The Akron RubberDucks continued to stay hot at the beginning of the week by taking the first three games of the series against the Erie SeaWolves at Canal Park, but were unable to finish off the seven game series after falling short in the final four. The road moving forward does not get any easier for the Ducks as they play host to the Bowie Baysox. The teams met two weeks ago in Maryland, with Akron taking four of six games and sending the Baysox on their way to seven straight losses. 

Bowie (29-17) and Erie (30-18) are currently tied for the lead in the AA-Northeast Southwest Division. Akron (27-20) and the Altoona Curve (27-20) are tied for third place in the league table, 2.5 games back from first place. Over the past week, the RubberDuck offense came to life, and is near the top of the stat chart in the league in multiple offensive categories. Akron is third in batting average (.258) and on-base percentage (.344) and second in doubles (94).

Tyler Freeman missed the 24th-27th with a shoulder injury in his left shoulder. He had surgery to repair a torn labrum on that shoulder earlier in his professional career. He remains day-to-day right now and it sounds like this won’t be anything serious but the Indians are being cautious with IBI’s #1 prospect.

In wake of the injury news to Josh Naylor in Cleveland, Alex Call was went up to Columbus because Oscar Mercado was recalled to Cleveland. That takes some serious thump out of Akron’s order as Call was having a career season. But like Trenton Brooks, Cleveland can now see if Call can do this at Triple-A.

Day-by-Day

6/22: W 3-0 vs Erie; W: Hillman (5-1) L: Navilhon (1-2) S: Alvarez (1)

6/23: W 4-2 vs Erie (F/7); W: Tully (2-3) L: Coshow (2-1) S: Mota (2)

         G2 – W 6-4 vs Erie (F/7); W: Marman (3-0) L: Green (1-3) S: Miednik (1)

6/24: L 9-7 vs Erie; W: Lescher (1-0) L: Mikolajchak (0-3)

6/25: L 2-1 vs Erie; W: Kirby (1-0) L: Mock (0-1) S: Chentouf (1)

6/26: L 10-5 vs Erie; W: Ladwig (3-2) L: Ponticelli (2-2) S: Moreno (4)

6/27: L 9-4 vs Erie; W: Fernander (1-0) L: Hillman (5-2)

Player of the Week:

OF/DH Oscar Gonzalez: 12-26 (.462), 4 R, 3 2Bs, 2 HRs, 5 RBIs, 3 BBs, 2 Ks, 1.325 OPS

Gonzalez is in the midst of a two week span where he has recorded a hit in all 13 games played, the longest streak in the Indians organization. Gonzalez leads all Cleveland affiliates in hits (55), homeruns (11), RBIs (35), batting average (.335) and OPS (.971) for the season. His week was highlighted by a 2-for-3 game two on Wednesday with a three-run homerun in the bottom of the fifth inning to seal the 6-4 victory for the RubberDucks.

Who’s Hot:

OF Will Benson: 8-19 (.421), 6 R, 3 2Bs, 2 3Bs, 1 HR, 8 RBIs, 5 BBs, 1.466 OPS

It appears early on that Will Benson’s move to the leadoff spot on Rouglas Odor’s lineup card is a successful one. Benson had a fantastic six games at home against the SeaWolves. He reached base four times in game one of Wednesday’s doubleheader with one hit and three walks. He also went 3-for-4 in the series finale. His six runs, eight RBIs and five walks led the team in each category this week. 

RHP Eric Mock: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BBs, 4 Ks

After a brief stint with the Lake County Captains, Mock returned to the starting rotation for the RubberDucks and had a solid outing although he was saddled with the loss. Mock threw five innings and surrendered just one earned run while striking out four.

RHP Manuel Alvarez: 3 G, 4.1 IP, 1 SV, 1 H, 1 BB, 5 Ks

Alvarez appeared in three games and was solid in his relief role for Akron. Alvarez worked an efficient ninth inning to polish off a shutout in game one of the Erie series on Tuesday and record his first save at the AA level this season. He struck out the side in the ninth inning in Friday’s loss and returned to the rubber Sunday for a longer outing. Alvarez went 2.1 innings without allowing a hit or run.

LHP Skylar Arias: 2 G, 3.2 IP, 0 H, 1 BB, 6 Ks

Skylar Arias was another long reliever for Akron that put together chunk innings of work without allowing a run. The sweeping left-hander faced 12 batters and only one reached on a walk in two separate appearances. Arias struck out three in each of his times on the bump.

Who’s Not:

OF Chris Roller: 3-23 (.130), 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SB, 7 Ks

Roller did not reach base very often this series and struck out at a higher rate than he would like, but the times he was putting the ball in play, it was hit very hard. Saturday’s loss was the perfect example of that, as he was the only Akron player in the lineup without a hit, but had quite possibly the hardest hit ball of the day: a line drive right at the third baseman, who doubled off Oscar Gonzalez at first. It looks as though it was an unlucky week for the Texas native, as long as he can keep putting the ball in play, he should be able to reach more often.

RHP Alex Royalty: 3.0 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 4 Ks

Royalty was touched up in his start on Thursday, but luckily the offense was able to pick him up and give the team a chance late. Unfortunately, Royalty has given up four or more runs in four of his five starts in the month of June, so he is looking forward to the turn of the calendar later this week.

Up Next:

6/29 vs Bowie (6:35)

6/30 vs Bowie (6:35)

7/1 vs Bowie (6:35)

7/2 vs Bowie (7:05)

7/3 vs Bowie (7:05)

7/4 vs Bowie (6:05)

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