The Harrisburg Senators got back on the winning side of the ledger at home for the first time in awhile tonight, edging the Akron Aeros 4-3 in front of 3,799 fans on City Island. The Senators only managed 4 hits for the game, but had three of them with 2 outs, accounting for all 4 runs. The hosts struck for a key 3-spot in the bottom of the 3rd inning. Seth Bynum led off the inning with a walk and advanced to 2nd base on a Marcos Yepez sacrifice bunt. After Greg Thissen flied out, Robert Fick delivered with an RBI single up the middle to score Bynum and get Harrisburg on the board. Prentice Redman then followed with a 2-run home run to straightaway LF to extend the Senators' lead to 3-0. Akron struck right back in the top of the 4th with 2 runs off of Senators starter Oscar Alvarez to make the score 3-2. Those would be the only runs Alvarez would give up in 6 innings of work. Harrisburg then manufactured another run in the bottom of the 5th in a manner that was very similar to their first run in the 3rd, using a Bynum infield single, a Yepez sacrifice bunt, and a 2-out single by Fick to score Bynum to make the score 4-2. Akron pulled within 4-3 on a run in the 7th off of Jeremy Plexico, but Plexico and Zechry Zinicola were able to keep the Aeros at bay the rest of the game. Akron did mount a 2-out rally in the 9th off Zinicola with back-to-back singles to put runners at the corners, but Zinicola struck out Akron's Brad Snyder looking at a pitch on the outside corner to end the game and send most of the crowd home happy.
General game notes:
- The Senators were very solid defensively tonight, though 2B Marcos Yepez could have been called for an error on a grounder to his right that he bobbled that helped Akron in their 2-run 4th inning. In particular, CF Frank Diaz made two superb catches, both in the 5th inning. First, he ran down a low fly ball to right-center to prevent the Aeros' Trevor Crowe from getting an extra-base hit. Then, he made a leaping catch over the left-centerfield wall to rob Akron's Ryan Goleski of a 2-run home run that would have given the Aeros the lead at that point. The Senators also turned a very nicely executed 6-4-3 double play.
- In a non-on field development, a woman sitting below me in the same section proposed to her boyfriend over the PA system during a half-inning break. He accepted the proposal.
Individual player notes:
Robert Fick - went 2 for 4 with 2 RBI singles and a run scored in the second game of his second rehab stint with the Senators this year. Fick played behind the plate and did allow a steal on the only attempt against him.
Kory Casto - had an 0 for 2 night with 2 walks. He's struggled at the plate during the month of the August, and his batting average dropped to .281. He has about an .880 OPS. In the field, he was a bit shaky in LF, making a couple of fairly poor reactions to balls hit towards him, but otherwise played acceptably well.
Frank Diaz - suffered through an 0 for 3 night at the plate, hitting a warning track fly out to left-center, striking out on a high fastball, and grounding into a double-play. His average fell to .262. In the field, as noted above he was excellent in CF, making two great catches along with some other more routine plays.
Prentice Redman - went 1 for 4 with a 2-run home run. He also struck out once. His OPS remains a little above .800. Redman was the DH tonight.
Oscar Alvarez - picked up the victory, pitching 6 innings and giving up 2 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks. He also struck out 3 batters. His record improved to 7-7 and his ERA fell to 5.44.
Jeremy Plexico - went 1 2/3 innings, giving up a run on 2 hits. He struck out one man. His ERA is now 4.66.
Zechry Zinicola - the Nationals' 2006 6th round draft choice picked up the save, pitching 1 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball, though he did give up 2 hits and made things interesting in the 9th inning. His ERA in 4 innings at Harrisburg is 2.25 (1 earned run), though he's also given up 2 unearned runs in his limited time with the Senators.MILB.com box score