HOUSTON – When they turned a triple play, the Rochester Red Wings knew Monday was going to be special.
Sure enough, two hours later, the Twins’ top farm club accomplished something few believed they could pull off after their 2-11 start to the season: They won a playoff berth.
Eduardo Escobar smashed three doubles and a home run to drive in five runs, Ray Olmedo knocked in two runs with three hits, and the Class AAA Red Wings claimed the International League’s wild-card berth on the season’s final day with a 13-3 victory over Scranton/Wilkes Barre at Frontier Field.
The Red Wings, who will open their first postseason series since 2006 on Wednesday at Pawtucket, needed help to get this far. Rochester opened the day one game behind Norfolk for the wild-card spot, and fans in Rochester were monitoring the Tides’ game with Durham all afternoon. It was scoreless through nine innings, but in the 10th, Jason Bourgeois singled home Kevin Kiermaier with the game’s only run, and the Red Wings, who owned the tiebreaker, needed only to finish off the Railriders.
They did it behind Scott Diamond, who gave up three runs over seven innings, and Virgil Vasquez, who closed it out with two perfect innings. Diamond improved to 4-0 since the Twins demoted him last month.
Olmedo, who helped turn a third-inning triple play, caught a Bobby Wilson popup to end the game, setting off a dogpile celebration at midfield, and a champagne celebration in the clubhouse.
Here's video of the triple play:
Cole DeVries will pitch Game 1 for the Red Wings on Wednesday, with P.J. Walters scheduled for Game 2.