RubberDucks split double header with Mets, move to 2-1
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – A day after rain and cold weather put off game two of the Akron RubberDucks’ season-opening series with the Binghamton Mets, the two teams braved the cold New York weather and split an afternoon double header.
In game one, the RubberDucks sent Puerto Rican native Joseph Colon to the bump for his first career start in AA after a successful 2013 season with the Carolina Mudcats, where the 24-year-old finished with a 5-3 record and a 3.13 ERA.
Colon’s welcome to AA ball was spoiled by the hot Mets’ bats as Binghamton forced Colon to evacuate before reaching the five inning mark after a 4-run fifth inning.
Cruising through the first four innings, Colon was in a groove after giving up a run in the first and second inning, but settled in after top prospect Francisco Lindor popped his first home run of the season to tie the game at two.
In the fifth, the Mets strung together and forced Colon out of the game.
From there, the RuberDucks failed to convert on their chances as the team went 0-9 with runners in scoring position and left seven runners stranded on base.
Shortly after game one came to its conclusion, game two featured the return of Toru Murta after he split last season between Akron and Columbus.
In his time in Columbus, Murta struggled with an 0-3 record in five starts with a 5.67 ERA. But Saturday Murta brought something extra to the game as he was extremely effective in his first start of the year.
Murta dominated the Mets, allowing no runs and just three hits in five innings and struck out four in the process. Demonstrating his command of the ball, Murta was effective at throwing strikes all game long and forced two double plays in the process.
When it came down to scoring, Akron got help from a host of players early in the game to help Mura power his was to a 3-0 victory.
Piling it on, high prospect Joe Wendle hit his first home run of the season an inning later and Akron never looked back. With Murta locked in, the RubberDucks shut down the Mets.
2012 first rounder Tyler Naquin collected his first RBI of the season on a lined single that scored first basemanJerrud Sabourin. A bit of concern came for Naquin, though, as he left runners on base in all but one at bat.
With a comfortable three-run lead, manager David Wallace was able to call on closer Enosil Tejada for his first save chance of the year. Tejada did not disappoint as he slammed the door on the Mets.
Game four of the season-opening series with Binghamton is scheduled for Sunday at 1:05 p.m.