New Britain, CT - The Rock Cats fell to the Akron RubberDucks by the score of 9-6 on Wednesday evening at New Britain Stadium.
New Britain starter RHP Tyler Duffey was met with an Akron offense that was ready to swing right from the first pitch, going up 3-0 after the first inning. The RubberDucks strung together four consecutive hits to start the game - including an RBI double from SS Francisco Lindor and a two-run double from 1B Brian LaHair.
The lead would not last however as the Rock Cats worked up some two out magic, tying up the game at three runs a side. After Akron starter LHP Matt Packer struck out the first two batters, it was a single, walk, RBI single from RF Reynaldo Rodriguez and a wall scraping double to deep left-center from 3B Brandon Waring that scored two and evened the score 3-3.
RubberDucks DH Joe Wendle launched a two-run home run in the top half of the second to propel the visitors ahead once again.
Akron increased the gap by one in the top of the fourth on a sacrifice fly sent to deep center by LaHair, scoring C Alex Lavisky who singled to start the frame.
New Britain got one back in the bottom half of the inning to make it a 6-4 ballgame. Rodriguez, who doubled to start the Rock Cats' fourth, came home on an infield-style single hit by LF Mike Kvasnicka.
The scoreboard had a distinct Akron lean following the fifth and sixth innings. Rock Cats reliever RHP Mark Hamburger, who came in for Duffey, was reached for one run in the fifth and two more on two hits in the top of the sixth, making it 9-4 in Akron's favor.
New Britain would not go down quietly, adding runs in the sixth and seventh innings. The Cats were really threatening in the bottom of the seventh, with runners on first and third and down 9-6 but Akron reliever RHP Bryan Price struck out Waring looking to squash the rally.
Duffey was hit hard over his four innings of work, but he bore down and continued to throw strikes, registering five punchouts and one walk. The righthander gave up six runs, all earned, on ten hits, seeing his record drop to 1-2.
Packer pitched well enough to earn his first win of 2014. The lefty allowed four runs on six hits over five innings, all while striking out five and walking one. RHP Louis Head earned his first save of 2014.
New Britain plays the final game of a three-game series on Thursday night when they send LHP Sean Gilmartin to the hill to square off against Akron's RHP Cody Anderson. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.