RubberDucks fall for sixth straight time, 8-2
(Akron, Ohio) – Trenton’s Jake Cave blasted a three-run homer in the fourth inning Wednesday night, leading the Thunder to their seventh straight victory with an 8-2 victory over the Akron RubberDucks at Canal Park.
Cave’s homer, his third of the year for the Thunder (67-70), coupled with another strong Trenton pitching performance, sent the RubberDucks (72-65) to their sixth straight loss. The timing of the current skid couldn’t be worse for a team trying to clinch a playoff spot. First-place Richmond leads Akron by three games with five left to play, but Akron has a magic number of two to eliminate Bowie from the playoff picture, and one to finish off Erie. The Baysox beat the SeaWolves on Wednesday, 10-8, to hold steady in third place. The top two teams in the division make the post-season field.
Akron held a brief 2-1 lead after one inning, but Trenton tied it, 2-2, in the third. With one out and two men on base in the fourth, Cave sent a pitch from RubberDucks lefty Nick Maronde (0-2) into the bullpen in right for a three-run homer to make it 5-2. Maronde was making his second start for Akron since a call-up from Mahoning Valley. The Indians acquired Maronde from the Los Angeles Angels in a July trade, and are converting him into a starter. He worked four innings on Wednesday, and allowed nine hits and five runs in the loss.
Thunder pitching has been outstanding in the series so far, setting up a possible sweep on Thursday. Starter Jeremy Bleich left after four innings on Wednesday, allowing four hits and just the two first-inning runs. Francisco Rondon (3-2) followed and tossed three hitless innings for the relief win. Righthander Dan Burawa finished with two scoreless innings. The RubberDucks have been held to four runs on 13 hits in the first three games of the series.
Jaime Pedroza led off the first inning with a double and scored on a single by Erik Gonzalez. After moving to third on a wild pitch, Gonzalez came home on a groundout by Anthony Gallas. After that, no major threat was in the cards for Akron.
Notes: Ryan Raburn made his first rehab appearance with the RubberDucks and went 0-3, with a walk. Bryson Myles had a pair of singles, and stole his 12th base of the year. Lefty Elvis Araujo allowed three runs, snapping his string of 15 shutout innings. Akron dropped to 5-9 against the Thunder this season. Attendance was 2,786.
The RubberDucks and Thunder will conclude the four-game series on Thursday night at 7:05. RHP Joel De La Cruz (4-3, 3.42) is the expected starter for Trenton, while the RubberDucks are expected to go with RHP Duke von Schamann (7-7,4.18).