Akron Rubberducks rally to beat Portland Sea Dogs, 5-4
(Portland, Me.) August 12, 2014 – Akron’s Anthony Gallas had four hits, including a solo home run in the sixth inning, and an RBI single to drive in the go-ahead run in the ninth, as the Akron RubberDucks rallied for a 5-4 victory over the Portland Sea Dogs Tuesday night in the opener of a three-game series at Hadlock Field.
It was Akron’s second ninth-inning comeback in the last week, and helped the RubberDucks (67-56) win for the second straight game and the sixth time in the last seven games. The win also pulled the RubberDucks to within 11⁄2 games of first-place Richmond, who lost at New Hampshire, 8-2. Bowie also lost, dropping a 2-0 final at New Britain, and now trails Akron by 61⁄2 games. The top two teams in the division make the playoffs.
Trailing 4-3, entering the ninth and facing Portland closer Noe Ramirez, the RubberDucks came off the mat to take the lead. Justin Toole smacked a sinking line drive to right that hit in front of right fielder Ryan Dent and bounced away for a two-base error, allowing Toole to cruise into third base. Ollie Linton followed with an RBi single to right to tie it, 4-4. Jaime Pedroza followed with his second hit of the night, also a single to right, to put runners at second and third for Gallas.
Gallas had already homered to get Akron on the board in the sixth inning, blasting a solo shot over the 37-foot Maine Monster in left for his 12th of the year. He also singled and scored during Akron’s two-run eighth inning when they pulled to within 4-3. In the ninth, he laced a solid single up the middle, easily scoring Linton from second to give the RubberDucks an improbable, 5-4 lead. It was Gallas’ second four-hit game of the season, and raised his average to .329. He now has 38 RBI on the season.
The bottom of the ninth was anything but routine for the RubberDucks. Righty reliever Shawn Armstrong had worked a perfect eighth and came out for the ninth. He promptly struck out Keury De La Cruz for the first out, but then issued back- to-back walks. Lefty Elvis Araujo was summoned from the bullpen to face lefthanded hitterStefan Welch, but Welch lined a single to left to load the bases. With the game on the line and the Sea Dogs poised to tie or win the game in walk-off fashion, Araujo induced a line-out to second baseman Ronny Rodriguez from Dent, and then a harmless fielder’s choice grounder to short by Heiker Meneses to end the game. The Sea Dogs (75-48) stranded 14 runners on base in the game.
Armstrong (6-2) was credited with the win and Araujo earned his third save. In his last 10 relief appearances, Araujo has worked 10 2/3 shutout innings. The loss went to Ramirez (2-1), who blew his third consecutive save opportunity after converting his first 13 this year.
Notes: Akron catcher Alex Lavisky singled in the eighth to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. Portland leftyBrian Johnson started and allowed just one run in six innings and lowered his EL-leading ERA to 1.87. Akron shortstop Erik Gonzalez left the game in the sixth inning after experiencing hamstring tightness. Pedroza doubled high off the Monster in his first at-bat. He has five hits in his last six at-bats during the last two games. A crowd of 7,106 was on hand at Hadlock Field. The RubberDucks are now 2-2 against the Sea Dogs.
The RubberDucks and Sea Dogs will play game two of the series on Wednesday night at 7:00. RHP Will Roberts(11- 11, 3.99) is the scheduled starter for Akron, while RHP Luis Diaz (3-2, 3.76) is expected to get the ball for Portland. 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.