Rochester starter Kris Johnson tossed six strong innings and combined with two relievers on a five-hitter as the Red Wings defeated the Pawtucket Red Sox, 3-1, on Monday afternoon in front of 6,182 fans at McCoy Stadium in the regular-season finale for each team.
Playing only 13 hours after the final out of Pawtucket’s wild card-clinching victory on Sunday night, Rochester plated runs in each of the first two innings against PawSox starter Chris Hernandez (5-9) and never looked back. Johnson (10-7) allowed only four hits and one earned run.
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Pawtucket (79-65) finished the regular season with one fewer victory than it had in 2013 (80-63). The PawSox will take on North Division-champion Syracuse in a best-of-five playoff series beginning with game one on Wednesday night at McCoy Stadium.
Hernandez permitted seven hits and three walks in six innings of work, while Pawtucket’s infield turned four groundball double plays behind him. The PawSox defense recorded five double play groundouts in the contest, matching a single-game franchise record.
Rochester took the lead in the first with three consecutive singles, the last of which came from Chris Colabello to plate the game’s first run. Eric Farris’ sacrifice fly in the second doubled the Red Wings lead.
After a Blake Swihart two-out RBI single in the fourth cut Pawtucket’s deficit to 2-1, Aaron Hicks drove in a run for Rochester in the fifth on a ground out that delivered the final run in the contest.
Reliever A.J. Achter pitched two scoreless innings and recorded four strikeouts behind Johnson, while Lester Oliveros tossed a 1-2-3 ninth inning to record his sixth save of the season.
Game one of the playoff series against Syracuse will be on Wednesday night with first pitch scheduled for 7:05. Pawtucket manager Kevin Boles has yet to announce his starting pitcher, while the Chiefs are slated to throw righty Taylor Hill (11-7, 2.81).