Lindor HR lifts RubberDucks over Baysox, 2-1 in extra innings
RubberDucks shortstop Francisco Lindor goes deep in the bottom of the 13th to give Akron 2-1 win.
AKRON- Francisco Lindor brought fireworks night out with a bang as his 13th inning walk-off home run sent a mobbing of Akron players to home plate as the RubberDucks (4-4) beat the Bowie Baysox (6-3) 2-1 on Friday night at Canal Park.
A day after the coming out party of the new-look Canal Park with a picnic area and a restaurant, the RubberDucks gave the park a real coming out party. With both teams tied up at 1-1 since the fourth inning, the game went deep into the night thanks to some excellent pitching performances from a host of RubberDucks.
Starter Joseph Colon gave Akron his best pitching performance of the season in 6.0 innings of work allowing one earned run on four hits. Colon did what he has done best in his career, force hitters to put the ball in play, and he did it effectively all night long with eight ground ball outs.
Manager David Wallace called on his bullpen to shutdown the Baysox in the seventh, and his pitchers did just that.
Six different RubberDucks combined for seven innings of shutout work and paved the way for Lindor to take the stage front and center to put the game away.
Taking advantage of a Chris Petrini pitch that showed too much over the plate, Lindor jumped on it and gave the ball a long ride to the deepest part of Canal Park. After the ball clanged against the metal fancing just behind centerfield, the first base umpire singled for the home run and hist teammates charged to home plate for the celebration.
Adding to the celebration was the addition of Michael Bourn and Jason Giambi, who were both in the lineup for rehab with the club.
Giambi, nursing a rib injury, came to Akron with a lot of purpose. Not only to get better, but to continue to build his résumé as a player who can be relied on to act as an extension of Terry Francona.
"I feels good, like no pain at all," Giambi said of his injury. "It was nice to actually get out there and see somebody throw from 60 feet. Every pitch I've seen has been in the cages at 50 feet, you know, just hitting some BP, but today was nice to see some change ups in speeds and breaking balls and hit under the lights for the first time."
Giambi's rehab appearance allows him to do what he does best: work with younger players.
"The biggest thing for me coming in for one day is you've got to kind of watch them, you cant just go and start talking to kids, you've got to let them come to you," Giambi said. "I don't know how long I'm going to be down here, but hopefully I can make a difference for some of them if they have some questions."
At one point in the game, the three generations of baseball were visible on one diamond. With Lindor on third and Bourn on second, Giambi walked to fill the base paths with different Indians with big roles in the future.
"There's no doubt that some of these guys could be my kids," Giambi joked. "It's fun to see the next up and coming generations of ball players and you look across the field and see their plays, it's fun. Lindor is going to be something special, no doubt about it."
While Giambi adjusted to getting back into the swing of things after missing three weeks of action, Bourn made his second appearance with the club in as many days and struggled. Finishing his day 1-5 with a single, Bourn was able to swipe a bag in his first attempt since last season.
"(My hamstring) is feeling better," Bourn said. "They said I'm going to play another game down here before I go up to Cleveland just to make sure everything is right."
Bourn singled in his first at bat of the game. After he got on base, Bourn said he had one thing in mind.
"I did today, I had it on my mind (to steal) I wanted to test it out. I hadn't been able to do it all spring training so that's always a thing I want to do and not think about it when I go," Bourn said.
And, at the end of the day, two Indians stars were reunited for a preview of things to come in the near future.
"It felt good, big G was getting in there, getting some at bats, actually looked pretty good for not having played in three weeks," Bourn said. "We got to see some pitches and that's always a big thing to get in hitting form is seeing some pitches, seeing the ball break and move and all the other stuff it's supposed to be doing. Your swing comes along as time goes on."
Akron and Bowie will face off for game three of the home opening series on Saturday at 2:05. The RubberDucks will send starter Will Roberts to the mound (0-1 3.18 ERA) against Zach Davies (1-0 3.60 ERA).