Quite a night at Frontier Field as Red Wings hang for thrilling victory over Mets

·7 min read

Rochester Red Wings manager Matt LeCroy has been around the game of baseball for about four decades as a player, coach and manager, so he’s seen just about everything.

But he hasn’t seen everything, as Thursday night’s thrilling 10-9 victory over the Syracuse Mets at Frontier Field proved.

“That was probably the craziest inning I’ve had in a long time to a ballgame,” LeCroy said of the frenetic top of the ninth when the Wings came oh so close to blowing a 10-5 lead. “We battled offensively to score a bunch of runs and we needed every single one of them.”

When Patrick Murphy took the mound to start the ninth, a good chunk of the crowd announced at 5,873 had already exited the ballpark because really, there wasn’t much left to see.

Jake Noll and the Red Wings survived a near collapse in the ninth inning to defeat Syracuse 10-9.
Jake Noll and the Red Wings survived a near collapse in the ninth inning to defeat Syracuse 10-9.

Well, then this happened. Murphy gave up a walk, a single, another walk, and another single that produced a run. So LeCroy went out to rescue him and called for Jordan Weems. And then this happened: Weems recorded a strikeout but got tagged for a three-run triple by Quinn Brodey, cutting the Wings lead to 10-9.

And then this happened: Weems struck out Cody Bohanek, and for some reason Brodey, who represented the tying run, wandered off third base and the Wings eventually tagged him out in a rundown to end the game.

“At the end Murphy struggled and he’s been really good for us and just had one of those nights where he didn’t have much feel for anything,” LeCroy said.

“And then Weemsy came in and gave up those runs, but the guy made a mental mistake at third and allowed us to win the ballgame. Don’t like the way we won, but you’ll take any type of ‘W’ and hopefully this will get us going and get us on a big roll.”

The Wings - who are now 11-4 against the Mets this season - pulled within a half-game of first-place Buffalo in the International League East, and they still have three more games against the lowly Mets who sit ninth in the 10-team division.

How bad are the Mets? In this game they made four errors plus the Brodey baserunning blunder, and they struck out 18 times. Eighteen, including five by Bohanek and four by Warren Saunders.

Cory Abbott started for the Wings and he was on a pitch count and didn’t make great use of it. He lasted only three traffic-filled innings, but he held the Mets scoreless.

Abbott made his MLB debut in 2021 pitching in seven games for the Chicago Cubs and had a 6.75 ERA. He was traded to the Giants on April 21, was waived May 4, then signed with Washington and was sent to Rochester.

He got out of a first-and-second jam in the first, and after striking out the side in the second and retiring the first two men in the third, he worked himself into a bases-loaded dilemma before getting the final man he faced on a fly ball to center.

The Wings jumped to a 6-0 lead with four runs scoring with two outs in the fourth inning and seemed destined for an easy night.

“I think throughout the whole lineup we had really solid at bats and did a really nice job with two-out RBIs,” LeCroy said of the 15-hit assault on four Mets pitchers. “That was the key to tonight’s game and really pleased with them so we’ll hopefully carry that momentum into tomorrow.”

In the fourth, Matt Lipka singled, and with two outs stole second and scored on Ildemaro Vargas’ single. Joey Meneses then poked an RBI double to right, he scored on a Josh Palacios single, and after Palacios stole second and moved to third on a throwing error, he scored when Jake Noll hustled out a grounder to deep short and beat the throw by half a step.

The Mets rose up in the fifth against reliever Carson Teel when Nick Dini launched a grand slam, but the Wings tacked on single runs in the fifth and sixth and two more in the seventh to regain control.

But Syracuse scored once in the eighth, then threw a big scare into LeCroy’s team and turned a laugher into a nail-biter.

Here’s what else was going on at the ballpark:

Nick Banks has a productive return

Nick Banks returned to the Red Wings lineup Thursday night against Syracuse.
Nick Banks returned to the Red Wings lineup Thursday night against Syracuse.

Banks was back in the Rochester lineup as the DH after more than six weeks away due to a knee injury and he had an RBI single, walked twice and scored a run.

The lefty-swinging outfielder began the season by hitting safely in his first 12 games and 19 of his first 20 before going down the first weekend of May against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. At that time, he was hitting .355 with an on-base percentage of .395, four homers and 11 RBI.

It was disappointing for Banks, and the team, because after a rough Triple-A debut with the Wings in 2021 when he hit .189 in 32 games, he was a different hitter in spring training and the first month of the season.

“He was off to a really good start and then he banged up his knee a little bit, but from where he was at the end of last year, his first time in Triple-A, that was a struggle for him,” said Wings hitting coach Brian Daubach.

“I challenged him to do some different things over the winter and he took that to heart. From when he came to spring training, you could see a big difference and I was glad he got off to a really good start. He’s been really nice to watch and it’s been so good to see him have success.”

Banks played nine games at Single-A Wilmington before returning to Rochester.

Josh Palacios is back on a roll

Josh Palacios has gotten hot over the last couple weeks and he had three more hits Thursday night.
Josh Palacios has gotten hot over the last couple weeks and he had three more hits Thursday night.

The outfielder who made such a dynamic debut with the Wings when he was signed during the first week of the season following his release by the Blue Jays, is back to raking again.

In his first eight games with Rochester, Palacios hit .310 with four homers and 11 RBI for an OPS of 1.136 and he finished April at .328 with 18 RBI.

Then from May through June 7, Palacios had a rough go as he had no home runs, a .185 average and a .537 OPS. Now, in the last nine games, he’s hitting .387 with three homers, seven RBI and an 1.134 OPS.

Yeah, it’s been quite a ride for Palacios who went 3-for-4, drove in one run while scoring two and stole a base.

“I really like where his at bats are headed,” LeCroy said. “I think (Daubach) has done a really good job of getting him to stand down in his legs to try to get the ball out in front a little bit more. He’s had some big hits.”

Hard-luck Joan Adon has a promising start

Joan Adon had a promising start for the Wings Wednesday, but his 11 losses for the Nationals lead all of MLB.
Joan Adon had a promising start for the Wings Wednesday, but his 11 losses for the Nationals lead all of MLB.

If ever a pitcher needed to experience a feel-good outing, it was struggling Wings right-hander Joan Adon.

The 23-year-old has been up with the Nationals most of this season, and his statistical line is the kind pitchers have nightmares about. He had a regular turn in Washington’s rotation and in 13 starts, Adon has a record of 1-11 with a 6.97 ERA and a WHIP of 1.747.

The 11 losses lead MLB, one more than his Washington teammate, the much higher-salaried Patrick Corbin, who has 10. Now, that speaks to just how bad the Nationals have been, as their 25-47 record is third-worst in MLB.

But Adon hasn’t exactly helped himself by averaging 5.3 walks per nine innings with a 61% strike percentage. That’s why his five strong innings Wednesday afternoon at Frontier Field in Rochester’s 4-2 victory over Syracuse gave him a chance to take a breath.

Adon gave up four hits and one unearned run but more importantly, did not walk a batter. He threw 81 pitches, 57 for strikes, a 70.3 rate.

“He had a good mix with the change-up and the curveball,” said LeCroy. “But more importantly to me, he commanded the fastball. If he continues to do that, he’ll put himself in a good spot to get back and help him be more successful. The guy has all the tools to be really good at the big-league level. He struggled in the big leagues commanding the ball at times.”

Sal Maiorana can be reached at maiorana@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter @salmaiorana. 

This article originally appeared on Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: Rochester Red Wings defeat Syracuse Mets 10-9 in wild game at Frontier