Akron continues to terrorize the Eastern League with its strong play. At 23-9, they have a strong hold on the top spot in the league already, owning a seven and a half game lead in the EL Western Division. Their most recent three-game homestand came to an end on Wednesday afternoon, when their series against the Detroit Tigers’ affiliate, the Erie SeaWolves, wrapped up. They completed the series sweep with a walk-off 9-8 win in ten innings.
The RubberDucks now return to the road, playing seven straight in Harrisburg and Hartford to conclude a stretch of 20 straight games played for the Indians affiliate before their off day on the 19th. They will return home then for three games with Binghamton, but will head right back out on the road when that series with the Mets is done.
In other RubberDucks news and notes…
The RubberDucks have won 12 straight games at Canal Park, including four straight sweeps. They now own a 14-2 record in Akron this season and have not lost at home since April 17 against Bowie. They have won five straight games and are 11-1 in their last dozen games overall.
Just one day after allowing three runs on six hits in a shortened three and two-thirds innings on the mound on Sunday, left-handed starter Rob Kaminsky landed on the seven-day disabled list with a lower back strain.
Kaminsky also missed time in 2015 with a back injury after being acquired by the Indians from the St. Louis Cardinals organization. He is 1-2 on the season with a 4.75 ERA and 1.65 WHIP in six starts. He had struck out 14 but walked a team-high 16 batters at the time of his injury.
Second baseman Todd Hankins returned from Triple-A Columbus with the open roster spot in Akron. He was 3-for-9 in two games for the Clippers with a triple and two RBI.
DIAZ DINGED, BUT HEADING TO THE CAPITAL
Yandy Diaz exited Monday’s game after getting hit by a pitch on the right hand. X-rays were negative and he was diagnosed with a right hand contusion. He singled and scored in his first at bat in the first inning and his replacement, Joe Sever, pinch-ran and scored and would go 2-for-3 at the plate with a pair of RBI to boost his batting average to .291.
Earlier in the game, Diaz required the attention of the trainer after crashing into the tarp while chasing after a foul ball down the left field line. He had missed a pair of games with a right thumb injury before having to leave Monday’s start and missed the final two games of the series. He is hitting .286 in his second season at Akron.
Despite the injuries, Diaz has gotten the call to head to Columbus, as Clippers third baseman Giovanny Urshela has been placed on the seven-day disabled list with a right hamstring injury.
ZIMMER HEATING UP
With a 3-for-4 day at the plate and four runs batted in on Monday, Bradley Zimmer continued a hot streak. In addition to a pair of RBI-singles, he hit a long home run to straightaway center, his third straight game with a homer.
The home run was his seventh of the season and gave him 26 RBI, one of the top marks at the Double-A level. It also extended the RubberDucks streak of games with a homer to 14 at the time.
“Home runs are fun. It’s a good feeling when you hit the ball out of the yard,” said Zimmer after Monday’s game. “Obviously I’m not trying to, I’ve just been getting good pitches and good pitches to hit and I guess I’m driving them.”
The strong day at the plate boosted his batting average for the season from .229 to .248. He added single hits in the final two games of the series against Erie to extend his hitting streak to six straight games.
LUCAS LOCKED IN
One day after reaching base in all four trips with a pair of singles and two walks, catcher Jeremy Lucas delivered the RubberDucks’ fourth grand slam of the season with his clout in the first inning in Tuesday morning’s 4-2 win over the SeaWolves.
His slam extended the RubberDucks’ homer streak to 15 straight games, one that came to an end in Wednesday’s 9-8 win.
The catcher went 4-for-10 (.400) in the series against Erie with three walks and five RBI. He started the last two games of the set at designated hitter. He has now reached base successfully in ten straight games.
Nellie Rodriguez’s solo home run in Sunday’s win gave him a team-high nine homers for the season. He added a pair of RBI (24 now on the year) in his three-hit game in Wednesday’s win, but trails Zimmer for the club-lead in RBI.
Photo: David Monseur/Akron RubberDucks