Created: 07/31/2014 11:42 PM WHEC.com
Sean Gilmartin suffers loss allowing five runs over six innings.
The Lehigh Valley IronPigs carried the momentum from their six-run comeback win Wednesday afternoon at Frontier Field across the Pennsylvania border and into Allentown on Thursday night.
Russ Canzler hit a three-run first inning home run and the IronPigs never looked back sending the Red Wings to a 5-2 loss at Coca-Cola Park in the opener of a two-game set and 10-game road trip.
The Wings (61-51) have now dropped two straight and are 1.5 GB of Syracuse and Pawtucket for the IL North division lead.
The ‘Pigs took advantage of Sean Gilmartin’s erratic control in the first inning. After walking two of the first three batters he faced, Gilmartin fell behind Canzler 3-0. The former IL MVP got the green light from skipper Dave Brundage and drove a belt-high fastball into the left field bullpen for a three-run homer.
The Wings trimmed the lead to 3-1 in the fifth inning on an RBI single from Chris Rahl but it could have been more. With runners on first and third, Doug Bernier hit a sinking line drive to left fielder Cam Perkins who came in to make the catch then threw a strike to home plate nabbing Eric Farris at the plate trying to tag from third for an inning-ending double play.
Gilmartin settled in after allowing the homer to Canzler, setting down the next 11 in a row before a leadoff double by Perkins in the fifth. The Wings southpaw would strand Perkins, but couldn’t wriggle out of trouble in the sixth inning.
After a walk and single put runners on first and second, Jim Murphy roped a two-out, two-run double over the head of Farris in center, extending the Lehigh Valley lead to 5-1.
Gilmartin’s string of four consecutive quality starts was snapped as he allowed five runs on five hits and three walks over six innings suffering his third loss in nine starts with Rochester.
The Wings loaded the bases in the eighth inning on three singles off IronPigs starter David Buchanan that brought cleanup hitter Josmil Pinto to the plate representing the tying run. Brundage went to former Red Wing Jeff Manship to face Pinto, who came in with two grand slams in just 28 games with Rochester this season. The ex-Wing induced the Wings catcher to roll into a 6-4-3 inning-ending double play.
The Wings tacked on their second and final run in the ninth on a run-scoring single from Pedro Florimon, but ‘Pigs closer Luis Garcia would strike out Farris to end the game.
The Wings wrap up the two-game set and the season series with the IronPigs on Friday night from Coca-Cola Park. Southpaw Kris Johnson (9-4, 2.80) will make the start with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m.