AKRON, OH – The Trenton Thunder snapped a three-game losing streak with a 9th-inning comeback over the Akron RubberDucks for a 6-4 win.
After allowing three runs in the bottom of the 8th inning, Trenton faced a one-run deficit heading into the 9th. Catcher, Jorge Saez began the rally with a leadoff double, his second hit of the night. Thairo Estrada promptly shot a groundball through the middle for a single to put runners at the corners. The next batter up was Devyn Bolasky and he rocketed a one-hopper off the lower leg of reliever Cameron Hill. The ball stayed on the infield and nearby Hill, who picked it up but didn’t have a play at any base after looking-back Saez to third.
That brought up Gleyber Torres who delivered a groundball to the shortstop Yu Chang who was playing back with the bases loaded and no outs. Saez would have scored anyway, but Chang booted the front end of the double-play turn and everyone was safe. Two batters later with the bases loaded and one out, Miguel Andujar scorched a groundball deep in the hole and this time Chang made an excellent play smothering it and keeping on the infield. The play produced the same result however as all runners were safe and the goahead run scored for a 4-3 Thunder lead. Billy McKinney later delivered a sac fly and Dante Bichette Jr. poked a single to right field to further extend the lead and make it 6-3 heading into the bottom of the 9th.
The Trenton Thunder and Akron RubberDucks went scoreless into the 7th inning before the Thunder broke through for the game’s first runs. Trenton loaded the bases with two outs when Ford came to bat and he struck out on a pitch in the dirt. The ball skipped away from Mejia and as he tracked it down and threw to first, the ball kicked away from first baseman, Bobby Bradley. The strikeout-wild pitch allowed Saez to score from third base, but the throwing error by Mejia allowed Bolasky to come around from second base and give the Thunder a 2-0 lead.
Nestor Cortes was added to the Thunder roster prior to the game from High-A Tampa and he combined with Caleb Frare for an outstanding start to the night for Thunder pitching. Cortes went four shutout innings and allowed just two hits before Frare went two scoreless innings while holding the ‘Ducks to one hit. In two career Double-A outings (Other: 2016), Cortes has gone 8.0 innings and allowed two runs on three hits.
The Thunder and RubberDucks conclude their three-game series Wednesday night at Canal Park. LHP Justus Sheffield (No. 7, New York Yankees prospect according to Baseball America) makes his season debut against the organization that traded him away last season as part of the deal that sent Andrew Miller from the Yankees to the Cleveland Indians. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning at 6:20 p.m. online at www.trentonthunder.com/broadcast.