For the second year in a row, many of your favorite WFNY writers will gather at an Akron Aeros game for a classic Thirsty Thursday at Canal Park. The contest starts tonight at 7:05 pm against the Erie SeaWolves, Akron’s closest rival in the Eastern League. Scott, Rick, Craig, Brendan and new WFNY weekend editor Brendan Bowers from Stepien Rules are all expected to be on hand along with our blogging friends from Cleveland Frowns, Scene ’64 and Counting, Land Loyalty and the Orange and Brown Report.
Tribe shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera will be starting for Akron tonight as he continues his rehab assignment from his fractured left forearm. Tonight is also affiliates night at Canal Park, featuring many of the top mascots in the Indians organization in the Progressive Field hot dogs, Slider, Lou Seal, Krash, Skipper and Scrappy. Thirsty Thursday then means that 12-oz. soft drinks and draft beer are only $1 until the end of the seventh inning.
So join WFNY and others for tonight’s contest in downtown Akron. Feel free to join us at the contest at Canal Park and more info about tonight’s Aeros game is below the jump:
Akron LHP Kelvin De La Cruz (1-5, 5.69 ERA) makes the start for the home team tonight. De La Cruz is a member of the Indians 40-man roster but missed the majority of the 2009 season with a left elbow ligament strain. He earned the promotion to Double-A in early May but has not won since his second appearance for the Aeros back on May 15th. Baseball America recognized the Dominican Republic native as the ninth-best prospect in the Cleveland system prior to the 2009 season.
Erie RHP Anthony Shawler (1-0, 3.53 ERA) will be making the spot-start for the visiting team after the completion of the All-Star Break. This will be Shawler’s third start of the season for Erie and 18th appearance in Double-A overall. He has some very impressive split statistics, holding a 1.01 ERA in 26.2 innings pitched from the first through sixth innings but only a 7.56 ERA from the seventh through ninth.
SS Asdrubal Cabrera
2B Jason Kipnis
3B Lonnie Chisenhall
DH Matt McBride
1B Beau Mills
RF Jerad Head
LF Tim Fedroff
C Damaso Espino
CF Jordan Henry
LHP Kelvin De La Cruz
CF Justin Henry
SS Cale Iorg
3B Audy Ciriaco
1B Rawley Bishop
LF Deik Scram
DH Bryan Pounds
RF Kody Kaiser
C Andy Bouchie
2B Alden Carrithers
RHP Anthony Shawler
- Tonight’s managers both had MLB careers as Joel Skinner, of course, is in charge of the Aeros while the SeaWolves are managed by long-time veteran Phil Nevin. Skinner played in 564 career games, all but four as a catcher, with the Indians, New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox. Nevin, on the other hand, batted .270 with 208 homers as a third baseman for seven different teams and 12 seasons in the big leagues.
• Monday Madness… The Aeros concluded the first half of the regular season Monday evening in Erie with a 4-2 loss against the SeaWolves at Jerry Uht Park. A solid eight-inning performance by Erie starting pitcher Thad Weber led the way as the Akron offense struggled for most of the contest. The Wolves struck first on a three-run home run by Rawley Bishop against Akron starter LHP Eric Berger in the bottom of the third inning. The hosts added on another run in the sixth and a two-out, two-run homer by DH Matt McBride provided the only scoring of the night for the Aeros in the eighth. Weber (6-9) earned the win by permitting just two runs on eight hits while Berger (4-5) took the loss with five innings pitched and Lester Oliveros recorded his first save.
• The Dirty Dozen… LF Tim Fedroff also had a productive night at the plate during Akron’s 4-2 loss Monday night. The product of the University of North Carolina collected three singles overall, extending his hitting streak to 12 straight games. Fedroff now leads the Aeros during the 2010 season with 23 multi-hit performances, one ahead of McBride’s 22.
• Warrior Wright… The Akron bullpen was solid Monday night despite the second straight loss in Erie. Bishop’s home run was the biggest mistake on the night and after the Wolves scored an unearned run in the sixth, RHP Steven Wright closed the door on the offensive attack. He promptly delivered two scoreless innings with two strikeouts, permitting only one hit and facing the minimum. Cleveland selected Wright in the second round of the June 2007 Draft out of the University of Hawaii.
• Star Wars… Three Akron Aeros players helped the Western Division capture a 10-3 victory in Wednesday night’s Eastern League All-Star Game in Harrisburg, PA. LF John Drennen and 3B Lonnie Chisenhall both started and played the entire contest while RHP Paolo Espino struck out the side as a reliever in the fourth inning. Chisenhall finished 1-for-3 with an RBI single in a six-run seventh inning and Drennen was 2-for-4 at the plate with a two-run homer in the eighth.
• Midway Lanes… After 90 games this year, the third-place Aeros stand at an even 45-45 overall and remain in the think of the Western Division playoff race. Akron trails the second-place Bowie Baysox by 2.5 games for the wild card spot, and trail the EL-leading Altoona Curve by 10.5 games. The Aeros won the final five Southern Division pennants in the old division alignment.
• Home, Sweet Home… Thursday night’s contest marks the start of a busy weeklong home stand for Akron at Canal Park. Tonight is Thirsty Thursday, affiliates night featuring many of the top mascots in the Indians organization and Cleveland SS Asdrubal Cabrera will start as he continues his rehab assignment. The Aeros host the Erie SeaWolves for the remainder of the weekend before beginning a crucial three-game series against the Altoona Curve on Dollar Dog Monday.