RubberDucks avoid sweep, defeat Baysox 7-2
The RubberDucks now sit three games back from EL Western first-place Richmond heading into their road trip.
AKRON, OH — The RubberDucks avoided the sweep and snapped a four-game skid with a 7-2 win over the Bowie Baysox Sunday afternoon. Ollie Linton led Akron’s offensive charge going 2-for-5 with a triple and two RBI.
“Ollie’s getting a chance to play everyday and we’re happy about it. Obviously it’s under unfortunate circumstances with [Tyler] Naquin going out, but he’s done a great job stepping in,” manager David Wallace commented. “He’s a guy that has proven himself in pro ball and the double-A level. He’s a great teammate and a hard-nosed gritty player.”
Things didn’t start off well for RubberDuck starter Gabriel Arias (7-2, 3.13), as K.D. Kang hit a solo blast to center field on the second pitch of the game, giving Bowie an early 1-0 advantage.
Akron responded right away when Linton hit a leadoff triple to the deepest part of the park to dead center field. Francisco Lindor doubled down the left field line the next at-bat, scoring Linton and tying the game, 1-1.
The RubberDucks added three more runs in the fourth inning when Anthony Gallas led off with a line drive home run to left field to put his team on top 2-1. After giving up consecutive singles to Alex Lavisky and Jordan Smith, Baysox starter Tim Berry (4-5, 4.04) walked Ronny Rodriguez and found himself in a bases loaded jam with two outs. Linton came to the batter’s box and immediately delivered once again with a sharp liner up the middle that plated Lavisky and Smith to give Akron a 4-1 advantage after the bottom of the fourth.
Berry suffered his fifth loss of the year, allowing four earned runs on nine hits in six innings.
Bowie trimmed the RubberDucks lead to 4-2 thanks to a solo home run by David Adams in the top of the seventh inning.
Despite the two home runs, Arias settled in nicely after the first and commented on his shaky start.
“It’s a part of the game. Sometimes that’s going to happen and you just need to forget about it.”
Wally thought he recovered tremendously, “He’s not a guy that lets his emotions get too out of control, so he stayed with his game plan and threw a great game.”
Arias earned his seventh win of the season. He worked eight innings and allowed just two earned runs. The right-hander gave up five hits, struck out four and walked one. It was the longest outing since August 13th, 2010 where he pitched nine innings and struck out ten in a no decision for the Phillies Dominican Summer League team.
“I’m proud of it,” Arias said. “You need to work ahead of batters in order to go deep into games and that’s what I did today.”
Jason Gurka pitched a scoreless seventh inning for Bowie, but Akron added some more insurance in the bottom of the eighth against Baysox reliever Steven Hensley. With two outs in the inning, Smith doubled to right center field and Rodriguez brought him in with a single to extend the lead to 5-2. Bryan LaHair pinch-hit for Justin Toole and delivered a 2-run blast to right center to widen the gap even further, 7-2.
RubberDuck reliever Shawn Armstrong came into the game in the ninth and worked a scoreless inning of relief to seal the victory for Akron.
NOTE: Lindor and Rodriguez turned a sensational double play in the top of the fourth inning that wowed the audience at Canal Park and certainly caught Wally’s attention.
“That was incredible. No other way to describe it. The way Ronny [Rodriguez] turned it was amazing, the athleticism was very impressive on both of their parts.”
The RubberDucks (50-39) will travel to Richmond for a four-game series against the EL Western first-place Flying Squirrels (53-26). Akron will start RHP Cody Anderson (2-8, 5.27) and RHP Kyle Crick (5-3, 3.22) will get the call for Richmond. Game time is set for 7:05 p.m. on Monday night.
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.