Whitenack's continued troubles sink Aeros 8-1
Fightin Phils get seven quick runs off of faltering starter
READING, PA -- The Akron Aeros fell behind quickly Sunday afternoon as starting pitcher Robert Whitenack once again faltered, starting the team down the road to their 8-1 loss against the Reading Fightin Phils.
Akron (26-31) managed to leave FirstEnergy Stadium with a series win, though the team obviously would have liked to sweep Reading (21-33) over the weekend. The team remains six games out of first place after the Erie SeaWolves lost as well Sunday against the Richmond Flying Squirrels.
The Fightin Phils started scoring early against Whitenack (0-2, 27.00 ERA, 9.53 FIP), who simply has not gotten anything going since Cleveland claimed him on waivers April 3. The right-hander was tagged for seven runs in two innings Sunday with eight hits, two walks, a hit by pitch, a wild pitch, and no strikeouts.
Whitenack was in trouble from his first batter of the game, allowing a triple to leadoff batter center fielder Tyson Gillies. A hit by pitch, wild pitch, groundout, three singles, and triple later, the Fightin Phils had a 4-0 lead they never relinquished.
The right-hander got two outs to start the second inning, but things fell apart past that. Following three more singles and two more walks, Whitenack got the final out of the inning and faced his final batter of the game.
On the year, Whitenack has as many runs allowed as outs (18), a really bad sign for the right-hander. In six innings at the Double-A level, Whitenack has allowed 15 hits, 11 walks, and four strikeouts.
On the other side, Akron's batters could not get much going against Reading starter David Buchanan (2-6, 4.67 ERA, 4.15 FIP). The right-hander has been up and down this season, but he had his A-game on Sunday. Buchanan went seven innings, allowing five hits, three walks, three strikes, and one sole run.
That run came off the bat of Aeros third baseman Giovanny Urshela, who launched his fourth home run of the season off Buchanan in the seventh inning. The shot to left-center field helped improve Urshela's line to .275/.296/.396 for the season.
Outside of Urshela's home run, the only other sustained rally for Akron came in the first inning. Following a two-out single by center fielder Tyler Holt and walk by first baseman Adam Abraham, right fielder Carlos Moncrief singled to right field. Holt was sent home on the play, but was thrown out by right fielder Derrick Mitchell.
Overall, the Aeros went one-two-three in three different innings and grounded into two double plays.
Right-hander Cole Cook relieved Whitenack and allowed one run on a solo home run in his four innings. Fellow right-handers Enosil Tejeda and Jose Flores turned in a shutout inning apiece to finish the game.
Akron will take Monday off as they travel back to Canal Park to face the New Hampshire Rock Cats (28-30) Tuesday. Right-hander Will Roberts (4-2, 4.08 ERA, 4.70 FIP) will pitch for the Aeros, while the Rock Cats will counter with right-hander Marcus Stroman (1-1, 8.10 ERA, 6.00 FIP). First pitch is at 7:05 p.m.
Attendance: 4,492... Time of Game: 2:30... Game time temperature: 84 degrees... Jesus Aguilar missed his second consecutive game... Second baseman Ronny Rodriguez's 0-for-3 day put an end to his 12-game hit streak, leaving him tied with Urshela for Akron's longest on the season... Shortstop Jose Ramirez, however, singled in the sixth inning to extend his hit streak to eight games.
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