You can add another accomplishment to what could become a very long list for Indians top prospect Clint Frazier and several of his new teammates at Double-A Akron. On Tuesday night, he got the honor of starting a triple play in the seventh inning and added three runs batted in at the plate as Akron defeated the Altoona Curve by a 7-6 final.
Akron scored twice in the second, backed by a leadoff homer from Nelson Rodrgiuez and an RBI-single from Jeremy Lucas to score Jordan Smith. They added three in the fourth when Lucas singled with one out, Joe Sever singled in the infield, and Eric Stamets walked to load the bases before Frazier cleared them all with a double to center.
The Curve got three runs back in the bottom of the sixth. After the first two runners reached, Dace Kime retired a pair before a triple scored two. After a pitching change, a wild pitch scored the third run of the inning. Akron responded with two runs in the top of the seventh as errors and wild pitches helped create scoring opportunities.
It was a 7-3 game in the bottom of the seventh when the RubberDucks desperately needed outs and history was on their side. The Curve started the inning with a triple, an RBI-double, an RBI-single, and another RBI-double to make it 7-6. A error at third by Yandy Diaz put runners on first and second and reliever Antonio Romero was replaced by J.P. Feyereisen. Altoona’s Jonathan Schwind, with a chance to tie up the game with a base hit, lined to right with both runners in motion on a hit-and-run attempt. Frazier made the grab, fired to shortstop Stamets at second, who relayed to Sever at first for the triple play.
Video courtesy of MiLB.com’s YouTube channel (minorleaguebaseball)
It was enough to take the wind out of the sails of the Curve, who would get just one more base runner over the final two innings and the RubberDucks would claim their fifth straight win to start the season.
Frazier has now hit in each of his first five Double-A games. Lucas had three hits and a walk in five plate appearances, knocked in two runs, and scored two more.
The RubberDucks last turned a triple play on August 23, 2014, in a game in Binghamton against the Mets. With runners on the corners after back-to-back singles, Dilson Herrera lifted a fly to short center that was caught by a diving Ollie Linton. Both runners were advancing on what looked like a hit, but instead Linton got to his feet and threw to first baseman Bryan LaHair to retire the trail runner. LaHair then threw to third baseman Justin Toole at the bag to retire the lead runner and complete the triplet killing.
Curious about what feat is next for the young RubberDucks? The team concludes their series in Altoona on Wednesday before returning home to Canal Park for their Home Opener on Thursday night and the start of a seven-game homestand.
Photo: Mike Cardew/Akron Beacon Journal