SeaWolves leave Ducks feeling green in defeat
Akron's 10-run defeat was the team's biggest loss of the season.
AKRON, OH – The Akron RubberDucks entered Friday’s series opener with a chance to clinch an Eastern League playoff spot with a win, but it was the Erie SeaWolves who played as if the playoffs were on the line by bashing Akron’s bullpen on the way to a 14-4 victory at Canal Park in front of a sold out crowd of 8,109.
Things looked good for the RubberDucks after they rallied back from a two-run top of the first by Erie to take a 3-2 lead entering the seventh inning. That’s when Erie broke the game open off Akron reliever Enosil Tejeda with seven runs with the big hits coming on a two-run single by shortstop Dixon Machado and a grand slam by designated hitter Dean Green,to give the SeaWolves a 9-3 lead.
Akron added a run in the bottom of the seventh, on a third baseman Jaime Pedroza’s RBI single, but it was all Erie the rest of the way.They added three more runs in the eighth inning off reliever Trey Haley to go up 12-4, capped off by a two-run triple by center fielder Devon Travis. Then Erie added two runs in the ninth on first baseman Aaron Westlake’s home run off newly promoted Akron reliever Rob Nixon to close out the scoring. The 10-run loss was the largest margin of defeat for theRubberDucks this season.
RubberDucks starter Will Roberts allowed two first-inning runs, but then fired five scoreless innings and allowed just three hits while walking two and striking out five. He stood to be the winning pitcher after Akron rallied to tie the game at 2-2 in the second inning on a RBI triple by second baseman Joey Wendle and a RBI single by left fielder Bryson Myles, and then took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning on a Jordan Smith double that scored Wendle who reached earlier in the frame on a double.
However, Erie starter Jeff Ferrell (10-9) threw scoreless fifth and sixth innings before allowing a run in the seventh after the SeaWolves had taken a 9-3 lead. He finished with 6 2/3 innings, allowing eight hits, a walk and fanning three.
Wendle’s two extra-base hits led the offensive attack for Akron. Smith and Pedroza also had a pair of hits.
The RubberDucks magic number for clinching a playoff spot remains one over the Bowie Baysox with tonight’s loss and Bowie’s victory over the Altoona Curve. A single Akron win or a Bowie loss during the final three games of the season will secure a playoff berth for the RubberDucks. Tonight, the Richmond Flying Squirrels clinched the Eastern League’sWestern Division title, so the fight between Akron and Bowie is for second place.
The RubberDucks and Erie SeaWolves continue the four-game series on Saturday night at 7:05. RHP Wilsen Palacios (9-4, 4.49) is the expected starter for Erie, while the RubberDucks are expected to go with RHP Cody Anderson (4-10,5.13). The game will be broadcast on WARF 1350 AM and online at 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 atwww.facebook.com/AkronRubberDucks and Twitter at @AkronRubberDuck.