Thunder and lightning too much for RubberDucks in 5-0 loss
(Akron, Ohio) – Trenton starter Jaron Long tossed six shutout innings and Mason Williams had a pair of hits and two runs scored as the Thunder defeated the Akron RubberDucks, 5-0, on Tuesday night at Canal Park.
It was the fifth straight loss for Akron (72-64), although they lost no ground in the EL West. They still trail first-place Richmond by three games with six left to play, but solidified their playoff position as Bowie and Erie split a doubleheader. The RubberDucks magic number for clinching a playoff spot is now down to two over both Bowie and Erie. The top two teams in the division make the post-season.
Long (7-1) worked the first six innings, and scattered three hits to pick up his seventh win of the season. The former Ohio State Buckeyes pitcher extended his scoreless innings streak to 18 over his last three starts. Long, who started the year in Low Class-A, walked one and struck out six. He was limited to six innings due to a 44-minute lightning delay that occurred in the top of the seventh.
The lightning intensified in the top of the seventh, requiring a delay with one out and a man on first base. When play resumed, lefty Giovanni Soto took over for Morimando. Williams lined a pitch off Soto’s foot for an infield hit, and then Dan Fiorito hit a grounder to second that blew the game open for Trenton.
Joey Wendle, one of the league’s top defensive second basemen, mishandled Fiorito’s grounder and threw wildly past first. Akron’s Jake Lowery hustled to the ball in foul territory and attempted a throw to second trying to retire Fiorito, but the throw sailed into left field for a second error. Two runs scored on the play to make it 3-0. Ali Castillo and Jake Cave followed with RBI hits to extend the lead to 5-0. All four runs were unearned.
Mormindo was stuck with the loss despite scattering four hits over 6 1/3 innings. Like Long, he also walked one and struck out six. Relief help for Trenton came from lefthander Jake Lindgren, a 2014 second-round pick of the Yankees from Mississippi State. Lindgren worked two scoreless frames, and righty Mark Montgomery, who worked the ninth to complete the whitewash.
Notes: It was the ninth shutout loss of the season for Akron. Three of Akron’s four hits came in the first two innings. The RubberDucks have been held to four hits in each of the first two games of the series. Adam Miller threw two scoreless innings of relief for the RubberDucks. Indians DH Jason Giambi played for Akron on a rehab assignment, and went 0-3, with three strikeouts. Attendance was 2,746.
The RubberDucks and Thunder (66-70) will play game three of the series on Wednesday night at 7:05. LHP Jeremy Bleich (5-5, 3.27) is the expected starter for Trenton, while the RubberDucks are expected to go with LHP Nick Maronde (0-1, 15.75).
A strong start by Maronde would be nice, thank goodness he has one more option!