Game Recaps: Tuesday 4/28
For a moment, the Clippers hearts were in their throats watching what looked like a re-run of the last two games they had played. The ball was handed over to the bullpen with a four run lead, which quickly became a two run lead with the tying run in scoring position. Fortunately, someone changed the channel and the Clippers wound up with a 5-3 win over the Toledo Mud Hens to split a two-game series at Fifth Third Field.
The teams traded runs in the second inning and the Clippers broke the brief tie by scoring twice in the third. Josh Barfield plated Wes Hodges with a single and Jordan Brown followed with an RBI double that scored Luis Valbuena. Barfield was thrown out trying to score on the play.
Jeremy Sowers and Lucas French traded goose eggs until the sixth inning when Toledo went to the pen and Jordan Brown greeted Nick Regilio with a walk and Wyatt Toregas followed with his third home run of the season to make it a 5-1 game.
Sowers went seven innings, making way for Scott Reohl to start the eighth. Wilkin Ramirez began the frame with his fourth hit of the night, but Roehl struck out Mike Hessman and Brent Clevlen. With two outs, Brent Dlugach walked and Ryan Roberson doubled to make it 5-3. Rich Rundles replaced Roehl, but gave up a single to Don Kelly and walked Max St. Pierre to load the bases. Torey Lovullo went to the pen again for Matt Herges, who put out the fire by retiring Danny Worth to end the threat. Herges allowed a single in the ninth, but nothing more, nailing down his fourth save of the season and securing Sowers first win of 2009.
The Clippers are off Wednesday and resume action in Durham against the Bulls on Thursday. Jack Cassel will pitch the opener against James Houser.
Rondon Dominant, Aeros Hang On 3-2
AKRON, OH – Hector Rondon struck out a season-high nine batters and Erik Stiller tight-roped out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth as Akron nipped Harrisburg 3-2 before 1,481 fans at Canal Park Tuesday evening. The Aeros improved to a league-best 14-4 while the Senators fell to a league-worst 2-14 with their 10th straight loss.
Rondon and Harrisburg starter Justin Jones matched each other in fine fashion for the first half of the game before Akron finally broke through in the bottom of the fifth. Niuman Romero led off with a single to left and Jones then grazed the right arm of Nick Weglarz with a pitch to put runners at first and second. Josh Rodriguez failed twice in his attempt to bunt the runners over, but with the green light in a two-strike count stroked a hustling RBI double to left-center to score Romero and make it 1-0. The Senators then drew the infield in against Mickey Hall, but Hall ripped a grounder to first that deflected off the glove of a sprawling Bill Rhinehart and trickled into right field as both runners came home to make it 3-0.
The Aeros wouldn’t get another hit the rest of the way, but it didn’t matter. Harrisburg got on the board in the seventh on a solo home run from former Aero Matt Whitney, and Stiller entered later in the frame and got Michael Martinez to ground out to end the inning with the two tying runs on base.
Stiller saved his best for the eighth however, finding immediate trouble as Mike Daniel led off with a single and Leonard Davis followed with a base hit to put men on the corners. Rhinehart then sent a drive to deep center that bounced off Hall’s glove for an error, scoring Daniel and putting runners at second and third with no outs in what was suddenly a one-run game. Stiller got a huge first out by striking out Whitney however, and after intentionally walking Marvin Lowrance to load the bases Stiller came back to punch out Edgardo Baez swinging and Ofilio Castro looking to escape the fire. Vinnie Pestano then needed just eight pitches in a perfect ninth inning to close out the win.
Rondon (4-0) won his fourth consecutive start to begin the year, allowing just a run on six hits over 6.2 innings for his first quality start of the season. He allowed only one walk while setting a new season-high for Aeros pitchers with his nine strikeouts, including seven of the first 11 hitters he faced. Jones (1-2) lost his second straight start to the Aeros, giving up all three runs and all four Akron hits in five innings. Pestano’s save was his league-leading eighth of the year. Hall finished 1-3 with two RBI to lead the way offensively.
