Game Recap 5/5: De La Cruz Masterful In Loss
Kinston starter Kelvin De La Cruz was outstanding for eight innings, but a ninth inning rally by Lynchburg led to a 3-2 walk-off win for the Hillcats on an RBI single by Alex Buchholz. It was the second straight game in which the Hillcats have beaten Kinston on a ninth inning walk-off.
The K-Tribe started the scoring with a two-out rally in the second inning. Kyle Bellows drilled a double to left-center field and was singled home by Cristo Arnal to give the Indians a 1-0 lead. Kinston would come back for more in the fifth off starter Matt Fairel, as Ronald Rivas hit a leadoff double and came home on a fielder’s choice grounder by Donnie Webb to make it 2-0.
De La Cruz stymied Hillcats hitters for most of the night, retiring 20 batters in a row after Cody Puckett’s one-out double in the first. He had allowed no runs on two hits and eight strikeouts entering the ninth, and came out to attempt the first complete game shutout by an Indians pitcher since Keith Ramsey’s perfect game in September 2004. However, a leadoff fly ball to center by Miguel Rojas was misplayed by K-Tribe centerfielder Donnie Webb, resulting in a two-base error. On the next pitch, Justin Reed clobbered a two-run homer to right field, breaking up the shutout and tying the game at 2-2.
After recording the first out of the inning, De La Cruz was relieved by David Roberts. Roberts allowed a walk and a single before getting a groundout. After intentionally walking Devin Mesoraco to load the bases, Roberts was behind in the count 3-0 to Alex Buchholz. Roberts came back to make it a 3-2 count, but Buchholz served the 3-2 pitch into centerfield for the walk-off single to score Cody Puckett. This was the second straight game in which Kinston lost on a walk-off, after Neftali Soto’s two-run homer won it in the ninth on Tuesday night. The Indians have now lost four games this season on walk-offs and have lost five games in a row overall.
Roberts (0-1) took the loss for Kinston, while Lance Janke (1-3) earned the win for Lynchburg, allowing no runs or hits in three innings of work in relief.
The series concludes on Thursday night with a 6:05 pm start. Lefty Nick Hagadone will start for the K-Tribe.
Aeros Win Second In A Row
The Aeros offense continued to heat up Wednesday night at Canal Park in front of 1,152 fans. The bullpen had another solid showing as they did not allow a run to cross the plate in the final three innings. The Aeros are going for a series win tomorrow morning as they send Scott Barnes (0-3) to the hill as he goes for his first win of the 2010 season.
Trenton scored first with two runs in the top of the first inning off Aeros starting pitcher Ryan Edell, who only allowed two runs in his six innings of work. Edell settled into a nice groove after a rocky first inning. The Aeros offense continued to stay hot against the Thunder, plating two runs in the fourth inning and another three in the sixth inning. Cord Phelps, who is currently leading the Eastern League in batting average hit his second triple in as many nights, driving in Carlos Rivero to make the score 4-2. Jared Goedert connected with his third home run of the year after Phelps connect with his triple making the score 5-2, which puts Goedert one behind Nick Weglarz for the team lead.
Vinnie Pestano came into the game for the second night in a row and again closed the door as the Aeros won 5-2. Pestano worked one inning and recorded his second save of the season. Ryan Edell (1-1) recorded his first win of the season against the Thunder after going six strong innings, allowing two runs, walking none and striking out one. The Aeros bullpen put together another solid performance, allowing no runs in three innings of work.
Indians’ closer Kerry Wood came into the game in the seventh inning and had a much better outing than in his last appearance. Wood walked one, struck out two batters, and allowed no runs in his second and final rehab appearance with Akron. Ryan Pope (0-3) took the loss Wednesday night after allowing five runs on six hits through a little over five innings of work. Cord Phelps led the way offensively, finishing 2-4 with two RBI. Phelps currently leads the Eastern League with an impressive .395 batting average. Mills also ended the night with two hits, including a double to right field.
The Aeros final game of the homestand is tomorrow before departing for a weeklong road trip, where they will face the Reading Phillies and Erie Seawolves. Left-hander Scott Barnes (0-3, 8.71 ERA), who last pitched against the Binghamton Mets, will go for Akron against Thunder left-hander Jeremy Bleich (1-2, 4.62 ERA).
Captains Game Suspended
The Lake County Captains game against the Dayton Dragons scheduled for Wednesday has been suspended due to inclement weather. The game will resume on Thursday at 5:30 PM prior to the regularly scheduled game.
Note: Columbus had a scheduled off day