NILES, O.H. - The Auburn Doubledays (42-28) held leads of four runs and two runs against the Mahoning Valley Scrappers (30-39) on Thursday night, but the Doubledays were unable to maintain either advantage as they fell 8-6 in front of 3,362 at Eastwood Field. The loss is just the second for Auburn this summer when playing on a Thursday.
Mahoning Valley put up four runs in the bottom of the eighth to comeback from a 6-4 deficit. With one out 3B Jorge Martinez lined a single to left. That was followed by a double to center field from SS Robel Garcia, placing two runners in scoring position. Martinez scored when the next batter, CF Aaron Siliga, singled on a fly ball to shallow center field. One out and three batters later, 2B Joe Wendle delivered the big blow in the inning, a bases clearing triple to the gap in right-center with the bases loaded.
The game had been tied 4-4 entering the top of the seventh. That's when the Doubledays broke the tie thanks to an RBI single from 2B Tony Renda. Auburn upped its lead in the top of the eighth when catcher Spencer Kieboom knocked a single to right to drive in 3B Carlos Lopez from third. That was the only run the Doubledays managed to score in the inning despite having all seven batters in the frame reach base.
Auburn also had taken a 4-0 lead in the top of the first. In that inning the Doubledays connected on four hits, and were also helped out by three Scrappers errors. The biggest hit was a two-run single by DH Wander Ramos, who finished the night one for three with two walks.
Mahoning Valley got one of the four runs back in the bottom of the first. Wendle hit a one out single to right, and he scored from first on a double up the middle by LF Logan Vick. The next three Scrappers runs all came in the fourth inning thanks to one monster shot off the bat of Martinez. Martinez launched a ball well over the right field wall for his first homerun in a Scrappers uniform. Martinez finished the night a triple shy of the cycle.
Three of Mahoning Valley's eighth inning runs were charged to LHP Bryan Harper (0-1), giving him the loss for Auburn. RHP Ivan Pineyro started for the Doubledays and went 3.2 innings, allowing four earned runs on six hits and two walks while striking out three. RHP Rafael Homblert (3-1) picked up the win for the Scrappers, pitching one inning without being charged for a run despite giving up two hits. RHP Jack Wagoner recorded his second save of the season by throwing a scoreless ninth.
The Doubledays continue their three game series with the Scrappers on Friday August 31. Auburn will send RHP David Fischer (3-3) to the mound for his eighth start of the season. He will square off against RHP Luis Morel (2-5) for Mahoning Valley. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm. All Doubledays road games can be heard on WAUB 98.1FM and 1590AM, and online at www.fingerlakesdailynews.com by clicking on the WAUB stream under the "listen" tab.