PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- Arthur Rhodes received as much support as any pitcher could hope for last night from the Rochester Red Wings.
His teammates supplied 18 runs on 22 hits, earning an 18-1 victory in the opening game of the Triple-A International League season.
"It was just one of those things," said designated hitter Scott Meadows, 4-for-6 with an RBI. "It became contagious. Like catching a cold."
Rhodes shut out the Pawtucket Red Sox on two hits over six innings.The left-hander walked one and struck out eight.
"If I have a good game, the team will have a good game," Rhodes said. "I wasn't nervous. If I get three quick outs, it will be a good game."
He may have done as much for the offense as Ed Yacopino and Doug Jennings, who combined for seven hits and seven RBI.
Meadows and Yacopino had four hits each, with Yacopino ripping three of the Red Wings' eight doubles.
Jennings had three hits and the season's first home run for a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning.
The Red Wings had an 8-0 lead after five innings, and Jerry Narron, who won his first opener in three seasons as a manager, stopped waving runners around third in the sixth inning.
But when the Red Wings hit four doubles in the sixth and batted around for the second straight inning, there was nothing he could do to prevent the rout.
Ken Shamburg, the last Red Wings player to get a hit, homered in the seventh inning for an 18-0 lead.
Pat Leinen, in relief of Rhodes, gave up a home run to Mike Twardoski in the eighth.