Naquin, RubberDucks hold off Senators, 5-2
Despite scoring five runs, Akron left nine runners on base in the road win.
HARRISBURG, PA – Tyler Naquin slugged an inside-the-park home run in the sixth inning Friday night, one of his three hits on the night, as the Akron RubberDucks defeated the Harrisburg Senators, 5-2, in the opener of a three-game series at Metro Bank Park.
The RubberDucks (38-22) have won three of the first four games on the current six-game road trip. The lead for Akron in the EL West remained four games over second-place Richmond, who trounced Reading 12-2, Friday.
Naquin’s first career inside-the-park homer gave the RubberDucks an insurance run in the sixth, extending the lead to 4-2. With two outs, he lifted a towering fly ball to center, where Harrisburg’s Michael Taylor tracked the ball to the wall. The ball hit the wall just out of Taylor’s reach and bounded back toward the infield. Naquin had sprinted to second by the time theball hit the wall 400 feet from home plate. He was waved around third by manager David Wallace, and slid safely across the plate well ahead of the throw from the outfield. It was Naquin’s third homer of the season.
Joe Wendle added a RBI single in the eighth to make it 5-2.
RubberDucks closer Shawn Armstrong entered the game in the ninth inning, and allowed a pair of hits with two out before striking out Rick Hague to end the game and secure his ninth save of the season.
Toru Murata started and won for Akron. Arguably Akron’s most effective starter this season, Murata (4-1) worked six innings, and allowed two runs on five hits. He walked none and struck out four. Murata lowered his overall ERA to 2.14. Hehas split time between the rotation and bullpen, but has picked all four of his wins as a starter. As a starter, his ERA is a miniscule 1.24.
The RubberDucks jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning against Harrisburg righthander Brad Meyers (1-4). Naquinled off with a hit and stolen base, and then advanced to third on a groundout. Francisco Lindor followed with an infield hit to drive in Naquin. Lindor then stole second and third, and scored on a single by Bryson Myles. Myles then stole second, the team’s fourth steal of the inning, and came around on Tony Wolters’ RBI single.
The RubberDucks will play game two against the Senators on Saturday night at 6:00. RHP Joe Colon (5-2, 2.37) is scheduled to start for the RubberDucks, while RHP A.J. Cole (4-2, 2.54) is the announced starter for Harrisburg. The game will be broadcast on WARF 1350 AM and www.AkronRubberDucks.com.
The Akron RubberDucks are the Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. The 2014 season is the 18th since moving to Canal Park and the first as the RubberDucks. For more information, including official team merchandise, go to www.AkronRubberDucks.com or call 330-253-5151. Fans may also follow the team on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AkronRubberDucks and Twitter at @AkronRubberDuck.