Image: Accent Images/Courtesy Akron RubberDucks
After taking a loss in his first start of the year, prospect Logan Allen struck out nine Reading batters on the way to a 5-3 victory.
Despite the glowing statline at the end of the night, Allen had to shake off an iffy start. In the first inning, Jhailyn Ortiz smoked a double into the left field gap, and Wendell Rijo’s ground ball found its way through the left side of the infield to give Reading a 1-0 lead.
Akron responded to help dig Allen out quickly. The Ducks opened up their half of the opening frame with a pair of runs. They came courtesy of Will Brennan’s RBI ground out and Julian Escobedo’s hustle scoring off of a wild pitch.
Fightin Phils’ starter James McArthur continued to struggle with his control, and finished the first inning having thrown 36 pitches, 16 for balls.
The poor start got some action going in the Reading bullpen, and Brayan Rocchio’s first homer of the season was just about the final blow for McArthur.
Meanwhile, Logan Allen was striking out any batter in sight. He tallied whiffs in the first three innings, and only gave up a single hit after giving up the run.
“I think when the run crossed home plate I kind of got it together a little bit and recomposed myself,” Allen said postgame, “I think pitching out of the windup helped a little bit.”Logan T. Allen
“Being able to use the change up a lot was good for me today, keeping guys off balance but definitely getting those swings and misses.”Logan T. Allen
The Ducks offense gave him some more run support against the arm of Reading’s Erik Miller. Reading’s 6’5” lefty. Bo Naylor got ahold of his fastball for a single, driving home Rocchio for a 4-1 lead. Naylor’s first RBI of the season came with his brother Josh, currently on the Guardians roster, in attendance.
That lead lasted until the top of the sixth, when Logan Allen was pulled, having thrown 83 pitches.
Manuel Alverez came on in relief, and despite topping out at 97mph with his fastball, struggled with control. He recorded just a pair of outs in the sixth, while conceding a hit and a pair of walks. He gave up one run on a wild pitch, and a second when Kevin Vicuna angled a grounder into left field, and advanced to second on the throw home.
With the lead down to one and a pair of runners in scoring position, Alvarez exited, throwing 21 pitches, with only eight finding the strike zone.
Kyle Marman came on and recorded a strikeout looking to end the threat.
Akron added an insurance run later thanks to a Jose Tena single, and brought in Nic Enright, who closed out the game with a 1-2-3 9th.
The Rubberducks host Reading again on Friday night.
Starting Pitcher Logan Allen: 5 IP, 1 ER, 8 K’s, 3 H, 2 BB. 82 pitches, (50 strikes/32 balls)
Relief Pitcher Manuel Alverez: 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 1 H, 2B, 21 pitches, (8 strikes/13 balls)
Center Fielder Will Brennan: 2/4, 2 H, 1 RBI
Second Basemen Brayan Rocchio: 2/4, 2 H, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 E
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