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De La Cruz struggles in Aeros 7-2 loss to New Hampshire

By Stephanie Published: June 14, 2011

Aeros starting pitcher Kelvin De La Cruz  (4-4, 4.14 ERA) put Akron in an early hole Tuesday as he struggled to find his command against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats at Canal Park as the Aeros opened a six-game homestand.

The lanky lefty lasted just 3 1/3 innings after dishing up six runs on three hits, six walks and hit a batter before being sent to the showers after walking in three consecutive runs in the visitors' six-run fourth inning.

Although a bulk of the damage had already been done, three Aeros relievers -  Bryan Price, Adam Miller and Chen-Chang Lee - combined to hold the visitors to just one more run the rest of the way.

Price was what the Aeros needed to stop the bleeding - fast - as he relieved the erratic De LA Cruz and limited the Aeros to just one more run on four hits over the next 3 1/3 innings of play.

Fisher Cats starter and RHP Joel Carreno (5-4, 3.22 ERA) cruised to the win after limiting the Aeros to a run while scattering three hits and striking out eight.

The first Akron run came with the help of a pair of major leaguers - Tribe DH Travis Hafner and former Indians infielder Jason  Donald. In the second inning, Hafner (who is on a rehab assignment for a strained right oblique suffered May 18th), walked and scored on Donald's RBI single.

The Aeros later scratched across a run in the eighth inning with both Hafner and Donald out for the game for the night.

Hafner went 1-for-2 with a walk and run scored in six innings. Afterwards, he said he felt good and was anxious to get back to his struggling big league teammates.

"I've been wanting to get back as soon as I can," he said. "But you have to take care of (the oblique) first and make sure you're healthy when you get back and have a couple games under your belt."

Hafner is not scheduled to play Wednesday, but expects to have three or four more games in Akron before returning to Cleveland.

Donald, who also went 1-for-2 with an RBI, played five innings at third base. He is coming back from his third injury already this season, the most recent being a MCL sprain suffered May 10th while playing for Columbus.

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