough 11-10 defeat.Wings have allowed 10 runs or more 5 times, losing 4 and winning once 12-10 against the Ottawa Lynx. In that game the Lynx scored 6 runs in the 1st inning, but the Wings roared back to lead 12-7 and had to hang on as Ottawa scored 3 in the 9th and left the bases loaded to end the game.Rochester is 19-13 in one-run games.Wings have had winning streaks of 4, 3 times; 5 once; and 8 one time. They have lost 4 in a row twice and have one 5 game losing streak.They will be playing within their division for the remainder of the season. Here is how they have fared so far: Scranton 5-7; Pawtucket 8-4; Buffalo 4-4; Syracuse 7-5; and Ottawa 6-5.From April 9th thru April 17th, Red Wings were involved in 6 shutouts out of 9 games, winning 4 and losing 2.Finally, did you know that Chris Heintz, recently turned 32, has a 36 year old brother Bob who is a professional golfer currently playing on the Nationwide Tour, a level below the PGA. The brothers grew up in Clearwater, FL. Bob was in town this week playing in the Xerox Classic at the Irondequoit Country Club so he was able to take in a game at Frontier Field to watch his brother play.