Hankins Rakes Versus Reading, Rodriguez an RBI Machine, and More in This Week’s ‘Duck Tales
Bob Toth | On 24, Jun 2016
After their losing skid hit 12 straight games last Thursday, the Akron RubberDucks got back into the win column with a three-game sweep of New Hampshire over the weekend. They took the first game of a road series in Reading before dropping a pair to lose the series on Wednesday and Thursday.
Akron remains in first place in the Eastern League’s Western Division with a 42-31 record. They are 23-12 at home, but 19-19 on the road. Despite the even mark on the road, only four teams in the 12-team Eastern League have performed better away from home this year.
The RubberDucks return home to host the Trenton Thunder this weekend, with four games scheduled in the next three days. They will close out the month of June with three games at Richmond before starting a four-game series in Erie against the SeaWolves next Thursday.
In other RubberDucks news and notes…
FRAZIER FAILS TO REACH BASE
A rarity for outfielder Clint Frazier this season, the young slugger failed to reach base safely for just the second time in June in Akron’s 3-1 win on Saturday. He was 0-for-4 with a strikeout, but did drive in one of the RubberDucks’ runs on the day. It marked his third straight hitless game, dropping his batting average to .291, but he was hit by a pitch on the 16th against Erie and drew a walk on the 17th against New Hampshire, so he was still on base.
Since the three-game hitless streak ended, Frazier is 8-for-16 with a homer and two RBI. He continues to lead the team with a .305 batting average and a .396 on-base percentage this season.
HANKINS HITTING HOMERS
After going 0-for-12 in the series against New Hampshire, Todd Hankins erupted with a huge series against the Fightin Phils.
The infielder, profiled on Did The Tribe Win on Tuesday, started an impressive three-game series in Reading with a three-hit game while driving in a pair of runs on a two-run homer. He hit a solo homer on Wednesday to lead off the game, then added another three-hit performance in the series finale on Thursday afternoon. He was 7-for-13 against the Fightin Phils and boosted his season batting average by 16 points.
Over the last three series, the RubberDucks have been able to rely on Nellie Rodriguez to provide some runs.
The big first baseman has hit in six of the eight games that he has played in and walked in each contest that he did not record a hit, with three multi-hit games in that span. In five of those games, he has driven in a solo run.
He had three hits and four walks in the series against Reading, driving in a pair and scoring one run.
ZIMMER’S STREAK ENDS AT EIGHT
The series against Reading spelled the end of Bradley Zimmer’s modest eight-game hitting streak. While he did not get a hit in either of the first two games, he drew walks in both and has walked in six straight games and eight of his last nine. He is hitting .238 on the season with a .371 OBP.
MORIMANDO LOSES HIS THIRD
After starting the season 9-0, Shawn Morimando has taken the loss in three of his last four outings. He allowed just four hits in five innings against Reading, but walked six Fightin Phils batters in the defeat. He has allowed 18 of his 24 earned runs for the season over his last four starts, a span of 21 1/3 innings.
KIME BEGINS REHAB
Right-handed pitcher Dace Kime has started his rehab assignment with the Indians club in Arizona.
The 24-year-old pitcher made his first appearance since landing on the disabled list on April 29 with a right calf strain. He worked one inning against the Arizona League Reds, allowing three runs on three hits with a pair of walks while striking out one.
MONSALVE HITS THE DL
Catcher Alex Monsalve was placed on the seven-day disabled list on Sunday.
The 24-year-old Venezuelan backstop has spent his season with Akron, appearing in 17 games. He has hit .283 with a .343 on-base percentage, hitting two doubles, a triple, and one home run while driving in seven.
Pitcher Nick Pasquale, whose interview with Did The Tribe Win’s David Freier debuted on Wednesday this week, was promoted from High-A Lynchburg to Akron on Saturday.
The right-hander, who had made just one appearance at the Double-A level in his professional career (last season in relief), got the start on Saturday and took home the win. He lasted five and one-third innings, allowing a run on four hits with three walks and five strikeouts.
SMITH RETURNS TO AKRON
Outfielder Jordan Smith was assigned back to Akron last Saturday.
He had hit in four straight appearances with the Triple-A Columbus Clippers before relocating and has hit in three straight games for the RubberDucks since to extend his multi-level hitting streak to seven straight games. He had single hits on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday while driving in three runs.
Photo: David Monseur/MiLB.com