Sloppy Second Inning Too Much for Leafs to Overcome Against Majors

by Ryan Eakin

TORONTO -- Onto the next one.

The London Majors beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 14-8 on Sunday afternoon to improve to 19-8 on the season.

With the loss, the Maple Leafs fall to 16-12.

London starter Jose Arias picked up the win despite it being his least efficient start of the season.

The former Chicago Cubs prospect allowed two earned runs on six hits and six walks while striking out seven batters.

London centre fielder Austin Wilkie put on a show right from the get-go, going three-for-five with two home runs.

His first home run came on the first pitch of the ball game.

Toronto starter Franklin Hernandez took the loss despite pitching well.

Hernandez, who was making his first career IBL start, allowed eight runs (only one earned) on four hits and three walks while striking out four batters.

LONDON - 14-9-4

TORONTO - 8-9-5

BIGGEST PLAY OF THE GAME: Up 1-0 with the bases loaded and one out in the top of the second inning, Majors first basemen Phil Whalen hit what looked to be an inning-ending double play.

Maple Leafs second basemen Dan Marra, however, recorded an error trying to throw the ball to Maple Leafs shortstop Jose Vinicio, allowing one run to score.

The Majors scored six more runs in the inning to bust the game wide open.

DID YOU SEE THAT? The one bright moment for the Maple Leafs on the afternoon came in the bottom of the eighth inning when Aidan McAskie hit a grand slam home run to right field.

For McAskie, it was his sixth home run of the season as he continues his push for the Rookie of the Year award.

BY THE NUMBERS...

2.2. The Leafs got two and two-thirds of shutout baseball by Adam Marra in relief. The crafty southpaw has lowered his ERA to 2.60 on the season.

4. Four days off for the Leafs, who are not back in action until Friday when they travel to Hamilton to face the Cardinals. It is the longest stretch of time off the Leafs had this season.

5. Five errors for the Leafs on Sunday, with four of them coming in the second inning. Not much better defensively was London, who made four errors, surely to the disappointment of both managers.

INSIDE THE LOCKERROOM... 

Maple Leafs manager Damon Topolie on the second inning: "It is a tough break for the pitcher, because outside of the home run balls, I don't think any of the balls left the infield. It is just tough to be in a situation like that and to end up in a big hole. We tried to come back out of it but it wasn't our day."

Topolie on watching the inning unfold: "You just hope to get out of the inning within striking distance. We couldn't do that. We couldn't get it to stop."

Topolie on Hernandez's outing: "I thought he pitched great but he threw too many pitches in such a short span because of that inning, so I didn't want to labour the guy. He's still trying to get familiar with the team."

Topolie on the off-days coming up for his team: "This is much-needed rest. We will reset and get back at it for the last big push of the regular season."

LOOKING AHEAD...

After taking on the Cardinals on Friday, the Leafs will host the Guelph Royals on Sunday afternoon.

Photo: Craig Aikin 

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