Rochester got back to .500 thanks to their fourth-straight win. Here are five takeaways from the Honkers' 7-1 win over the Minnesota Mud Puppies.

RELATED: Honkers reel off third straight win

Taking care of business

If Rochester wants to have some late-season magic, they have to take care of business against inferior competition. Saturday's 7-1 win over the Minnesota Mud Puppies was just what the doctor ordered. The Mud Puppies have struggled mightily this season (4-23) and they've won just one time in their last 10 games. The Honkers were tied with the Mud Puppies at 1 until the seventh inning but some late-inning offense got the Honkers over the hump. But if Rochester really wants to make some noise, they can't afford to take the Mud Puppies lightly.

Two-out magic again

Newsletter signup for email alerts

The Honkers seem to have an ability to just get it done with runners in scoring position and two outs. On Saturday, it was Benjamin Rosengard who came up clutch with the go-ahead two-run single in the bottom of the seventh inning. Then, Ben North followed with a monster two-run double to give Rochester a big 5-1 advantage. The Honkers offense hasn't been fantastic all year long but they've been clutch recently and it's a big reason why they've reeled off four wins in a row and got back to .500.

Kellen Pate battles command but keeps Honkers in it

Honkers starter Kellen Pate would probably tell you he didn't have his best stuff on Saturday. But the Northwestern freshman figured out a way to work through traffic in every inning and left after allowing just one run in three innings. Pate walked three and hit two batters. So five of the 16 hitters he faced (31 percent) got on base without recording a hit. Pate loaded the bases in the second inning on two hit by pitches and a walk, but Pate also owns strikeout stuff and fanned Max Gamm with the bases loaded and one out. But he'll regret not putting away Henry George and the lone run came when he walked George on a full-count offering. Even though he was fighting through mechanical issues, Pate was able to grind and get a groundout from Kyle Huckstorf to end the threat and keep the Honkers very much in the game. Sometimes, there's a lot to gain from finding a way to grind through an outing when you don't have your best stuff. Pate showed the Honkers pitching staff that he can flirt with danger but still get out of it with minimal damage.

Ben Grable shines in relief

The Honkers went with the Northwestern piggyback duo of Pate and Grable and that proved to be a great choice. Grable entered in the fourth inning and absolutely dominated the Mud Puppies lineup. Grable allowed just one single and struck out seven. He allowed the first two batters to reach in the fourth inning (hit by pitch and a single) but he responded with three strikeouts. He finished his three-inning outing by fanning the side in the sixth too. The 6-foot-4 Northwestern freshman has now struck out 12 in 7 1/3 innings this year. His upside is through the roof.

Miguel Ortiz gives thump to bottom of the order

Miguel Ortiz whacked a solo home run in the eighth inning and finished with a two-hit day out of the No. 7 spot in the Honkers' lineup. It was the first home run of the year for the California State, Fullerton product and his second extra-base hit.