I was at the bank this afternoon and ran into Aeros hitting coach Lee May Jr. He was obviously tired, having just gotten off the team bus a few hours earlier after a long bus ride back to Akron from Portland, Maine. Thank goodness they had Monday off.
He asked if I'd heard about the Aeros near-brawl at Hadlock Field on Saturday. I had, but I let him give me some more detail anyway. His version was worth a few laughs.
Here's the account of the story from the Portland PR guy who writes the game recaps. It's pretty accurate, but remember he's working for Portland, so it's likely to be a bit slanted as one would expect:
SEA DOGS RALLY FALLS JUST SHORT, LOSE 9-6 TO AKRON
Benches empty in the seventh inning causing a 10-minute delay
(Portland, ME) – Akron rallied from a 4-1 deficit, scoring eight unanswered runs and held on to beat the Portland Sea Dogs, 9-6 in front of a sellout crowd of 7,368 fans on Saturday night at Hadlock Field.
Akron tied the game at four in the fifth inning on Ryan Goleski’s 3-run triple off Portland starter Tommy Hottovy. In the seventh inning off Lincoln Holdzkom (3-1), Trevor Crowe singled home the go ahead run and David Wallace followed with a grand slam. Holdzkom, who suffered his first loss in the Red Sox Organization, threw the next pitch behind Rodney Choy Foo - leading to his ejection.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Portland scored the game’s final two runs on Bryan Pritz’s RBI triple and Jeff Natale’s sacrifice fly. Jay Johnson followed Natale and watches a Stevens’s fastball sail over his left shoulder, leading to the ejection of Stevens and Akron Manager Tim Bogar.
As Bogar was leaving the field, he shouted into Portland’s dugout, causing both benches to clear and delaying the game 10 minutes. There were was no brawl on the field but Portland Hitting Coach Russ Morman was ejected for leaving the dugout and yelling at Bogar.
The Sea Dogs had one final chance in the ninth inning, loading the bases against Randy Newsom but Johnson and Andrew Pinckney were retired to end the game. Newsom, a former Red Sox farmhand, picked up his fifth save of the year.
* I like to see Bogar get fired up every once in a while. But of course it happened on the road again, and home fans didn't get to enjoy it.
* Perhaps a new budding rivalry with someone other than Altoona is a good thing. Remember, these two teams played each other in the playoffs the last two years with Akron winning its second championship in 2005 and Portland grabbing its first title last year.
* Good to see Crowe, Goleski and Wallace hitting. For Crowe and Goleski - it's about time. A slam by Wallace is a nice surprise.
* With Jensen Lewis promoted to Triple-A Buffalo last week, it'd good to see Newsom doing well in the closer's role.