By Josh Cook
Even a return home couldn't help the Louisville Bats on Thursday night.
Playing their first game at Louisville Slugger Field in days the Bats couldn't hold an early four-run lead in an 8-5 loss to the Rochester Red Wings.
But it didn't start out looking like Louisville (8-19) was going to lose for the 11th time in its last 12 games.
The Bats, who came in last in the International League in runs scored, plated a pair of runs in the first and third innings against Rochester starter Jeff Manship.
But the Red Wings (12-15) answered with three runs in the fourth and two in the fifth against Louisville starter Matt Maloney and reliever Jesus Delgado. Matt Macri's three-run homer in the fourth was the big blow for the Red Wings.
The Bats tied the score in the bottom of the sixth on Juan Francisco's home run to right field.
Rochester rallied right back, though, scoring three runs - two of which were earned - off Bats reliever Chad Reineke (0-3) in the top of the seventh.
Juan Francisco and Zack Cozart combined for six of Louisville's eight hits. Francisco went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and one run scored, while Cozart went 3-for-4 with two runs scored.
Trevor Plouffe led the Red Wings' 12-hit attack, going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and one RBI, while Matt Fox (3-0) earned the win in relief.
The two teams continue their four-team series at 7:05 p.m. Friday night at Slugger Field.