Game Recaps: Tuesday 6/16
The Aeros scored all five of their runs and collected four of their five hits in the top of the fourth inning, snapping what had been a scoreless tie en route to a 5-2 victory over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats before 5,514 fans at historic Merchantsauto.com Stadium Tuesday night. Akron improved to 41-21, matching their high-water mark of the season at 20 games over .500, while the Cats fell to 28-36.
New Hampshire starter Luis Perez cruised through the first three innings without allowing a hit, but did himself no favors by walking Jose Constanza on five pitches to begin the fourth. Cristo Arnal failed twice to get a bunt down but recovered to roll a base hit through the right side of the infield, putting runners at first and second. Nick Weglarz squared around as well and fouled a bunt off, then swung away and lofted a jam-shot liner toward the left side of the infield. Perez went to his right and got the edge of his glove on it but couldn’t hold on, and the ball died in the infield grass to load the bases. If the ball was perhaps six inches closer to the pitcher’s mound Perez more than likely makes the catch and would have had a chance to double-off Constanza at second, and instead the stage was set for the Aeros to break the game open.
Break the game open they did, as Carlos Santana followed with a bouncer to the hole at short that Luis Sanchez misplayed, allowing Constanza to score the first run of the contest. Beau Mills then followed with the big blow of the inning, lacing an 0-2 pitch into the right field corner for a two-run single and moving to third on a bobble by Nick Gorneault. Perez then uncorked a wild pitch to score Santana and make it 4-0, and two batters later Carlos Rivero ripped an RBI double to left-center to cap the scoring.
The Fisher Cats responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning, as the rehabbing Scott Lewis departed with a runner at first and two down only to see Josh Tomlin be greeted by three straight singles, cutting the margin to 5-2 and bringing Sanchez to the plate as the potential tying run. Tomlin recovered to strike out Sanchez however, and New Hampshire would manage just one hit the rest of the way.
Tomlin (6-4) earned the win in his first relief appearance of the season, as the Texan went 3.1 innings and allowed just a run on three hits while striking out three. Perez (4-6) suffered the loss, with all five runs (four earned) coming in the fourth during his seven innings of work. Vinnie Pestano entered in the ninth and didn’t allow a ball out of the infield while notching his league-leading 17th save. Lewis was making his second rehab start for Cleveland and just missed completing his allotted four frames, departing after reaching his 65-pitch limit in 3.2 innings. He allowed just one run and two hits, with one walk and two strikeouts.
Mills reached base three times while officially finishing 1-2 with two RBI, and Santana’s RBI was his team-leading 42nd of the season. John Drennen singled in the seventh to extend his hitting streak to a team-high eight games and Mills stretched his hitting streak to seven games, but Matt McBride finished 0-4 and saw his five-game hitting streak end.
Games two and three in this four-game series are set for Wednesday at 6:05 p.m., as the clubs will play a double header consisting of two seven-inning games. Jeanmar Gomez (5-2, 2.82 ERA) will take on Randy Boone (4-4, 4.22 ERA) in game one while Carlton Smith (3-0, 3.47 ERA) and Adrian Martin 0-0, 2.04 ERA) are the scheduled starters in game two.
Chisenhall Homers, K-Tribe falters late
Lonnie Chisenhall hit his team-leading 11th home run to give Kinston a 3-2 lead in the eighth inning, but Salem’s Luis Exposito answered right back in the bottom half of the frame with a two-run towering homer that just cleared the left field wall to give the Red Sox the 4-3 victory.
Six of the seven runs scored in the contest came in the final three frames, as the first six innings was a pitchers’ dual between Kinston’s Russell Young and Salem’s Seth Garrison. Young went five innings, allowing just one run on four hits, two walks and three strikeouts. Garrison was even better, allowing no runs on five hits and four strikeouts in six innings of work.
Both starters didn’t figure in the decision, however, as the K-Tribe offense finally got going in the seventh inning against Salem’s bullpen. Lucas Montero singled and stole second, then was driven in on an Adam Davis RBI triple. Nate Recknagel knocked him home with an RBI single to give the Indians their first lead of the series 2-1.
The lead would be short lived though as a Che-Hsuan Lin sacrifice fly off of Kinston reliever Jonathan Holt tied the game at two in the bottom of the seventh.
Chisenhall’s home run broke the tie in the eighth off Red Sox reliever Ryne Miller (7-2) who was charged with a blown save, but still got the victory after Exposito’s long ball in the bottom of the eighth inning off Kinston reliever Dallas Cawiezell (1-2) gave Salem the 4-3 lead and eventual victory. It was the first home run and just the third blown save of the season for Cawiezell.
Kinston has now lost five straight games and the Indians are a season high 13 games under .500. The K-Tribe will try to salvage the final game of the series tomorrow night as they send lefty Ryan Morris (3-7, 5.59) to the hill.
Captains Sweep Suns
Trey Haley recorded his second consecutive win and Chris Nash hit a two run home run as the Lake County Captains defeated the Hagerstown Suns 5-2 on Tuesday to sweep the brief two game series.
The Suns took an early lead scoring twice in the first inning when with runners at second and third, Tyler Moore hit a sacrifice fly and Steven Souza followed with a RBI single and it was quickly 2-0. The Captains took the lead in the bottom of the third inning when Michael Valadez lead off the inning with a single. Adam White followed with a triple to score Valadez. White scored on a sacrifice fly from Donnie Webb. Mark Thompson followed with a solo home run over the left field wall and it was 3-2. The home run was disputed by Suns manager Matt LeCroy and LeCroy was ejected.
The lead was upped to 5-2 when Nash hit a two run home run in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Captains’ starter Trey Haley (2-3) got the win going six innings and allowing two runs on three hits, walking two and striking out four. David Robert followed Haley with two scoreless relief innings. Steve Smith pitched a scoreless ninth inning to pick up his eleventh save. Suns starter Paul Demny (1-6) took the loss pitching six innings and allowing five runs on seven hits, walking two and striking out three.
The Captains travel to Delmarva to take on the Shorebirds in a brief two game series beginning on Wednesday at 7:05 PM with the Captains sending LHP T.J. House (1-7, 3.05) to the mound against the Birds LHP Nathan Moreau (1-1, 5.48).