RubberDucks Game Recap
SeaWolves 9 RubberDucks 4
WP: Tyler Alexander (5-6) LP: Matt Esparza (5-2) Save: none
RubberDucks designated hitter Luigi Rodriguez and first baseman Bobby Bradley both clubbed two-out, two-run home runs, but they weren't enough as Erie plated the first nine runs in their 9-4 win Thursday night at UPMC Park.
Erie left fielder Dominic Ficociello drove in the final runs of the SeaWolves' five-run third inning on a two-run shot, which would put the game out of reach for the RubberDucks.
RubberDucks starter Matt Esparza started off the game working two scoreless innings. His throwing error in the third sparked the SeaWolves, allowing their first of five runs in the inning. A pair of singles off the bats of Harold Castro and Kody Eaves drove in two more before Erie's Dominic Ficociello capped off the inning with his sixth homer of the season to make it 5-0. Esparza pitched another scoreless frame in the fourth, but was eventually knocked out in the fifth after giving up four more runs, highlighted by Wade Hinkle's two-run homer, his first of the year. Esparza gave up 11 hits, nine runs, eight earned, two walks with four strikeouts in 4.2 innings pitched. Robbie Aviles, Neil Holland and David Speer closed out the game with 3.1 perfect innings of relief and a strikeout each. Erie starter Tyler Alexander finished with 5.2 innings pitched, eight hits, two earned runs, no walks and four strikeouts.
The Ducks scored their first runs in the sixth inning on Luigi Rodriguez's 10th home run of the season, scoring Krieger, who singled before him. The RubberDucks struck again with a two-run homer the next inning off the bat of Bobby Bradley, driving in Joe Sever after his walk. The home run was Bradley's 16th of the year. The RubberDucks' No. 1 and 2 hitters, Todd Hankins and Sever, each had two singles apiece.
Eric Haase extended his hitting streak to 11 games, dating back to June 27 against Erie… Luigi Rodriguez is batting .302 with nine home runs in 25 games since the beginning of June… Robbie Aviles has pitched 13.2 consecutive shutout innings, dating back to June 15 against Harrisburg… Time of Game: 2:38… Attendance: 3,443.
The RubberDucks will face off against the SeaWolves for the second game of a three-game road series Friday. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. Luis Lugo (4-5, 5.27) is expected to take the mound for Akron against Erie's A.J. Ladwig (6-1, 3.62). The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1350 AM, the WARF iHeart channel and the TuneIn Radio App.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.