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Game Recaps: Tuesday 6/24

June 24, 2009
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Kinston and Lake County were both off for the All-Star break.

Clippers snap losing streak

The Clippers beat Rochester 8-7 in ten innings in the first of a four-game series.

The Clippers scored a run in the first inning, but after that early success, it looked like it was going to be a re-run of the last six games. Red Wings starter Anthony Swarzak shut out Columbus for the next six innings. The Red Wings plated six runs over seven innings to lead 6-1 heading into the eighth.

Columbus chased Swarzak after he gave up a hit and a walk in the eighth. Rob Delaney entered for the Wings and the Clippers greeted him rudely. Tony Graffanino singled, Michael Aubrey drove in a run with a ground out, Matt LaPorta singled and Jordan Brown drilled a three-run homer to tie the game 6-6. Andy Marte followed Brown with a solo bomb to give the Clippers a 7-6 advantage.

Rochester got a solo homer in the eighth from Steve Tolleson to force extra innings. It took only one extra frame as Jordan Brown came through again for the Clippers, scoring Graffanino with a single for the 8-7 win. Masa Kobayashi was hit hard, but escaped damage in the tenth for a save, the win went to Frank Herrmann who pitched a perfect ninth inning.

Aeros strike late to win

The Aeros won for the 14th time in 17 games Tuesday, defeating the Trenton Thunder at Canal Park by the final score of 5-2 in front of 4,115 fans. Akron managed only one hit through seven innings, but a monster five-run eighth inning paced the Aeros to victory. With the triumph, Akron improved to 47-22 and maintained its seven-game lead in the Southern Division, while Trenton dropped to 36-33.

It was a scoreless affair in the early going, as Akron’s Aaron Laffey and Trenton’s Ivan Nova matched each other pitch for pitch. Laffey delivered four frames of one-hit baseball in his second minor league rehab start in his recovery from a strained right oblique injury, and the left-hander struck out three, walked one batter, forced five ground ball outs and used 60 of his allotted 65 pitches to shut down the Thunder bats. He is expected to make one more start with the Aeros.

Trenton rallied immediately against reliever Erik Stiller in the fifth inning, as the Princeton product walked the first three batters of the frame but escaped unscathed thanks to a strikeout and a double play. The Thunder then got on the board with two outs the sixth against the third Aeros pitcher of the night, Neil Wagner. A broken-bat double down the left field line by Jorge Vazquez extended the inning, and Jesus Montero scored him with a single to right, advancing to second on the throw home. Trenton then made it 2-0 on an RBI single from Chris Malec, and held on to the advantage entering the bottom of the eighth.

Thunder reliever Michael Dunn found immediate trouble however, walking the first two hitters of the inning before Jose Constanza beat out a bunt by an eyelash against new pitcher J.B. Cox to load the bases. Carlos Rivero, who entered for the rehabbing Asdrubal Cabrera by design in the seventh, then laced an RBI single to center to score John Drennen and cut the deficit in half. The game then turned on one swing from Nick Weglarz, as the burly Canadian socked a grand slam to left-center, putting the Aeros ahead to stay at 5-2. It was Akron’s third grand slam of the season.

Josh Judy (2-2) earned the win with a perfect inning of relief, the 13th win for an Akron reliever in the past 31 games. Cox (0-1) blew the save and took the loss fro Trenton, and Aeros closer Vinnie Pestano earned his league-leading 20th save of the season with another spotless ninth. It marked his eighth save in as many appearances and made him just the fourth man in minor league baseball to rack up 20 or more saves. Weglarz finished 2-4 with two extra-base hits, and his double in the fourth inning was the only hit for Akron through the first seven frames. He now leads the team with 47 RBI on the season, surpassing Carlos Santana’s 45 and bringing him up to third in the Eastern League. Constanza’s bunt single extended his hitting streak to six games, the third time he has reached that mark. Cabrera finished 0-3 at the plate and handled all four of his chances in the field routinely. He will play all nine innings in game two of this series Wednesday before serving as the designated hitter Thursday.

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