Mitchell Boggs earned a World Series ring in 2011 with the St. Louis Cardinals. The next season, he led the majors in holds with 43 and was tabbed to take over the closer’s role in St. Louis to begin 2013.
On Wednesday, the 30-year-old right-hander took the mound for the Charlotte Knights in the sixth inning of Game 1 of a double-header with the Rochester Red Wings hoping to rediscover what once made him one of the most feared relievers in the National League.
Instead, Boggs – who entered with the game tied at 5 – allowed two runs on three hits and a walk in a 7-5 loss for the Knights at BB&T BallPark.
The performance raised Boggs’ earned run average to 8.56, and was representative of the way his career has gone since the beginning of last season.
Wilkin Ramirez delivered the big blow in the sixth, following an intentional walk to load the bases, with a two-run line-drive single to left center that was hit too hard for Jordan Danks to track down.
The seven-run outburst by the Red Wings was enough to best Charlotte for the second night in a row despite home runs by Danks and Josh Phegley.
The Knights jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first on a two-run homer to left off the bat of Danks, who played in his 400th career game with the team.
Danks’ home run came off Rochester southpaw Kris Johnson and was his fourth of the year and second off a left-hander.
In the midst of a home stand where they’ll play nine games in eight days, the Knights needed starter Eric Surkamp to eat some innings.
However, a five-run second inning by the Red Wings, highlighted by two home runs off Surkamp, all but did away with that possibility when the southpaw walked to the dugout having thrown 65 pitches through two innings.
Tyler Saladino led off the bottom half of the second with a triple and came in to score on a fielder’s choice from Gorkys Hernandez to cut the Rochester lead to two.
The following inning, Phegley tied the game with his seventh home run of the season after Carlos Sanchez had singled to lead off the inning.
Surkamp held the fort for the next two innings before leading with 102 pitches (58 for strikes).
The game stayed tied until the sixth when Boggs ran into trouble when he allowed a double and a single to lead off the inning. He recovered to strikeout Deibinson Romero, but issued a wild pitch in the process, leading Charlotte manager Joel Skinner to hold up four fingers.
Following the walk, Boggs’ first pitch to Ramirez – a 89 mph fastball – caught too much of the plate and was deposited in left for the game-winning hit.
The Knights, who finished the game with just four hits, where held scoreless in the game’s final two frames by Michael Tonkin, who recorded his third save of the season.
Boggs has allowed 26 runs in 27 1/3 innings this season and has been touched up for at least a run in six of his last 10 appearances.
Red Wings 7, Knights 5
Wednesday’s box score
E — Florimon, Danks. LOB–ROC: 9, CHA: 4. 2B–Florimon. 3B–Saladino. HR—Rohlfing, Danks.
WP-Boggs. HBP- Semien.
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