Rochester returned to action Wednesday and dropped the first game of the second half of the season, 8-7.

Nick Gruener took the hill for the Honkers and gave up one run in the first and two in the second to give Duluth a 3-0 advantage. One of the team leaders in ERA, Gruener saw his earned run average balloon from 1.80 to 3.68 after a grand slam by Alex Michaels chased him with one out in the fifth. Gruener gave up seven runs on eight hits and three walks in the ballgame.

The Rochester offense scored in the second, as Jeff Campbell continued his hitting streak with a long single to left and a Travis Hull single plated the first run. Another run scored on an RBI ground out by Campbell in the third. Campbell ended the game 2-5 with 2 RBI.

After the fifth inning grand slam, the Honkers got the bases loaded in the sixth, but couldn't score. The Honkers scored only twice in Duluth starter Kevin Peters' six innings. Rochester put their own 4-spot on the board in the seventh against the Duluth bullpen, however. Jeff Campbell picked up his 16th RBI in the frame and Corey Hassel plated two with a double to left. After a two-out single by Parker Guinn scored Hassel from second, it was back to a one-run deficit for Rochester, 7-6.

Blake Quinn came out from the bullpen to start the eight for Rochester and was pulled pretty quickly. A lead-off walk, a sacrifice bunt, and a run-scoring single were all that Quinn would see in the game, and it was 8-6 in the top in the eighth.

The Honkers got runners on first and third with two outs before a balk by Duluth reliever Ryan Agnitsch scored Travis Hull. In the ninth, Blaise Lezynski singled for a 3-5 night, but the rest of the offense was shut down by Agnitsch, who picked up his first save of the season.

The Honkers will look to bounce back Thursday with another matchup at Mayo Field against the Duluth Huskies. Spencer Greer will be on the mound for a 7:05 p.m. start.