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Clevinger outduels Wynkoop as Akron knocks Hartford out of first place, 2-0

Yard Goats southpaw Jack Wynkoop allowed just three hits but lost a 2-0 decision to Akron on Tuesday night.

AKRON, June 11 — Hartford Yard Goats pitcher Jack Wynkoop matched his major league opponent Mike Clevinger pitch-for-pitch, but in the end it was Akron which emerged with a 2-0 Eastern League victory, before 5,138 at Canal Park on Tuesday night.

Clevinger, on a rehabilitation start for Akron’s parent club, the Cleveland Indians, pitched 5 1/3 innings of three-hit baseball with no walks and five strikeouts.

Meanwhile, Wynkoop carried a shutout into the seventh inning, before yielding a leadoff home run to Ka’ai Tom to right-center.  The Hartford southpaw then retired the next three hitters.  He pitched seven innings, allowing one run on three hits with no walks and three strikeouts.

Akron (32-31) added an unearned run in the eighth inning on two walks and a throwing error by reliever Heath Holder on a sacrifice bunt.

Jake Paulson, who relieved Clevinger, picked up the win with 3 2/3 innings of work.  He permitted three hits, walked one and struck out one.

Mylz Jones had three of the Yard Goats’ six hits with a double and two singles.

In the race for the first half Eastern Division title and a berth in September’s Eastern League playoffs, the loss dropped the Yard Goats (36-26) a half game behind Reading (36-25), which swept a doubleheader with Erie on Tuesday night.

Hartford has six games remaining in the first half of the season, which ends on Tuesday, June 18.

GARCIA HONORED: Right-handed starting pitcher Rico Garcia was named Eastern League Pitcher of the Week on Monday. The Honolulu, Hawaii native won both of his starts last week, going 2-0 with a 0.75 ERA and registered 15 strikeouts in 12 innings of work.  He is the first Yard Goats player to win an Eastern League weekly award since infielder Brendan Rodgers, now in the Major Leagues with the Coloardo Rockies, was named EL Player of the Week last April.

Garcia, 25, is leading the Eastern League with 8 wins, ranks second in EL with 85 strikeouts, winning percentage (.889), opposing batting average (.178), and ranks third in WHIP (0.91).  He earned his first win this week in six no-hit innings last Tuesday against Trenton while striking out nine of the first 11 batters faced.  Then, he followed that outing by working six solid innings, allowing just one run, in the Yard Goats 3-1 win Sunday against Binghamton.  Garcia has won his last four starts and eight of his last nine starts since April 18th.

The right-hander has been one of the most dominant pitchers in Yard Goats history, and is 14-3 with a 2.08 ERA in 23 career starts at Hartford.  His career ERA is the best in franchise history and he ranks third all-time in wins.  He was promoted to the Yard Goats last July and has been with Hartford all of this season.  Garcia is the only Yard Goats pitcher ever to record 10 or more strikeouts in a game three times, and established a new single game strikeouts mark of 11, twice this season.

Eastern Division W L Pct. GB
Reading 36 25 .583
Hartford 36 26 .581 ½
Trenton 34 25 .576 1
Binghamton 33 25 .569 1 ½
Tuesday night’s results
Reading 10, Erie 4 (10)
Reading 5, Erie 4
Akron 2, Hartford 0
Binghamton 7, Trenton 6
Wednesday’s games
Hartford at Akron
Erie at Reading
Trenton at Binghamton

Since 2009, the Collinsville Press has been providing award-winning coverage of sports and news in the Farmington Valley and across Connecticut.

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