By Jim Cain –
Ryan Fitzgerald hit his fifth home run over his last eight games, but the Worcester Red Sox (19-19) dropped the fifth game of their six-game series with the Rochester Red Wings (14-22) by a 7-6 final on Saturday night.
For the fifth consecutive game, the Red Wings scored first. After Norwith Gudino retired the first two batters of the second inning, he threw a 3-2 pitch to Derek Hill that was initially called strike three, but after a successful challenge by Hill, he worked a walk. Gudino then allowed a single to Kevin Plawecki and walked Cody Wilson before Darren Baker hit a bases-clearing double to give Rochester an early 3-0 lead.
Edwin Diaz, making his first start since his promotion from Double-A, put Worcester on the board with a solo home run in the fifth inning.
Rochester responded with three more runs in the bottom of the fifth. Matt Adams singled in Travis Blankenhorn. A few pitches later, Franklin Barreto blasted a two-run, opposite-field homer to right to give Rochester a 6-1 lead.
But the WooSox scored five runs in the sixth inning to tie the game. After Luis Reyes retired the first two batters, Wilyer Abreu singled, Ronaldo Hernandez walked, and then Daniel Palka hit an infield single to load the bases. Nick Sogard lined a two-run double to left to make it a 6-3 game. Ryan Fitzgerald then blasted a three-run homer to tie the game.
In the bottom of the seventh, Matt Adams doubled in the go-ahead run for the Red Wings.
The WooSox wrap up their series with the Red Wings tomorrow at 1:05 p.m. Radio coverage begins at 12:45 p.m. on 98.9 Nash Icon and the rest of the WooSox Radio Network.