The Red Wings and Columbus Clippers split a doubleheader Saturday night at Frontier Field. The Wings blanked the Clippers 3-0 in the opener, with Columbus returning the favor with a 1-0 nightcap win.
In game one, Rochester proved early that they came to play. After Luke French escaped the top of the first inning unscathed, the Red Wings' offense provided immediate support in the bottom half of the inning. Wilkin Ramirez belted a double to left-center field which scored Pedro Florimon from first base, and Ramirez advanced to third base on the throw to home plate. With Ramirez on third, Chris Parmelee grounded out to second base on a tough play up the middle, allowing Ramirez to score from third, giving Rochester a 2-0 lead after one inning of action.
Neither team would generate any run production in the next four innings, leaving the score still at 2-0 heading into the top of the sixth inning. Despite only having one hit on the day, the Red Wings still held the lead behind a strong pitching performance from French. The lefty walked a batter in each inning of the five innings he pitched, but scattered three hits while striking out two and allowing no runs. Lester Oliveros relieved French in the top of the sixth inning and mowed down three consecutive Clippers to retire the side for Rochester.
Tsuyoshi Nishioka provided a one-out double for the Wings in the bottom of the sixth and eventually came around to score on a single from Ramirez, providing an insurance run for Rochester to make the score 3-0.
With a three run lead in the seventh and final inning of game one, Oliveros again retired the side, striking out two and clinching the 3-0 win for the Red Wings over the Clippers.
Game two did not have the same beginning for the Red Wings. David Bromberg found himself in a bit of a jam in the top of the first inning with the bases loaded and two outs, but escaped the first without surrendering a run. Tsuyoshia Nishioka and Pedro Florimon began the bottom of the inning with back-to-back singles, giving the Red Wings offense a spark but no fire caught as the next three batters went down in order.
The second inning proved to be a similar story as again Bromberg allowed no runs in a much more smooth 1-2-3 inning. Matt Carson led off the bottom of the second inning with a single, but again the Wings failed to move the runners around, leaving the score tied at zero after two innings of play.
With runners on first and second and two outs in the top of the third, Bromberg allowed his first run of the game as Chad Huffman singled to left field to give the Clippers the 1-0 lead. In the bottom of the third inning, Nishioka again led off the inning with a hit, but Florimon hit into a double play as the Red Wings were unable to respond.
Esmerling Vasquez came on to relieve Bromberg in the top of the fourth inning and recorded a 1-2-3 inning to keep the deficit at 1-0. For the fourth straight inning, the Red Wings leadoff batter reached base as Chris Parmelee walked to lead off the bottom of the fourth. Clete Thomas singled with two outs, advancing Parmelee to second base, but that was all the Wings offense could manage as the score remained the same heading into the fifth inning.
Vasquez again held the Clippers scoreless for the second consecutive inning, preserving the narrow lead for Columbus. However, Rochester again failed to respond with any run support in the bottom of the fifth inning.
After Vasquez pitched two innings of scoreless baseball, Casey Fien relieved him in the top of the sixth inning for the Red Wings. Fien recorded two strikeouts in the sixth inning while retiring the side to complete another inning of stellar pitching by the Rochester bullpen. In the bottom half of the inning, the Wings again could not produce any offensive magic, leaving them with one final at bat in the seventh.Fien again held the Clippers scoreless in the top of the seventh, rounding out a day in which Red Wings relievers allowed zero runs in six innings pitched. With one out in the bottom of the seventh, Thomas doubled to right field and advanced to third base on a fielding error. Sean Burroughs pinch hit for Ray Chang , but grounded out to first base before Rene Rivera grounded out to shortstop, stranding Thomas at third and resulting in a 1-0 loss for Rochester.