Akron RubberDucks beat New Britain Rock Cats, 9-6
(New Britain, Conn.) June 4, 2014 – The Akron RubberDucks delivered one of the best offensive performances of the season Wednesday night, backing Matt Packer with plenty of run-support for a record-setting win in a 9-6 victory over the New Britain Rock Cats.
The win was the third straight for the RubberDucks (37-21), who improved to a season-high, 17 games over .500. The division lead remained five over second-place Richmond, who slipped by Trenton, 6-4, at home Wednesday night.
Packer (1-0) made his first appearance of the season after sitting out the first two months of the season with a pulled left latissimus muscle. He weathered a rocky first inning in which he allowed three runs on four hits and threw 35 pitches, and ended up working five innings to claim the win. He allowed four runs on six hits while walking one and striking out five.
It was Packer’s 25th career win in an Akron uniform, making him the all-time winningest pitcher in franchise history. He moves ahead of righthander Paolo Espino, with whom he previously shared the record. Packer first appeared with Akron in 2010. He led the team and finished tied for the EL lead with 12 wins last season.
For the second straight night, second baseman Joe Wendle came through with a clutch hit for the RubberDucks. With the game tied at 3-3, in the second inning, Wendle launched a two-out, two-run homer to right field to give the Ducks a 5-3 lead. It was Wendle’s sixth home run this season and one of his three hits on the night. It came off New Britain starter Tyler Duffey (1-2), who allowed six runs in four innings.
Bryan LaHair drove in four runs for the RubberDucks, including a two-run double off Duffey during a three-run first inning. He later added a sacrifice fly and a RBI single. Alex Lavisky enjoyed his best offensive night of the season, going 4-5, with a double and two runs scored. He started out 4-4, before grounding out in his final at-bat.
Jordan Cooper (1 IP) and Bryan Price (2 IP) bridged the gap between Packer and closer Louis Head, who made his Double-A debut. Head tossed a scoreless ninth, striking out two hitters, for his first AA save. The four Akron pitchers combined to strike out 12 hitters.
The RubberDucks and Rock Cats (25-31) will play the final game of the series on Thursday evening at 6:35. RHPCody Anderson (2-3, 4.37) is scheduled to start for the RubberDucks, while LHP Sean Gilmartin (5-3, 3.17) is the announced starter for New Britain. The game will be broadcast on WARF 1350 AM and 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 towww.AkronRubberDucks.com or call 330-253-5151. Fans may also follow the team on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/AkronRubberDucks and Twitter at @AkronRubberDuck.