PP Game Notes: Trenton Thunder 2 - Akron Aeros 10

Kenny Lofton went 0-for-3 in seven innings as the Trenton Thunder lost to the Akron Aeros 10-2 last night in front of 6,784 on a beautiful night for baseball in Trenton. According to Lofton, he came down on the rehab assignment, "Just to play [after not playing] after a week and half and to make sure that my leg was OK."

Lofton was called out on strikes to lead off the game and then popped out to shortstop in the third and grounded to first in the fifth. Of the three balls he had hit to him in centerfield, he looked a little unsure of himself on the last one on which he had to go back hard on a line drive off the bat Zach Sorensen to fairly deep center field. Lofton said after the game that the wind is what made that ball as difficult as it looked.

Jeremy Guthrie (1-0) got the win for Akron by pitching 7 innings, giving up only the one Trenton run. Chien-ming Wang (1-2) took the loss going six innings and allowing three unearned runs on eight hits. The Thunder bullpen was largely ineffective again allowing seven runs in three innings of work. The Thunder pitching staff combined to give up a season high nine walks, three each by Wang, Kennard, and Adkins.

The Thunder scored first in the bottom of the third when Guthrie uncorked a wild pitch. Kevin Reese hit a one-out double to left center, then advanced to third on Robinson Cano's topper at home plate. The wild pitch came while Dioner Navarro was at the plate. Navarro would eventually strike out to end the inning.

Akron scored two runs with two outs in the fourth inning after an error by Thunder third baseman JT Stotts. After Oscar Salazar led off the inning with a ground out to shortstop, Nate Grindell followed with a single to left. After Brian Luderer struck out, Ben Francisco hit the grounder to third that Stotts misjudged. The next batter, Scott Pratt, doubled to left, scoring Grindell and Francisco.

Akron extended their lead in the seventh with some more help from the Trenton defense. This time right fielder Jason Grove was the culprit. Franklin Gutierrez led off the Akron eighth with a single to left. Wang was lifted after Gutierrez's single in favor of Tim Adkins. Two batters later, Corey Smith walked to put two runners on with one out. Oscar Salazar singled to Grove in right who bobbled the ball allowing Gutierrez to score and then threw wildly to third, allowing Smith to score. Salazar would eventually score on a ground out to third off the bat of Brian Luderer.

But the Aeros weren't don't yet. They would bat around in the eighth, scoring four runs off Tim Adkins and Jeff Kennard. The Aeros scored all of their runs in the eighth without the benefit of an extra base hit. Five singles and two walks accounted for all the Aeros runs as they put the game firmly out of reach.

The Thunder scored one run in the bottom of the eighth to pull within 9-2 but that was as close as they would come. After a one out walk to Jake Weber, who came in to the game when Lofton came out in the seventh, he was advanced to second by Kevin Reese on a topper back to the pitcher. Robinson Cano followed with a two out double into the right field corner that capped the scoring for Trenton.

Just for good measure the Aeros added one more in the top of the ninth off Jeff Kennard. Sorensen walked with one out and two batters later Jason Copper singled to center to score Sorensen and give Akron a 10-2 lead.

Notes

Rumor has it that Orlando Hernandez could be the next Yankee to spend time on a rehab assignment in Trenton. He is currently playing for single-A Tampa. ..Kenny Lofton hopes to return to the Yankees on Sunday when he is eligible to come off the DL… Pitch-ups for the final two games of the series with Akron have Matt Smith going against Jake Dittler tomorrow and Javier Ortiz facing off against Oscar Alvarez on Sunday.. Aaron Rifkin should be back in the lineup over the weekend as the doctor said that his hand is healthy enough for him to play.

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