Akron RubberDucks fall to Reading Fightin Phils, 6-1
(Reading, Penn.) July 24, 2014 – Two pitches can really ruin an evening at the old ballpark. Just ask Akron’s Jordan Cooper.
Cooper started in place of the injured Cody Anderson on Thursday night against the Reading Fightin Phils. He worked seven impressive innings, but allowed a pair of two-run home runs in a 6-1 loss before a record-setting crowd of 9,967 fans at FirstEnergy Stadium.
A two-out, two-run homer in the first inning by Jake Fox and a two-run shot by Carlos Alonso in the seventh were enough to sink Cooper (6-3), and send the RubberDucks to their eighth consecutive loss. Cooper scattered five hits, walked one and struck out three in his third start of the season. He used only 86 pitches to work through seven frames.
The loss was part of a triple-whammy for the RubberDucks (57-49). Not only did the losing streak continue, but first-place Richmond defeated Erie, 4-3, to build their lead to 7 1⁄2 games over the Ducks. Third-place Bowie also won, drilling Altoona, 9-1, to cozy-up to within 2 1⁄2 games of the RubberDucks. The top two teams in the division earn spots in the EL playoffs.
Despite throwing 103 pitches in five innings, Reading’s Ryan O’Sullivan (5-5) picked up the win. He gave up only two hits and no runs. Colton Murray followed with two scoreless innings to extend Akron’s scoreless streak to 17 straight innings. Finally in the eighth, Justin Toole’s RBI double off Miguel Gonzalez broke the drought to make it 4-1. Toole was 2-4, on the night.
The Fightins tacked on a pair of runs in the eighth against Louis Head to extend the lead to 6-1. Fox smacked an RBI double to give him three RBI on the night.
The Akron hitting funk has been a fast-moving virus up and down the lineup. During the eight-game losing streak, the team has generated just 11 runs total. On Thursday, Akron hitters were a collective 0-10 with runners in scoring position, and left a whopping 13 men on base. The one Akron hitter that has been hot throughout the streak, center fielder Jordan Smith, was 0-5, snapping his 10-game hitting streak.
The RubberDucks and Fightins (43-59) will play game two of the series on Tuesday evening at 7:05. RHP Duke von Schamann (3-6, 4.52) is scheduled to start for Akron, while the Fightins have tabbed LHP Adam Loewen (1-3, 4.00). 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 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.