Akron RubberDucks beat New Britain for 4th straight win
(Akron, Oh.) August 7, 2014 – Akron righthander Will Robertsscattered six hits and allowed just one run in seven innings Thursday night as the RubberDucks completed a three-game series sweep with a 3-1 victory over the New Britain Rock Cats at Canal Park.
Roberts (11-11) continued building his new career-high in wins with his 11th of the season. It was also his second against the Rock Cats (55-61). His 11 victories rank second in the Eastern League, and also second in the entire Indians organization. On Thursday, he walked one and fanned four, and blanked the Cats during his first six innings. Roberts was reached for his only run of the night in the seventh inning on a walk, and ground-rule double and a ground out.
The win extended the RubberDucks winning streak to four straight games, and further tightened a compelling race for the EL Western Division crown. First-place Richmond lost their eighth consecutive game, dropping a 3-0 decision at home against Binghamton. Thus, the RubberDucks are now just 2 1⁄2 games out of first place with 23 games left to play. Third- place Bowie managed to hold steady with a 6-3 win over Portland, and are still 5 1⁄2 games behind Akron. The top two teams in the division make the post-season.
Akron (64-55) broke a scoreless tie with two runs in the fifth against New Britain starter Tyler Duffey (8-3). Bryan LaHair, Anthony Gallas and Alex Lavisky lead off the inning with consecutive singles. Jake Lowery chipped in a sacrifice fly to make it 1-0, and Ronny Rodriguez drove in Gallas with a ground out to short to make it 2-0. After New Britain pulled to within 2-1 in the seventh, the RubberDucks tacked on an important insurance run in the eighth on double by Rodriguez, a sacrifice bunt by Jaime Pedroza and a perfectly-executed squeeze bunt by Ollie Linton.
Once Roberts left, relief help came from lefty Giovanni Soto and Shawn Armstrong, both of whom tossed a perfect inning. Armstrong closed it in the ninth, notching his second save of the series and 14th of the year.
Notes: None of the four combined runs scored on a hit. New Britain managed to out-hit the RubberDucks, 6-4. Duffey retired the first 12 men he faced before faltering in the fifth. RubberDucks shortstop Erik Gonzalez was 0-2, with a pair of walks, and snapped his 17-game hitting streak.
The RubberDucks will continue the homestand on Friday night at 7:05, as they begin a three-game series against New hampshire at Canal Park. RHP Cody Anderson (4-9, 4.97) is the scheduled starter for Akron, while RHPTaylor Cole (0- 1, 11.81) is expected to get the ball for Fisher Cats. The game will be broadcast on WARF 1350 AM and online at www.AkronRubberDucks.com.
The Akron RubberDucks are the Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. The 2014 season is the 18th since moving to Canal Park and the first as the RubberDucks. For more information, including official team merchandise, go to www.AkronRubberDucks.com or call 330-253-5151. Fans may also follow the team on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/AkronRubberDucks and Twitter at @AkronRubberDuck.