The Alexandria Aces (24-7) have played two doubleheaders in a row, separated by Monday’s All Star Game, and they will be returning to their normal schedule against the D.C. Grays (11-19). The Grays, now in last place in the South division, are slumping lately; they are on a three game losing streak and are only 3-7 in their last 10 games. The Aces split Tuesday’s doubleheader after going on a little three game winning streak, and they are 6-4 over their last 10 games played. The Aces are 3-0 against the Grays this year, with games on Wednesday and Saturday still to play against them.
Making his sixth start of the summer for Alexandria will be Blake Walker (Northern Illinois). One of the team’s most consistent starting pitchers, Walker has a 1.90 ERA and has only allowed earned runs in two of his five starts. He has a 2-1 record and the Aces are 4-1 in games that he starts. His last start was on July 7th, and he allowed one unearned run over four innings. He scattered four hits and struck out three along with two walks. He has not faced the Grays yet this year.
The Grays will send Matthew Franklin to the mound. The righty, who has a 5.85 ERA, will make his fifth start in his seventh appearance. He has a 1-1 record and has faced the Aces once this year, way back on June 6th. In that matchup, the season opener, he threw one inning and allowed four runs, three of which were earned. Franklin has not pitched more than five innings in a game yet this year, and is coming off a game against the Rockville Express in which he allowed three runs on six hits.
With the win against Loudoun on Tuesday, the Aces clinched at least one home playoff game. They also won their 24th game of the year, one more than they won in all of 2016. The team’s record is 27 wins, so if the Aces go at least 4-5 the rest of the regular season, they will set the Aces’ all-time record.
Written by: Paul Fritschner