Myles, Lindor power Akron to 6-5 win against Bowie
AKRON, Ohio – Exploding for a combined 22 hits in the game, the Akron RubberDucks and Bowie Baysox dueled it out for nine innings, but ultimately Akron came away with a 6-5 victory to improve to 5-4 on the season.
Powered by Bryson Myles' gargantuan two-run home run in a four-run third inning, the RubberDucks took what could only be called a team victory to the clubhouse to celebrate.
Three Akron players, Myles, Giovanny Urshela and Jerrud Sabourin, had multi-hit games while starter Will Roberts provided suppressing firepower to the Baysox lineup to earn his first win of the season.
"It always helps whenever guys are just rolling hits out and this is a great lineup, this is probably one of the most talented teams I've ever played on from top to bottom of the lineup and also our pitching staff is unbelievable," Myles said. "It makes it a lot easier with all the talent that we have and the fact that, yes, we do feed off of each other as well."
Even without his best performance, Roberts instilled confidence in his teammates and his managers by getting the job done when it mattered most.
"That's what Will does, he didn't have his best stuff tonight, but he battled out there," manger David Wallace said. "Even giving up some hits, kept his head, kept steady, executed his game plan and pitched well enough and won the game."
A scary moment occurred early in the game that played into the RubberDucks' favor, but in a way no one close to the game ever wants to see. Bowie's Zach Davies was pitching in the bottom of the second when Akron's Tyler Holt hit a comebacker that hit Davies in the elbow.
Davies had to be pulled from the game and Matt Bischoff was brought in cold out of the pen for the Baysox.
"We just continued to put together good at bats, no matter who's on the mound," Wallace said. "We didn't necessarily want to see that, see Davies go down. We saw him a little bit last year, he's a good pitcher, but that happens in a game and our guys did a good job."
Wasting no time to jump onto Bischoff, Davies’ injury no doubt had an impact on the game. Sabourin knocked in a run as his first batter, then the crucial four-run third inning played into the RubberDucks' hand.
"We knew that (Bischoff) wasn't really ready, he wasn't really prepared the way he should be so we knew we had to jump on him," Myles said. "I don't want to take anything away from him, he threw four-five innings strong and he did what ever he could to help their team win, but you never want to see anything like that happen to a starting pitcher."
Bischoff was on the bump when Myles launched a ball that hit the ribbon banner in deep left-center field for his first career AA home run.
"It's kind of a work in progress from last season, I just waited to get my pitch and made sure I didn't miss it," Myles said. "The job every single day is to do what ever I can to help the team win and I felt like I contributed today."
Myles was bumped up to the five spot after solid production in the nine-hole by Wallace, who said he knows how good of a lineup he has.
"We just have a very even lineup from top to bottom," Wallace said. "Each inning starts, it doesn't matter where we're starting our lineup, we feel like we've got a chance to score runs."
After the third and gaining a 5-2 lead, the RubberDucks leaked in a couple of runs in the fourth and sixth, but Roberts kept Akron's head above water. Being pulled in the sixth, Roberts got a nice home ovation in front of the 2,877 fans in attendance.
Reliever Giovanni Soto came on and pitched brilliantly in Roberts’ favor. Soto shutdown the Baysox in 2.2 innings of no-hit work and struck out a batter.
Soto came into trouble with the bases loaded with one out and in one pitch ended the scoring threat of the Baysox to preserve a 5-3 lead at the time.
"(Soto) has been great, I think that's his third or fourth outing and each one he's come up big for us," Wallace said. "He's also a guy looking for a bounce-back year. Last year didn't go as he had wanted to and he's getting used to throwing out of the bullpen, what he needs to do to come into a game and he's coming in agressive."
With Soto's departure after the eighth for closer Enosil Tejeda, drama again crept into the game.
Tejeda struck out his first batter with an off-speed pitch that left Bowie's Ronald Bermudez guessing.
That's when things got interesting.
Bowie's nine hitter Garabez Rosa doubled off the top of the wall in the deepest part of Canal Park for a double to bring the tying run to the plate. Tejeda got the out, but Rosa advanced to third.
A batter later, Niuman Romero reached safely on a throwing error by Urshela, who had been solid all game, that scored Rosa from third.
Then Tejeda got the job done and forced Christian Walker to line out to Myles to end the game.
A night after his walk-off home run to win game two of the series, Francisco Lindor had another solid outing both at the plate and in the field.
Lindor finished his day 1-4 with an RBI triple, a run and a walk, but had three really solid at bats. Lindor was about six feet away from a home run and made solid contact with the ball.
In the field, Lindor made a brilliant play on a ball hit up the middle that he robbed with his backhand and finished the play off with an off balance throw for the out.