Akron RubberDucks lose, 11-3, to Binghamton after 8-run frame
AKRON, Ohio – Coming in to Thursday night’s series finale against Binghamton having allowed 30 runs in just 23 innings of play, the Akron RubberDucks were due for a solid performance from the mound to avoid a four-game sweep.
Through six innings, it seemed as if that might be the case, but when RubberDucks reliever Adam Miller walked out of the dugout to start the seventh inning, everything fell apart for the home team.
““He’s just gotta get that slider going. The fastball is good, it’s coming out of his hand really well, but they know a fastball is coming,” RubberDucks manager David Wallace said, regarding his struggling reliever. “At this level, guys are going to be able to turn it around.”
Miller walked two, allowed one hit and got just one out in the seventh to start the Binghamton rally before giving way to reliever Giovanni Soto, who had a tougher outing than his predecessor.
Soto faced eight Mets hitters, allowed five runs on five hits and threw a pair of wild pitches before he got second baseman Brian Burgamy to fly out to deep left field to end the nightmarish inning.
While he felt Miller’s struggles on the evening were purely physical, Wallace pinpointed Soto’s awful outing as more of an attitude issue.
“I just didn’t see a lot of fight out of him,” Wallace said of Soto. “A couple at-bats didn’t go his way and he just didn’t grind out the rest of that inning like I hoped he would.”
Down just 3-2 before the inning began, Akron trailed 11-2 following the frame, removing any chance for the RubberDucks to stop their recent losing skid.
“We’re getting behind early and it’s forcing us to leave pitches over the plate. They’re putting good swings on them,” Wallace explained. “They have a good offense- they have some good bats in that lineup for sure- but they were way too comfortable and we didn’t do what we need to do to make them uncomfortable.”
Offensively, as the final score indicated, the RubberDucks also struggled, as they were stifled by a good start from Mets starter Greg Peavey.
While there wasn’t much in the way of big hits or big moments at the plate, Strongsville-native Anthony Gallas, an outfielder just called up to the RubberDucks from High-A Carolina on Wednesday, was the lone bright spot for the home team.
The former Kent State Golden Flash collected both his first Double-A hit – a second inning triple – and his first Double-A home run with a ninth-inning bomb over the right field fence and into the bullpen before greeting his family and friends following the game.
“It’s awesome,” Gallas said, following his big night close to home. “I had my uncle in the stands tonight and a couple of coaches from high school; it’s good to have support when you’re at the game. As awesome as it is to be in Double-A, it just makes it that much sweeter.”
While times may be tough for the RubberDucks as of late, Wallace believes in the fight and the ability of his team and feels that this slight aberration will not become the theme.
“This happens in a season, it really does. We’re not going to freak out and panic,” Wallace said. “We’ll get it going, it’s just part of the season. Every team goes through it at some point and it’s how you respond to it that defines you as a team.”
The RubberDucks are set to continue their home-stand Friday night against the Portland Sea Dogs in the first game of a three-game series. First pitch is scheduled 7:05 p.m. from Canal Park.