Game 84 vs. Akron: Lineup and Notes
The Senators welcome the Akron RubberDucks to Harrisburg for a three game series to begin a six game homestand. This is the first of two trips Akron makes to FNB Field this season, with the second coming on the final home series of the year. The Senators dropped their fourth in a row after falling in the series opener 5-2. The RubberDucks sits in first place in the Eastern League Western Division, while the Senators are tied for fifth place at ten games back. The RubberDucks took two out of three from the Senators in the first series of the season between the two clubs June 13-15.
JULY 4TH CROWD
The Senators drew 7,417 fans to FNB Field on July 4th for their Independence Day celebration, the eighth largest crowd in modern franchise history and the biggest since May 19, 2012. The largest crowd in Senators history is 8,637, drawn on September 1, 2011 when both Stephen Strasburg and Ivan Rodriguez played with the club on rehab appearances.
Phillips Valdez struck out five in three scoreless innings of relief in the series opener. Since May 14, the right-hander has a 1.31 ERA with 15 strikeouts in 12 games and 20.2 innings pitched. Valdez is tied for second in the Eastern League with six holds this season.
Taylor Hill starts game two for the Senators. The right-hander is 3-1 with a 3.34 ERA in seven games and six starts with the Senators. Hill last pitched in a spot start for Syracuse on June 30 and went a season-high eight innings against Buffalo, limiting them to just one unearned run on three hits.
The RubberDucks counter with starter Matt Esparza. The right-hander 5-0 with a 1.82 ERA over six starts with Akron this season. Esparza started the year with single-A Lynchburg before being promoted to the Ducks on May 30. The 22-year-old tossed seven shutout and two hit innings against the Senators on June 13.