Auburn gets better with miles
The Doubledays will play seven of their next eight games at home.
By BRIAN RICHESSON
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
NILES -- A seven-hour bus ride from one Valley to another didn't faze the Auburn Doubledays. It may have made them stronger.
The Doubledays increased their stranglehold on first place in the New York-Penn League's Pinckney Division by winning their 10th straight game Monday at Cafaro Field.
After sweeping three games at Hudson Valley, the Doubledays drove across New York and Pennsylvania to arrive in the Mahoning Valley early Sunday.
If they were weary, it didn't show. Auburn beat the Scrappers 1-0 Sunday and 10-1 Monday to increase its division lead to four games over Mahoning Valley. It was just two coming in.
"We knew what loomed at the end of the five-day road trip was two days here in Mahoning Valley," Auburn manager Dennis Holmberg said. "Ten games straight and a five-win road trip, you can't complain about that."
Decent road record
Auburn's victory Monday put its road record at .500. The Doubledays will play seven of their next eight games at home.
"A lot of teams in this league have a tough time winning on the road," Holmberg said. "Home's been good for us."
Fortunately for the Doubledays, Diethrick Park is where they will face the Scrappers in the teams' five remaining games with each other. It begins Friday and Saturday and ends Aug. 27-29. By then, the Pinckney Division should be settled.
"I've been real big on just trying to preach winning series," Holmberg said. "Hey, anytime you play within your division, you control your own destiny."
Auburn has risen to the top with a league-leading offense, Holmberg said. But ironically, the Doubledays swept the Scrappers with two commanding games on the mound, limiting Mahoning Valley to the one run on six total hits.
"This is indicative of the way we've been playing," Holmberg said. "We've been getting the job done, grinding it out through the course of the season."