Akron left-hander Doug Nikhazy struck out nine batters in 4 2/3 innings, as he combined with two relievers on a one-hit shutout of the Harrisburg Senators, and right fielder Johnathan Rodríguez homered in the RubberDucks’ 5-0 victory in the fourth game of a six-game series at FNB Friday night.
Akron broke a scoreless tie in the top of the fourth inning, when Rodríguez hit left-hander Seth Romero’s first pitch of the inning to right field for his second Double-A home run – both have come in Harrisburg this week. Third baseman Daniel Schneemann walked, stole second base and scored on a single by designated hitter Raynel Delgado off right-hander Luis Reyes. Delgado stole second base, advanced to third base on a wild pitch and scored when shortstop José Tena reached on a throwing error by first baseman Wilson Garcia.
In his second Double-A start, Nikhazy worked around two walks in each of the first two innings and stranded five baserunners through the first three. He struck out the side in the fourth inning and allowed his first hit in the fifth inning. He lasted 4 2/3 innings, striking out nine batters and walking six with one hit. Right-hander Jerson Ramírez got the final out of the fifth inning and worked 1 1/3 perfect innings. Left-hander Eli Lingos pitched three scoreless innings around two walks and an error with two strikeouts to earn his first save with Akron this season.
The RubberDucks added to their lead in the eighth inning against Reyes. Schneemann and Delgado drew consecutive walks and advanced on center fielder Julian Escobedo’s flyout to center field. Tena hit a two-out RBI single to center field, extending the lead to 5-0.
Tena’s two hits gave him an Eastern League-leading 127 for the season, also the highest total by a RubberDuck since Tyler Krieger had 129 in 2018. The last Akron player to lead the league in hits was Jordan Brown (161 in 2007)…The RubberDucks pulled within three games of Bowie and Erie (37-24) in the second-half Southwest Division standings with eight games remaining…Akron leads the season series with Harrisburg, 10-6…Game Time: 2:55…Attendance: 5,791.
On the Pond
The RubberDucks continue the series in Harrisburg at 7 p.m. EDT Saturday. Akron right-hander Tanner Burns (3-6, 3.55 ERA) is scheduled to face Senators right-hander Jake Irvin (0-4, 5.25 ERA). The game broadcast, powered by…