PP Game Notes: Trenton Thunder 4 - Akron Aeros 1

The Thunder defeated the Akron Aeros 4-1 in front of 5,437 fans on an overcast, hazy afternoon at Waterfront Park. Matt Smith (2-2) got the win for Trenton pitching seven and a third innings, giving up one run on four hits. Jake Dittler (1-3) took the loss for Akron giving up three of the Thunder's four runs over his six innings of work.

Francisco Villegas recorded his second save of the season by pitching a perfect final inning and a third. Villegas struck out the side in the ninth. Stump Merrill said that Villegas, "has pitched well and taken advantage of his opportunity."

Trenton scored first with two outs in the bottom of the third. After a lead-off line out to second off the bat of Kenny Lofton, Kevin Reese followed with a single to center. After a grounder to second by Robinson Cano, Reese scored on a single to right off the bat of Dioner Navarro.

The Thunder offense scored two more off Akron starter Jake Dittler in the fourth. After a lead off single to center by Jackson Melian, the next two batters flew out to bring up Teuris Olivares, who doubled to the left field corner allowing Melian to score from first. Kenny Lofton followed with his first hit while in Trenton, a single to right field, that scored Olivares from second and gave Lofton his first Eastern League RBI this year. Trenton had a 3-0 lead after four innings.

Akron would get on the board in the sixth, however. Brian Luderer singled to right to lead off the inning. Tyler Minges followed with a grounder to first on which he was called out by home plate umpire Jeff Spisak and safe by first base umpire Mike Edwards. Spisak's call stood and Minges was ejected for arguing. Despite the out, Luderer advanced to second and moved to third on a single by Ben Francisco. Luderer scored on a wild pitch by Matt Smith to Akron shortstop Zach Sorensen.

The Thunder would respond with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. Robinson Cano doubled to right center after Kenny Lofton and Kevin Reese failed to get the ball out of the infield against Akron reliever Derrick Van Dussen, who came on behind Dittler. The next batter, Dioner Navarro, hit a double to left that scored Cano to give the Thunder a 4-1 lead.


Trenton Thunder infielder Andy Phillips was called up to AAA Columbus after Friday night's 10-2 loss to Akron. Phillips was hitting .357 in 10 games with Trenton. RHP Ramon Ramirez was optioned from AAA Columbus after going 0-3 with a 8.50 ERA, giving up 17 earned runs in 18 innings pitched. Opponents were hitting .329 against him this year. Last year with Trenton Ramirez was 1-1 with a 1.69 ERA in four starts with a .231 opponents batting average. Ramirez will start on Monday in New Britain and Rik Currier will be relegated to the maligned Thunder bullpen. Ramirez is expected to join Trenton on Sunday before the team leaves on its seven game road trip. He last pitched for Columbus on Wednesday against Toledo. …Kenny Lofton went 1-for-4 in his final rehab game with Trenton, including a single and an RBI.…Aaron Rifkin returned to the Trenton lineup today, playing first base and going 0-for 4 at the plate with two strikeouts…..The pitching match-up for the series finale tomorrow afternoon has Thunder right-hander Javier Ortiz going against Akron left-hander Oscar Alvarez….The Thunder then embark on a seven game road trip to New Britain and Norwich before returning home to play eleven games in nine days against New Hampshire, Bowie, and Altoona.

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