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 Akron RubberDucks

Aeros Dynamics

September 3, 2003 - Eastern League (EL1)
Akron RubberDucks News Release

TONIGHT'S CONTEST...Akron and Altoona square-off tonight in Game 1 of the Eastern League Southern Divisional Series at Canal Park...First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m...RHP PAUL RIGDON toes the rubber for Akron, RHP LANDON JACOBSEN goes for Altoona...Rigdon was 1-0 with a 0.90 ERA in two starts against Altoona this season (10.0 IP, 9 H, 1 R/ER, 2 BB, 5 SO)...Jacobsen was 3-1 with a 2.22 ERA in four starts against the Aeros in '03 (28.1 IP, 24 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 6 BB, 7 SO).

INGLETT OUT...Aeros 2B JOE INGLETT was placed on the Disabled List on Monday and will miss the remainder of the season after dislocating his left elbow on Sunday night...Inglett was involved in a collision at first base while covering the bag on a bunt play...Replacing Inglett on the roster will be INF LUIS COTTO (pronounced COAT-O) who was summoned from Class A Kinston...Cotto has played with three teams this season (Class A Wilmington, Class A Mahoning Valley and Class A Kinston), batting a combined .160 (26-163) in 56 games with 4 2B, 11 RBI & 1 SB and played mainly at SS & 3B...He will wear #13.

EVENLY MATCHED...During the regular season, Akron went 11-9 versus Altoona (5-5 at Canal Park, 6-4 at Blair County Ballpark)...As a team, Altoona was fourth in the league with a .270 team batting average, Akron was fifth with a .267 team batting average...Akron led the E.L. with a 3.19 team ERA, Altoona was second with a 3.32 ERA...Of their 20 regular season meetings, eight were decided by two runs or less, with both teams winning four.

LUNA'S SHINING...SS HECTOR LUNA, who suffered a high ankle sprain on Sunday night versus New Britain, is expected to play tonight.

FAMILIAR FACES...Yesterday, Akron received three players from Triple A Buffalo...RHP KENNY RAYBORN returned to Akron after making a spot-start for the Bisons on Sunday at Rochester, where he earned his first Triple A win (6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R/ER, 1 BB, 2 SO)...Akron also received RHP KYLE DENNEY and C VICTOR VALENCIA from Buffalo...Denney was on the Akron to Buffalo shuttle this season, serving three stints with the Bisons...In 18 starts with the Aeros, he was 7-3 with a 2.42 ERA (104.0 IP, 97 H, 34 R. 28 ER, 24 BB, 87 SO) and in 6 starts with Buffalo, he was 2-1 with a 5.28 ERA (30.2 IP, 35 H, 18 R/ER, 10 BB, 26 SO)...Valencia spent most of the season with the Aeros, being called up to Triple A on August 10 when C VICTOR MARTINEZ severely sprained his right ankle at the Big League level, causing a "trickle-down" effect, sending C JOSH BARD from Buffalo to Cleveland and Valencia from Akron to Buffalo...With the Aeros, Valencia hit .251 (52-207) in 58 games with 22 R, 11 2B, 1 3B, 9 HR, 33 RBI, 20 BB, 49 SO & 2 SB...In 10 games with Buffalo, he hit .314 (11-35) with 5 R, 2 2B, 1 HR & 1 RBI.

COUNTER-MOVES...To make room for the players coming down from Buffalo, the Aeros yesterday sent RHP TODD PENNINGTON and RHP JIM ED WARDEN back to Class A Lake County.

AS A TEAM...Akron set a new franchise record this season with their 46 saves...The previous mark was 43, set by the 1994 & 1998 squads...Akron also set a new franchise record for fewest walks by the pitching staff (420)...The previous mark was held by the 2001 staff (423).

PLAYOFF TICKETS...Akron Aeros playoff tickets are on-sale now at Infield Outfitters, the Aeros official team shop, by phone at (330) 253-5153 or on-line at Tickets for all potential playoff games are only $5, or just $2 if you bring a group of 25 or more.

SIZING UP SIZEMORE...Aeros CF GRADY SIZEMORE put together a fine season, batting .304 (151-496)...His 11 triples tied him for the league lead, while his 96 runs scored were second-most in the E.L...He also placed himself in the Double A Indians record book...His 96 runs were second-most in franchise history (116, Omar Ramirez, 1993), his 11 triples were second-most in franchise history (12, Alex Ramirez, 1996) and his 151 hits were fifth-most in franchise history (169, Alex Ramirez, 1996).

WHO'S HOT...INF LUIS GONZALEZ currently has an 10-game hitting streak, batting .500 (17-34) with 7 R, 1 3B, 2 HR & 12 RBI...Over his last four games, SS HECTOR LUNA is batting .818 (9-11) with 5 R, 1 3B, 2 RBI & 1 SB...CF GRADY SIZEMORE is hitting .500 (5-10) over his last three games with 1 R, 1 3B & 1 RBI...3B COREY SMITH is batting .555 (5-9) over his last three games with 1 R, 1 3B & 3 RBI...Over his last six appearances, RHP FERNANDO CABRERA is 0-0 with a five saves & a 1.29 ERA (7.0 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 6 SO)...Over his last seven appearances, RHP KAZUHITO TADANO is 1-0 with 1 SV & a 0.55 ERA (16.1 IP, 10 H, 1 R/ER, 3 BB, 23 SO).

HOME COOKING...Over their first 13 home games this season, Akron was a dismal 3-10 (.300)...Since then, the Aeros are virtually unbeatable at home, going 44-13 (.772).

AS A TEAM...The Aeros pitching staff led the Eastern League in ERA (3.19), strikeouts (952), allowed the fewest home runs (65), has tossed the most complete games (10) and have recorded the most saves (46)...Offensively, Akron is second in home runs (111), third in runs scored (672), fifth in hits (1,259) and fifth in batting average (.267)

HOLDING ON...The Aeros are 66-3 this season when leading after the 7th inning.

LEAGUE LEADERS...RHP FRANCISCO CRUCETA led the Eastern League in strikeouts (134) and complete games (6), tied for second in wins (13) and is fourth in ERA (3.09)...RHP FERNANDO CABRERA is third in strikeouts (115)...CF GRADY SIZEMORE is second in runs scored (96) and is tied for the league lead in triples (11)...INF LUIS GONZALEZ is sixth in batting average (.318).

DRAWING WELL...Through 67 home openings this season, the Aeros have drawn 445,603 fans to Canal Park for an average of 6,651 fans per game...Akron's total and average attendance was second in the Eastern League behind Reading (465,717 total, 6,849 average).



Thursday, Sept. 4 @ 7:05 p.m. @ Canal Park

Altoona Curve @ Akron Aeros

LHP Mike Connolly vs. RHP Francisco Cruceta


Friday, Sept. 5 @ 7:05 p.m. @ Blair Cty. Ballpark

Akron Aeros @ Altoona Curve

RHP Kyle Denney vs. RHP John VanBenschoten


Saturday, Sept. 6 @ 7:05 p.m. @ Blair Cty. Ballpark

Akron Aeros @ Altoona Curve

TBA vs. RHP Ian Oquendo


Sunday, Sept. 7 @ 4:05 p.m. @ Canal Park

Altoona Curve @ Akron Aeros, TBA vs. TBA

LHP Tom Fordham or LHP Sean Burnett vs. TBA

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Eastern League Stories from September 3, 2003

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