Game two in this three-game series is set for 7:05 p.m. Wednesday, with Josh Tomlin (2-1, 3.38 ERA) starting for Akron against Senators lefty Ross Detwiler (0-2, 5.11 ERA).
K-Tribe Gets By Salem 3-2
A two-out, RBI double by Kinston’s Matt McBride drove home Cord Phelps in the bottom of the seventh inning leading the K-Tribe to a 3-2 victory over Salem on Tuesday night. With the win Kinston (10-9) is now tied with Salem (10-9) for first place at the top of the Carolina League Southern Division.
Kinston bolted out to a 2-0 lead with a two-out RBI single by McBride in the first inning and a two-out RBI single by Tim Fedroff in the second inning. McBride ended up 2-for-4 with two RBI’s and stays at the top of the Carolina League with 21 RBI on the season.
The score would stay tied until Salem catcher Luis Exposito blasted a two-run home run over the wall in the top of the fourth inning. Kinston would take the lead for good in the bottom of the seventh after Phelps drew a walk and scored from first on a McBride double to the wall.
Contributing greatly to the win was a couple of fantastic defensive plays and great bullpen work. With a runner on third base and the game tied at two in the top of the seventh, second baseman Cord Phelps made a fantastic backhanded play behind second, throwing off balance to get Kristopher Negron and end the inning. In the top of the eighth inning with two outs and a man on third base Kinston right fielder Matt Brown tracked down a long fly ball on the warning track in right center, stranding the potential tying run.
Jonathan Holt, Mike Pontius, Matt Meyer and Dallas Cawiezell combined for seven innings of three hit ball from the bullpen after starter Zach Putnam left the game after two innings because of injury. Pontius (1-0) got the win, Cawiezell notched his first save of the season.
Putnam was struck in the hand on a terrible throw by catcher Alex Castillo who was trying to throw a runner out trying to steal second. He was removed for precautionary reasons because of some swelling after the initial contact and to get x-rays. Amazingly, he may be okay and just has some cuts and a broken finger nail or two. He is day-to-day.
Kinston has a quick turnaround playing Salem again at 11 AM on Wednesday morning. The Indians Ryan Morris will make the start on the mound at Historic Grainger Stadium.
Captains Shade the Suns 5-3
The Captains score three early runs and made them hold up on their way to their second straight win defeating the Hagerstown Suns 5-3 on Tuesday. This is the second time this year that the Captains have won two games in a row.
After not scoring a run off of Sun starter Brad Peacock on opening day, the Captains jumped on him in the first inning scoring three times. Nate Recknagel stayed hot driving in Donnie Webb with a two out single and Jeremie Tice drove in Recknagel hitting with his second home run of the year and the Captains led 3-0. The Captains added a run in the top of the fourth inning when Recknagel led off the inning with his first home run of the year and it was 4-0.
The Suns got to Captains starter Alexander Perez putting up a run in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI double from Sandy Leon and added a run in the fifth inning when Steven Souza singled home a run and it was 4-2. The Suns scored a run off of Captains reliever David Roberts when Ronnie LaBrie singled home Derek Norris in the bottom of the seventh inning to make it 4-3.
The Captains added an insurance run in the top of the ninth inning when Adam White singled home Adam Abraham to raise the lead to 5-3.
Captain’s starter Alexander Perez did not qualify for a win lasting 4.2 innings and allowed the two runs on five hits, walking four and striking out a season high tying seven. Roberts picked up his first win pitching 2.1 innings of relief allowing the one run and striking out five. Matt Langwell hurled the last two innings and picked up his first save of the year.
The Suns started Brad Peacock and he took the loss pitching 5.1 innings and allowing four seven hits, walking two and striking out four.
The Captains and Suns wrap up the three game series on Wednesday at 10:35 AM with Captains sending LHP T.J. McFarland (0-2, 6.92) to the mound against LHP Jack McGeary (0-1, 6.59) for Hagerstown.