Sardinha burns former team in playoffs

Ex-Thunder outfielder homers, drives in four runs in 13-10 win

Bronson Sardinha finished a triple short of the cycle after going 0-for-3 in the opener. (Kevin Pataky/

By Alan Friedman / Special to | September 10, 2008 8:10 PM ET

The Akron Aeros' Bronson Sardinha sent a message to his former team, the Trenton Thunder, on Wednesday.

Sardinha went 4-for-5 with a homer, a double and four RBIs to lead host Akron to a 13-10 win over Trenton on Wednesday, knotting their best-of-5 Eastern League Championship Series, 1-1.

Game 3 is Friday in Trenton.

The 25-year-old Sardinha, who was in the Yankees' system between 2004-'07, hit a two-run inside-the-park homer in the fourth and ripped a two-RBI double in the eighth. He also singled twice, finished a triple shy of the cycle and scored three times.

Sardinha admitted he did have some incentive in playing against his old organization.

"It feels good," he said. "Playing against them, you want to go out and show them something that makes them remember when you were there.

"They're a really scrappy team and they don't lay down. They are good fundamentally and they do a lot of things well. This is going to be a tough series."

Sardinha signed as a free agent with the Indians in May and hit .271 with six homers and 46 RBIs in 88 games this season for Akron.

His double in the eighth keyed a seven-run rally that snapped a 6-6 tie and put the Aeros ahead for good. Akron sent 12 men to the plate during the outburst, which included an RBI double by Brandon Pinckney and Matt LaPorta's run-scoring single.

In Tuesday's series-opening 3-1 loss by Akron, Sardinha went 0-for-3.

"I was trying to think too much," he said of his performance. "Tonight I just went out and tried to get a good pitch to hit."

Wes Hodges chipped in three RBIs for Akron.

Neil Wagner (2-0) picked up the win after recording the last out in the top of the eighth -- getting P.J. Pilittere to line out left field. Trenton scored four times in the ninth, but Erik Stiller came in and got Pilittere to ground out to second for his first save.

The Thunder's Austin Jackson went 3-for-6 with two doubles and two RBIs.

Kevin Whelan (1-1) allowed four runs on two hits and two walks without a strikeout in a third of an inning for the loss.

Alan Friedman is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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