GAME #71 ? WEDNESDAY, JUNE 23, 2010 ? 7:05 P.M.
HOME GAME #36 ? CANAL PARK ? AKRON, OH
AKRON AEROS (34-36) VS. RICHMOND FLYING SQUIRRELS (33-38)
CLEVELAND INDIANS SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
? Squirrel Attack… The Aeros lost the opener of their weeklong home stand at Canal Park Tuesday night by the final score of 3-2 against the Richmond Flying Squirrels. A solid crowd of 5,652 fans watched the visiting Squirrels pounce for four runs in the very first inning against surprise Akron starter Kelvin De La Cruz. Aeros relievers Chen-Chang Lee and Shane Lindsay then allowed two more runs in the top of the eighth inning while Richmond starter Mike MacDonald limited the Akron offense all game until shortstop Carlos Rivero smacked a solo home run to start the bottom of the eighth. That started a dramatic rally for the Aeros as third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall also drew an RBI walk but Flying Squirrels reliever Tony Pena Jr. then struck out Matt McBride to strand the bases loaded. MacDonald (2-6) permitted just two singles, a walk, and the solo homer in 7.1 efficient innings pitched, his longest start of the season, while De La Cruz (1-4) took the loss and Pena recorded his fifth save.
? De La’s Dilemma… Manager Joel Skinner decided upon the last-second pitching change for Akron Tuesday night because normally scheduled starter Eric Berger was suffering from back stiffness. This moved De La Cruz to the starting role for yesterday instead of Wednesday, but still on his usual four days of rest because of the off day Monday. The 22-year-old Dominican native permitted four runs six hits and three walks with three strikeouts, continuing a rough stretch over his last five starts. He is now 0-1 with a 6.46 ERA since May 31st with 28 hits and 18 walks permitted but only 12 strikeouts in 23.2 innings pitched.
? Awesome Aguilar… The only Aeros pitcher to have much success against the Squirrels Tuesday night was reliever Omar Aguilar. He induced a double play to strand two inherited runners in the sixth and faced just five batters total in two frames with a strikeout. Aguilar now has a 1.47 ERA in the seventh and eighth innings combined this year with 25 K’s against only eight walks.
? Here is the Future… Akron third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall was named Tuesday to the roster of the United States team in the 2010 XM All-Star Futures Game. Cleveland’s first-round pick in the June 2008 Draft will be the 14th Aero to appear in the event Sunday, July 11th at Angels Stadium. Baseball America tabbed Chisenhall as the second-best prospect in the Indians system prior to the season, and he is batting .337 with 21 RBI in 22 games since returning from the disabled list on May 28th.
? Meet Me Halfway… Richmond’s victory Tuesday night moved the fifth-place Squirrels just 1.5 games behind the Aeros for third in the Western Division. Approaching the season’s halfway point, the Eastern League-leading Altoona Curve (46-24) have a 10-game lead over the Bowie Baysox (36-34) and it is close from there as Akron trails Bowie by just two games for second place. The Harrisburg Senators (34-37) are sandwiched in the middle and one-half game behind the defending 2009 EL Champions.
AEROS STAT OF THE NIGHT:
Tonight marks the exact midpoint of the 142-game Eastern League regular season and the Akron Aeros
are now on pace for 69 wins, which would be the team’s worst mark since 2004.