Honkers use wild pitches, long ball to roll past Mankato
Two wild pitches and one big swing of the bat helped the Rochester Honkers get back in the win column on Friday night.
The Honkers snapped a tie in the bottom of the sixth with a pair of runs scored on wild pitches, then Robert Pearce tacked on three insurance runs in the seventh with a blast to right field to help the Honkers beat Mankato 7-3 at Mayo Field.
The score was tied 2-2 after two innings, but then the Honkers pitchers settled in.
Reliever Salvatore Ferro took over for starter Jeremy Klick in the top of the fifth inning and pitched four innings of one-hit shutout ball in which he walked two batters and struck out four.
The outing for Ferro was a stark contrast to his previous two appearances -- on July 27 and Aug. 4 -- in which he gave up a combined 15 hits and 11 earned runs in a pair of losses to the Waterloo Bucks. Ferro, who earned the victory on Saturday, was in command from the time he took the mound. He faced just 15 batters in four innings -- three more than the minimum -- and didn't allow a runner past second base.
Klick allowed two earned runs on two hits in his four innings of work. Jack Zalasky allowed a run on two hits in the ninth to earn the save.
Ryan Wrobleski scored the winning run in the sixth inning on a wild pitch. Two batters later, Robert Moore scored to make it 4-2 on another wild pitch.
Ferro worked a 1-2-3 top of the seventh. In the bottom of the inning, Wrobleski walked with one out and Moore was hit by a pitch. Howard then blasted a 2-0 pitch over the right-field wall for a three-run home run to extend Rochester's lead to 7-2.
Moore and Howard finished with two hits each for Rochester, which collected six hits in the game.
Mankato dropped to 13-19 this season with the loss.
The Honkers play at Mankato at 5:05 p.m. Sunday, then are off until a game at Waterloo on Wednesday. Rochester's next home game is set for 6:35 p.m. Thursday against Waterloo.