Red Wings open up two-game series against Syracuse

Updated: 08/21/2014 11:42 PM
Created: 08/21/2014 11:34 PM WHEC.com

TONIGHT'S GAME: The Red Wings continue their 4-game road trip with the opener of a 2-game series against the first-place Syracuse Chiefs (Nationals) from NBT Bank Stadium in Syracuse. The Wings lost last night to Buffalo in walkoff fashion to split the 2-G set. With only 12 games remaining in the regular season, the Wings are 6.0 GB of the Chiefs for first place in the North and 3.0 GB of Pawtucket in the Wild Card. Syracuse, who took 3 of 4 from the Red Wings in Rochester last week, hold a comfortable 3.0-game lead over the Paw Sox in the North as they look to make the playoffs for the first time since 1998 and snap the IL's longest active playoff drought.

SCHEDULING NOTE: The Wings have just 12 games remaining in the regular season with 6 scheduled for Frontier Field and 6 on the road. The combined winning percentage of the Wings remaining schedule is .536, while the combined winning percentage of Pawtucket is .511. The Paw Sox still have 4 games remaining against last-place LHV (59-72).

TONIGHT'S WINGS STARTER: The Wings send southpaw Kris Johnson to the mound in the opener Thursday to make his 21st start of the year for Rochester. Johnson, who allowed 6 runs on 9 hits (2 HR) in 6.2 IP in a loss to Syracuse on Friday at Frontier Field, has struggled in August going 0-3, 9.45 ERA with 24 hits allowed in 13.1 IP and only 5 SO in 3 GS. Prior to this month, Johnson, who posted the IL's best ERA a season ago with IND, was 9-4, 2.79 ERA in 17 starts.

CC HITTING THE LONG BALL: Wings 1B Chris Colabello hit his team-leading 10th HR of the season (in 49 games) on Wednesday and his 2nd in as many nights. Colabello now has 34 homers in 138 career games with the Red Wings -- moving him into a T-5th for most home runs by a Red Wing during the Twins era. Matt Macri (315 G) and Kevin West (220 G) also hit 34 homers for the Wings in their careers. In his Red Wings tenure, Colabello has homered once every 15.06 ABs -- for comparison sake TOL's Mike Hessman leads the IL with a 1/15.04 HR/AB ratio this season.
→CC's home run on Wednesday night was the 66th of his affiliated ball career (386 G) since the beginning of 2012.

MEYER MAGIC: On Wednesday night @ BUF, RHP Alex Meyer (5.2 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 10 SO) turned in his 4th double digit strikeout performance of the season and the 6th of his career. Meyer and Trevor May - who owns two, 11 SO games this year - are the only two Wings to reach double figures in punch outs this season. The Twins top pitching prospect leads the IL with 149 SO this season and has a chance to become the first Wing to lead the IL in SO since Boof Bonser in 2005 (168). Meyer, who entered the game with a league-high 60 walks, issued 0 free passes for just the 3rd time in his 25 starts this season.

PINTO PACING THE OFFENSE: Wings C/DH Josmil Pinto has collected multiple hits in 10 of 19 August games, hitting .368 (25-for-68) with 11 XBH and 15 RBI raising his average nearly 50 points. His .368 August mark is 8th best in the IL. Over his last 29 games, Pinto is batting .330 (34-104) with 12 2B, 3B, 4 HR and 27 RBI. Over his first 20 games after being optioned down from Minnesota, he batted just .246 with 6 XBH and 7 RBI.

HOT WINGS: OF Wilkin Ramirez has a hit in 13 of his 15 August games, batting .328 (19-58) with 5 XBH and 9 RBI... Over his last 10 games, INF Pedro Florimon is hitting .353 (12-for-34) with 5 2B, 3B and 8 RBI...OF Daniel Ortiz has a hit in 14 of last 16 starts, batting .344 (21-61) w/ 6 2B, 2 HR, 10 R and 9 RBI...Over his last 5 G, C/OF Chris Herrmann has 3 2B, HR, 3 R and 4 RBI...OF Aaron Hicks has picked up multiple hits in 6 of his first 13 games with the Red Wings and is now batting .327 (50-153) combined between New Britain (AA) and Rochester since July 1.

OLIVEROS ON A ROLL: After tossing 2.0 scoreless innings on Tuesday, Wings reliever Lester Oliveros has now thrown 16.1 straight scoreless innings over his last 9 G (7 H, 4 BB & 27 SO). The 16.1-inning streak is the longest by a Wings reliever this season and 2nd longest streak on the team (Y. Pino, 16.2 IP from 4/22-5/9). Oliveros has struck out multiple batters in each of his last 12 appearances (35 SO/20.2 IP) and in 15 of his 19 G. If he had enough innings to qualify, his 13.81 SO/9 IP ratio would be best among IL relievers.
→Over his last 6 appearances (10.1 IP), Oliveros has allowed 3 hits and 1 BB with 17 SO.

→The Wings lost in walk-off fashion for the 6th time this season and for the first time since July 18 @ NOR.
→The Wings went just 1-for-10 with RISP...In the Wings last 5 losses they are a combined 4-for-41 (.098) with RISP.
→With the loss, the Wings have now lost the season series to Buffalo for a 5th straight season.
→With Alex Meyer's leadoff HR to Darin Mastroianni, Wings starters have now allowed a HR in 8 straight starts (10 total HR)...The Wings rotation has allowed 61 HR this season with 48 of them coming since June 1.

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