Game Recaps: Wednesday 9/2
Akron overcame a pair of deficits and used a four-run explosion in the top of the seventh to take the lead for good, defeating Altoona 9-6 before 3,827 fans at Blair County Ballpark Wednesday night. The Aeros improved to a season-high 31 games over .500 at 84-53, while the Curve dropped to 60-77.
Altoona opened the scoring in the bottom of the first with a pair of runs off Akron starter Scott Barnes, but the Aeros answered with three runs in the top of the third. Jared Goedert, who committed two errors in the first, opened the inning with a double and went to third when Jose Constanza beat out a sacrifice bunt attempt. Josh Rodriguez and Carlos Santana then evened the score with consecutive RBI singles, and Lonnie Chisenhall put Akron up by a run at 3-2 with a two-out RBI bloop single.
The Curve retook the lead in the bottom of the fourth as Barnes, who struggled with his command all night, hit Ray Chang to open the inning. Jeff Corsaletti followed with a single, and after Steve Lerud advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt Brian Friday tied the game with an RBI groundout and Gorkys Hernandez put Altoona in front 4-3 with a two-out RBI single to right.
The Aeros recovered and scored the next five runs however, as Altoona reliever Jared Hughes threw a wild pitch with two down in the sixth to tie the game before allowing all four runs in the seventh. Constanza walked to spark the rally, stole second, and went to third on an infield single by Rodriguez. Santana popped out, but Beau Mills followed with a slow roller to third. Constanza broke on contact, and Chang’s throw home sailed over Lerud's head (and may not have been in time anyway). Matt McBride followed with an RBI double to make it 6-4 and knock Hughes from the game, and Carlos Rivero had the big blow with a two-out, two-run single to left-center to push the lead to 8-4.
Altoona got a run back in the eighth, Akron answered in the ninth on a run-scoring double by Rivero, and the Curve added one more in the ninth but couldn't get the potential tying run to the plate.
Carlton Smith (5-2) earned the win out of the bullpen, holding Altoona to a run in 2.1 innings. Hughes (1-6) took the loss, allowing four runs and three hits in just 0.2 innings. Rodriguez had his best night since returning from the disabled list, finishing 4-5 with a run scored and an RBI. It was his first four-hit game since recording a career-high five hits August 26th, 2006 against Batavia while playing for Mahoning Valley. Rivero finished 3-5 with three RBI and has driven in five runs in the first two games of this series, while Mills and Chisenhall both went 2-5. Santana drove in his 94th run of the year and is just three away from tying Wes Hodges' team record, while Constanza scored twice and is up to 93 runs on the year, tying Ken Ramos for fourth on the club's single-season list.
K-Tribe crush Keys
The K-Tribe racked up 17 hits, cruising past the Frederick Keys 14-3 Wednesday night in Maryland. With the win, Kinston stays tied with Salem for the final playoff spot in the Carolina League Southern Division with five games left in the regular season.
Kinston got on the board early as Ole Sheldon kept his bat hot, driving in two runs with a double in the top of the first inning. Sheldon ended up going 4-for-5 with three RBI. He has now driven in a total of 14 runs over his last four games, racking up at least one RBI in seven consecutive games.
After Frederick tied the score at two in the bottom of the third inning, Kinston would go ahead for good in the fourth. Mark Thompson broke the tie with an RBI double of his own, giving Kinston a 4-2 lead. Thompson, in just his second start for Kinston, would have a big night going 3-for-5 with four RBI. Kinston would cruise from there, scoring two runs in the fifth, seventh and eighth innings. Kinston would rub salt in the wound in the top of the ninth, batting around and scoring four more runs. Every player but one in the K-Tribe lineup walked away with a hit. Cord Phelps went 2-for-3 with three walks, four runs scored and an RBI. Doug Pickens and Ronald Rivas each had two hits for the K-Tribe.
K-Tribe newcomer Nick Hagadone got the start, giving up two runs in 2 1/3 innings. He walked four and struck out three. The Kinston bullpen had another great night, as Jonathan Holt, Alexander Perez, Dallas Cawiezell and Santo Frias combined to give up just one earned run in the final 6 2/3 innings of the contest. Holt (4-5) picked up the win for Kinston.
Smith ties franchies record as Captains win
Steve Smith tied the Captains franchise record in saves picking up his 26th of the year, as the Lake County Captains defeated the Delmarva Shorebirds 3-1 on Wednesday. The Captains took two of the three games of the series and ended up 11-11 versus Delmarva this year.
The Shorebirds got the first run of the game in the bottom of the fifth inning when Victor Castillo singled home Jacob Julius to give Delmarva a 1-0 lead. The Captains took the lead in the top of the sixth inning when after one run had scored on a double play ball, Karexon Sanchez hit a two run home run, his 11th homer of the year, and the Captains led 3-1.
Captains starter Kaimi Mead did not get a decision pitching four scoreless innings and allowing four hits while striking out three. Travis Turek (2-3) got the win working three innings and allowing the one run on five hits, walking one and striking out three. Matt Langwell pitched a scoreless eight inning and Smith the ninth inning. Shorebirds starter Nicholas Haughian (0-1) took the loss working 5.2 innings allowing three runs on six hits, walking one and striking out one.
Scrappers split doubleheader
On Wednesday night, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers split a doubleheader with the Jamestown Jammers. Mahoning Valley won the opener 2-0 and the dropped the nightcap 4-3, with the split the Scrapper record is now 46-25.
GAME ONE: Scrappers starter Clayton Cook pitched the first five innings and allowed no runs on three hits while walking one and striking out six. Matt Packer tossed the final two innings and gave up no runs, while allowing one hit and striking out two.
Mahoning Valley scored the only run of the game that they would need in the 3rd when Jason Kipnis delivered a two out RBI single to right field. The Scrappers added an insurance run in the 6th when Ben Carlson came through with an RBI triple, making the final score 2-0 Mahoning Valley.
GAME TWO: Scrappers starter Jose Urena tossed the first five innings and gave up three runs (two earned) while striking out two. Jeremy Johnson worked the next three innings and gave up one run on three hits and four strikeouts.
The Jammers scored two in the top of the3nd to take an early lead only to see Mahoning Valley come back and score one run in the bottom of the 3rd on a ground out by Jason Kipnis and after three it was 2-1 Jammers. Each team would add is single run in the 5th and after 5th it was 3-2 Jamestown. In the bottom of the 7th the Scrappers scored the tying run on a two out RBI single from Jordan Henry. Jamestown responded with a run in the top of the 8th and then help off the Scrapper bats for the 4-3 Jammers victory.