Harper's 3 HR too much for Ducks in 10-4 route
Ollie Linton homered and singled twice in his return to the RubberDucks
AKRON, OH. — The RubberDucks allowed a season-high 19 hits to the Senators, including three home runs by Bryce Harper that led Harrisburg to its second win over the RubberDucks this weekend, 10-4.
Manager David Wallace was not pleased with his pitchers’ performance, “You need to make better pitches. He’s a great hitter and he went down & got some pitches, but we didn’t throw it where we wanted to.”
Harrisburg was the first to strike in the second inning when Duke von Schamann (3-2, 3.69) gave up an RBI groundout to Mitch Canham after allowing two straight singles to Caleb Ramsey and Jason Martinson.
Harper, in his third rehab appearance with the Senators, pummeled a solo home run that almost hit the scoreboard in deep right, adding another run to his team’s lead to make it 2-0 after three innings.
The visitors struck once again for a third straight inning in the top of the fourth when Ricky Hague singled in Ramsey. The damage could have been much worse, but thanks to a heads up play by Tony Wolters, it didn’t. With two on and one out, von Schamann threw a pitch in the dirt that bounced off of Wolters’ gear, which prompted Canham and Hague to double steal. Akron’s catcher proceeded to pick up the ball barehanded and catch Canham stealing at third. Von Schamann struck out Michael Taylor the next at-bat and got his team out of trouble with Harrisburg leading 3-0 after the top of the fourth.
The RubberDucks responded in the bottom half of the fourth. In the second at-bat of the inning, Wolters delivered a double to deep center field. Jordan Smith continued his good hitting as of late with an RBI single. Ollie Linton, called back up from Carolina in lieu of recent injury issues, hit a two-run homer to tie up the game after the fourth inning, 3-3.
Starter Colin Bates was pulled after that inning. Bates pitched four innings, yielding three earned runs on nine hits for the Senators.
Paul Demny (1-0, 3.46) replaced Bates and pitched three innings of scoreless relief, allowing no hits and punching out three batters for Harrisburg. Demny earned his first win of the year for Harrisburg.
The Senators tacked on another run in the top of the fifth when Harper lasered a long drive to straight away center field for his second home run of the night, putting his team back in front, 4-3.
An RBI single by Canham in the sixth knocked von Schamann out of the game in the sixth inning.
Duke took his second loss of the season. He threw five innings, allowing five earned runs on 13 hits.
“He didn’t have his control like he usually does. He left some balls up and couldn’t finish some guys off with two strikes,” Wallace said.
Toru Murata struck out three straight batters with runners on second and third to get Akron out of what could have been a big sixth inning for the Senators.
Murata pitched two and two-thirds scoreless innings of relief, until Bryce Harper hit his third home run of the night, this one a 3-run blast to deep center again to give Harrisburg a commanding 8-3 lead after the top of the eighth inning.
The RubberDucks managed to get a run off of reliever Tyler Herron in the bottom of the eighth on Smith’s second RBI single of the evening that cut the deficit to 8-4. Herron then walked Ollie Linton to load the bases, resulting in his removal. He was replaced by Derek Self, who got Ronny Rodriguez to pop out to the catcher and end Akron’s last rally attempt of the night. He picked up his first save of the season for Harrisburg.
Toru imploded after that, giving up another homer, this time to Drew Vettleson in his first at-bat of the night. He exited the game right after that. Murata gave up four runs but only one earned because of Bryan LaHair’s error at first base in the eighth.
Louis Head came into the ninth and gave up an RBI groundout to Hague that added more insurance to the Senators lead after the top of the ninth, 10-4.
Lost in Harper’s big night were Ramsey’s five singles and three runs.
Jordan Smith and Ollie Linton highlighted the RubberDucks night. The Akron outfielders were responsible for all four of the team’s runs and had five of the RubberDucks 12 hits.
The RubberDucks (46-35) will try to win the rubber match with Harrisburg (32-47) tomorrow afternoon. Akron is expected to start RHP Joseph Colon (7-4, 2.84) and the Senators will send former Akron RHP Brett Brach (1-2, 5.63). Game time is set for 2:05 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.
Spencer Davies is a student at the University of Akron studying Sports Management with a minor concentrating in Mass Communication. He has interned for the Cleveland Indians minor league affiliate Akron RubberDucks, IMG College, and has shadowed Fox Sports Ohio's Sam Amico. He is currently an on-air sports personality at WZIP-FM and works for the Akron Beacon Journal. Follow Spencer on Twitter @SpinDavies.