AKRON, Ohio, June 13 — Scoring three unearned runs in the fifth inning, the Akron RubberDucks went on to a 3-2 Eastern League victory over the Hartford Yard Goats Thursday night at rain-and-windswept Canal Park. Two of Hartford’s three errors led to all three Akron runs.
Akron completed a three-game series sweep and dropped Hartford (36-28) to 1½ games behind first place Trenton in Eastern Division with four games to play in the first half playoff race. With a split season, the winner of the Eastern Division earns a berth in the EL playoffs in September.
Hartford plays three games at Erie this weekend and returns home to Dunkin Donuts Park on Tuesday for the final game of the first half when they host Bowie.
After the Yard Goats took their first lead of the series in the fifth inning on a run-scoring single by Brian Serven, the RubberDucks came back with three runs in their half against starting pitcher Ty Culbreth.
Following back-to-back singles, Culbreth threw away Mitch Longo’s sacrifice bunt, trying to nail Alex Call at third, allowing the tying run to score. Another error-loaded the bases, before a sacrifice fly by Ernie Clement and an RBI-single by Ka’ai Tom gave Akron the lead, 3-2.
Hartford, which did not score a run off the Akron bullpen in the series, managed to slice the advantage to one against starter Eli Morgan, when Tyler Nevin belted a 400-foot home run off the batter’s eye in dead center to open the sixth inning.
Morgan improved to 5-0, going six innings and allowing two runs on five hits. He walked two and struck out a season-high nine. Robinson retired four of the five batters he faced to nail down his first save.
Culbreth (3-7) pitched five innings and allowed three unearned runs on four hits. He did not walk anybody and struck out one. Serven’s single, double and RBI paced the Hartford offense while Li-Jen Chu had three hits for Akron.
Hartford opens a three-game series at Erie Friday at 7:05 PM. The Yard Goats will send RHP Heath Holder to the mound, while the Seawolves will counter with RHP Matt Manning. The game will be broadcast on News Radio 1410 AM, on 100.9 FM and on the Internet on newsradio1410.iheart.com and on MiLB.com.
Akron 3, Hartford 2
Reading 2, Erie 0
Trenton 4, Binghamton 1
Hartford at Erie
Trenton at Bowie
Reading at Harrisburg
Altoona at Binghamton