The Rubber Ducks started off this week with three consecutive losses (six in total) before finally beating the Binghamton Rumble Ponies on the road in the second half of a twin billing on Wednesday, July 19th to break the streak. Home cooking was just what the doctor ordered as returning to Akron and Canal Park on Thursday led to three more consecutive wins against the Richmond Flying Squirrels, bringing the W-L total for the year to 49-47. The schedule for this past week was anything but ordinary starting with a game PPD on Monday due to rain. Then the Ducks finished a suspended game from May before Tuesdays game, with both only going seven innings, and a day/night double header (also seven innings) on Wednesday.
7/16 @ Erie SeaWolves L, 1-15
In the top of the first Akron’s Joe Sever hit a solo home run to put the RubberDucks up early, but unfortunately that would be all of the offense the good guys would muster in their last game in Erie. In the bottom of the third, Erie’s Steven Moya (2-4, 2 HR, 5 RBI) hit a three run home run that put the SeaWolves up for good. In the eighth Cameron Hill came on the pitch for the Ducks, but did not look much like an All-Star, giving up three runs on four hits.
Pitching Notes- The win went to Erie’s Artie Lewicki (8-3) who went six innings giving up only one run on Sever’s solo shot in the first. Lewicki was strong from that point on giving up only three more hits with eight strikeouts.
The loss went to Akron starter Matt Whitehouse (5-4) who lasted five innings while surrendering three runs on six hits. The Ducks’ Robbie Aviles looked strong in his two innings pitched as he extended his streak of scoreless innings to 14 over his last nine appearances.
7/17 @ Binghamton Rumble Ponies PPD
7/18 @ Binghamton Rumble Ponies (Completion of Suspended Game) W, 6-3 F/7)
Luckily the RubberDucks managed to score six runs before the game from 5/13 was postponed after two innings, because they did not score another run in the final five innings completed before the regularly scheduled game. Bobby Bradley was 2 for4, RBI, and Eric Stamets went 2 for 2, 2R HR for the Ducks. For the Rumble Ponies Gustavo Nunez went 2 for 3, RBI, and Matt Oberste was 2 for 3, 2B.
Pitching Notes- Rubber Ducks SP Thomas Pannone not only started the 5/13 game, but also pitched five scoreless innings to earn the win (5-1, 2.54 ERA) in the make-up game for an extremely long complete game.
The Rumble Ponies’ Corey Oswalt (7-4, 2.68 ERA) took the loss going three innings while giving up six runs on eight hits.
7/18 @ Binghamton Rumble Ponies L, 0-13
The RubberDucks were only able to manage three hits in a 13-0 shellacking at the hands of the Rumble Ponies at NYSEG Stadium. Binghamton’s Champ Stuart went 2 for 3 with a 2B and 2 RBI, LJ Mazzilli went 2 for 3 with 2B and 2 RBI, Thomas Nido was 3 for 4 with 2B and 2 RBI, and Gustavo Nunez went 3 for 4 with 2B, 3B, and 3 RBI.
Pitching Notes- PJ Conlon (6-7, 3.81 ERA) got the win for the Rumble Ponies throwing a complete game (7 IP) gem allowing no runs on three hits, and striking out eight.
Akron pitchers did not fare so well with Nick Pasquale (3-8, 6.03 ERA) taking the loss after only making it 1.2 innings and giving up five runs on seven hits while walking two. Mitch Brown (5.87 ERA) came on and gave up four runs on one hit and three walks.
7/19 @ Binghamton Rumble Ponies Game 1, L 1-2 (F/7)
The RubberDucks did not manage to score a run until the fifth inning of the pitchers dual in game one of a day/night double header in Binghamton. In the top of the fifth Tyler Krieger scored on a single by Joe Sever, and for a while it looked like that just might be enough to earn the win. The Rumble Ponies had different plans, waiting until the bottom of the seventh to make their move, eventually scoring on Gustavo Nunez’s RBI double.
Pitching Notes- Chris Flexen (6-1, 1.66 ERA) got the win while going the distance for Binghamton, giving up just one run on four hits while striking out seven.
