Brady Dazzles; Sens Win 7-0
Bautista with second straight four-hit game
Working off the same successful formula as the night before, the Harrisburg Senators used a couple big innings and strong starting pitching to coast to a 7-0 victory on Friday evening in front of 4,253 fans at FNB Field.
In the second inning, Harrisburg (46-40) plated three runs with a rally started with two walks and sustained with a couple of singles, an Akron error, and a daring double-steal. Stephen Perez singled home Drew Ward from second base and Khayyan Norfork followed with an RBI groundout to give the Senators a 2-0 lead. After Rafael Bautista singled, he stole second base and Perez raced home on the back-end to beat the throw.
The Senators sent nine batters to the plate in the fifth as they extended their lead to 7-0 with a four spot. Perez delivered the big blow, a triple, which scored a pair to give Harrisburg a commanding lead.
“I thought they extended a lot of at-bats with foul balls and really made him (Peoples) work,” manager Matt LeCroy said. “Then in the end we got those 2-out RBIs with Stephen and Khayyan picking them up.”
The runs were more than enough for Michael Brady who tamed the Akron bats allowing a lone hit, a double to Eric Stamets, in six spectacular innings. Brady (2-2) struck out six and walked one for the victory. Wander Suero kept the slate clean for two frames and Robert Benincasa completed the shutout in the ninth.
“Since I’ve been thinking and tinkering with my mechanics, I really tried to focus on keeping it simple to execute the pitches and throw to the glove without worrying about too much else,” Brady said. “We’re always trying to get to that next level, but sometimes you forget about the basics, the fundamentals. I think that’s what I was doing the last couple of times. When I actually hit my spots, the ball has more life too. It worked out well.”
Every Senator in the lineup had a hit except for Kevin Keyes as the team pounded out 13 hits. From the leadoff spot, Bautista led with a 4-for-4 performance where the speedster also walked in a perfect night at the plate. Perez and Ward both chipped in with two hits apiece as both players also scored a pair of runs.
Harrisburg and Akron return to City Island at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday with Phillips Valdez squaring off against Rob Kaminsky. The first 1,500 fans through the gate will get a bobblehead of Cliff Floyd as the former Senator becomes the second player inducted into The One & Only World Famous, Life Size Bobblehead Hall of Fame. The game can be heard on Fox Sports 1460 AM, on the internet at senatorsbaseball.com, or through the TuneIn and iHeart Radio apps with The Matt LeCroy Show beginning the radio broadcast at 5:45 p.m.