The Akron RubberDucks are making their postseason push and have done so behind another impressive winning streak.
A ten-game winning streak came to an end on Thursday night with a 7-4 loss at Canal Park to the Richmond Flying Squirrels. Earlier in the week, they completed a pair of sweeps, knocking off Bowie twice last Friday and Saturday before Sunday’s game was preempted by rain. They outscored Reading 13-6 during the week, winning 5-2, 4-1, and 4-3 to push the streak to ten before another the loss to start the four-game set with Richmond.
Akron is now just 2.5 games out of first place, trailing the Altoona Curve (Pittsburgh Pirates affiliate), who won 5-3 on Thursday. The ‘Ducks will finish their series this weekend against the Flying Squirrels before taking their final road trip of the season to Erie for four straight. They will conclude the regular season with five against Bowie, including the completion of the suspended game.
In other RubberDucks news and notes…
SMITH A MULTI-HIT MACHINE
Twenty-six-year-old Jordan Smith has spent the last two weeks bludgeoning the opposition with a barrage of multi-hit efforts at the plate.
He had three hits on August 12 and two more on August 14 in Akron’s series with Portland. He had a pair of two-hit games in the series against Trenton in the middle of last week. He made just one start in the series with Bowie, but back in the lineup on Monday against Reading, he responded with back-to-back three-hit games in the first two games of the series.
Smith was hitting .375 over his last ten games heading into action on Thursday night, when he went 1-for-5 with a double and two runs batted in.
NELLIE PACKING A POWERFUL PUNCH
On Wednesday, Nellie Rodriguez hit his 24th homer of the season and drove in his 78th run in the Akron win. It was his second homer in three starts, third homer in five starts, and his fifth in ten games.
KAMINSKY ENDING THE SEASON ON A TEAR
Left-hander Rob Kaminsky has been as reliable as they come on the mound for the RubberDucks for much of the second half of the season. In his last ten starts, he is 7-2 with a 2.26 ERA. He has allowed more than two earned runs in an outing just one time in his last 13 starts.
Last Friday, he limited Bowie to just one earned run on six hits with a walk and four strikeouts in seven innings for the win. He added his fourth consecutive win on Wednesday, allowing two runs on three hits in five innings against Reading. He walked three and struck out five in that outing.
BROWN WINS THIRD STRAIGHT
Right-hander D.J. Brown has turned it around on the mound after a rough July. In each of his last three starts, he has allowed earned runs or less, winning all three contests while registering two quality starts.
On August 9, he allowed a run on four hits over seven innings to defeat Hartford. On August 17, he went to Trenton and allowed three runs on seven hits in five and two-thirds innings to push his record back over the .500 mark. He fired another seven and one-third innings of quality baseball on Monday against Reading, limited the Fightin’ Phils to two runs on five hits while striking out four.
Brown is now 8-6 on the season with a 4.43 ERA in 26 games (19 starts).
HAASE’S HOME RUN BARRAGE CONTINUES
Eric Haase’s home run barrage continued on Saturday when he launched a pair of home runs and drove in three runs in the ‘Ducks win over the Baysox in Bowie.
The 23-year-old catcher and seventh rounder out of the 2011 draft hit his third and fourth homers of August and pushed his season total to a dozen in the win. Home runs have now accounted for exactly half of his extra base hits this season.
HEAD’S SCORELESS STREAK
Reliever Louis Head pushed his scoreless streak to nine straight games (12 innings) with three appearances over the last week. He worked a scoreless inning on Friday and retired both outs on strikeouts in his effort on Monday. He earned his fourth save of the season on Wednesday, working a perfect ninth.
PEOPLES WITH BACK-TO-BACK QUALITY STARTS
Right-hander Michael Peoples pushed his win total to ten with the RubberDucks and eleven for the season with a victory on Tuesday over Reading. He worked six innings, allowing two walks and eight hits, but struck out five batters for the third straight start in firing his second straight quality start.
The first 1,000 fans in attendance on Saturday will receive a Miss Lippy bobblehead. Actress Dina Platias, who plated the “Miss Lippy” character in the Billy Madison movies, will also be in attendance for a VIP meet and greet.
FIELD MANAGER OF THE YEAR
Akron’s Chris Walsh was awarded the Eastern League Diamond Pro Sports Field Manager of the Year by the Eastern League and its president Joseph McEacharn. The voting, done by Eastern League field staff and umpires, granted Canal Park’s Head Groundskeeper his first award.