Akron starter Matt Esparza (5-2, 3.62 ERA) was equally as impressive pitching six scoreless innings while giving up just one hit and striking out five. Unfortunately the effort was wasted as Cameron Hill (3-4, 3.51 ERA) got the loss and a blown save after giving up two runs on four hits in 0.1 innings pitched.
7/19 @ Rumble Ponies Game 2, W 11-4 (F/7)
The Rubber Ducks finally broke out of their offensive slump and beat up on the Rumble Ponies. Akron scored twice in the second, four times in the third, and five times in the fifth to account for their 11 runs. Binghamton scored one in the bottom of the fifth, and three times in the bottom of the seventh. Mike Papi went 3 for 4, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, Dorssys Paulino went three for three 2B, 3B, RBI, and Todd Hankins went two for three, 3B, 3 RBI.
Pitching Notes- Dominic DeMasi (1-0, 1.80 ERA) earned the win for Akron giving up just one run on two hit with six strike outs in 5.0 innings pitched.
Andrew Church managed to pitch into the fifth despite giving up 10 runs on 10 hits and surrending six walks.
7/20 vs Richmond Flying Squirrels W, 4-3
After Tyler Krieger hit an RBI single in the second, and Joe Sever hit a solo home run in the fifth cutting Richmond’s lead to 3-2. That score stood until the eighth inning, despite the Ducks loading the bases in the sixth, when Tyler Krieger came through again with a two run home run that scored Mike Papi to put Akron in the lead 4-3. Richmond got two base runners on in the ninth, but were not able to capitalize.
Pitching Notes- Jordan Milbrath (1-0, 7.27) got the W for Akron after pitching 2.1 hit-less innings, and Leandro Linares got the save ( SV 2, 6.43 ERA) despite walking two in the ninth. Starter Tanner Tulley (2.31) went 5.2 while giving up three runs on nine hits, and striking out two.
Richmond’s Carlos Alvarado (BS, 3)(0-3, 2.61 ERA) blew his second save of the year and took the L.
7/21 vs Flying Squirrels W, 4-2
Akron improved to 6-2 against Richmond on the year behind Bobby Bradley’s three-run home run in the fourth, capping off a four run inning that ended up being enough for the win after Mike Papi’s earlier RBI. The Flying Squirrels had eight batters reach base on walks, and also stranded 12 runners on base, which is part of the reason that they were only able to score two runs on six hits.
Pitching Notes- akron’s starter Luis Lugo (5-6, 5.13 ERA) got the win while giving up just one run on six hits and four walks, and striking out seven. David Speer (S, 5) got the save in 1.1 innings walking one and striking out one.
Sam Concord (3-9, 4.39 ERA) took the L for the Flying Squirrels giving up four runs in five hits while striking out six in 6.1 innings pitched.
7/22 vs Flying Squirrels W, 5-4
Akron started the scoring off early when Francisco Mejia hit an RBI double and then scored on a ground out by Bobby Bradley in the bottom of the first. The Ducks offense kept it moving scoring Tyler Krieger in the bottom of the second, and Mike Papi in the bottom of the third to make the score 4-0, RubberDucks. Richmond made it a ballgame in the top of the fourth when KC Hobson hit a three run home run scoring J. Hinojosa and former Indian Jerry Sands. In the bottom of the sixth Eric Haase scored on a sac-fly by Greg Allen to make the score 5-3. Richmond added one more in the top of the ninth to make it 5-4, but that was all they could manage.
Pitching Notes- Matt Whitehouse (6-4, 3.82 ERA) got the win for the RubberDucks giving up three runs on eight hits and striking out four in 5.0 innings pitched. Cameron Hill (S, 7) earned the save in spite of walking two and giving up a run.
Richmond starter Nate Reed (1-2, 7.32) took the L, pitching 5.0 innings while giving up four runs on six hits and walking five.
The RubberDucks finish up their series against Richmond on Sunday followed by four game in three days (Double header on Tuesday) against the Binghamton Rumble Ponies in Akron at Canal Park. Then on Thursday, the Ducks travel to Prince George’s Stadium for a weekend series against Bowie.