Sunday, December 8, 2013
PORTLAND - Sea Dogs right-hander Mike MacDonald seemed in cruise control for three innings Wednesday night, throwing strikes, getting outs and hustling back to the dugout.
WHO: Akron Aeros (T.J. House 6-2) at Portland Sea Dogs (Drake Britton 4-2)
WHERE: Hadlock Field
TICKETS: About 400 available
Nine Akron batters. Nine outs. Twenty-seven pitches, 19 strikes.
It was a flashback to his days at Camden-Rockport High or the University of Maine.
But Akron made adjustments. When the Aeros came up again against MacDonald, they hit, and hit, and hit.
With six straight singles in the fourth inning, Akron scored five runs, all it needed in a 5-3 victory over the Portland Sea Dogs at Hadlock Field.
MacDonald, 30, the first Mainer to pitch for the Sea Dogs, is in his ninth pro season. He's 1-2 since joining the team July 8, and looked strong early.
"He was throwing a lot of strikes and he's got a little bit of a run on his ball," said Akron first baseman Adam Abraham, who struck out twice against MacDonald but also had a two-run single in the fourth.
"We went up with a different approach and made sure we saw something over the plate. It worked out. And we got a couple of bloop hits, which helped."
The six hits included a bloop, a grounder into the outfield and a bunt.
"They found some holes," MacDonald said. "They didn't hit the ball extremely hard but they were able to string together some hits."
MacDonald pitched a scoreless fifth, ending the inning with a nice stretch on a 3-6-1 double play. He hurt his leg on the play and will be evaluated today.
Meanwhile, the Sea Dogs managed two runs and four hits against Akron starter Paolo Espino (6-2), who featured a killer 12-to-6 curveball. He struck out 11 in six innings.
Bryce Brentz doubled off the left-field wall in the second and eventually scored on Peter Hissey's fielder's choice. Jeremy Hazelbaker stroked an RBI double to right in the fifth.
Portland reliever Chris Martin, just off the disabled list, pitched two no-hit innings (one walk). Michael Olmsted followed Martin and kept his ERA at 0.00 (six innings) with two no-hit innings (one hit batter). He struck out three, one on a 97 mph fastball.
The Sea Dogs rallied in the ninth with three straight hits, including Ryan Dent's RBI single. But Jackie Bradley Jr. struck out and Kolbrin Vitek grounded into a double play.
NOTES: Among the roster moves Wednesday was the addition of first baseman Travis Shaw from Class A Salem, replacing the promoted Reynaldo Rodriguez. Newly acquired right-hander Steven Wright was activated and will start Sunday. Pitcher Will Latimer and backup first baseman Drew Hedman were sent to Salem. Pitcher Jason Urquidez was placed on the temporary inactive list. About 400 tickets remain for today's game. Wednesday's announced paid attendance was 4,874.
Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at: