Aeros fall to Rock Cats 5-4 in extra innings
Toru Murata dazzles on the mound, but Akron is unable to hold on for win
By Brian Doak
July 30, 2013
New Britain, CT – After giving up the lead twice in the game, the Akron Aeros fell 5-4 to the New Britain Rock Cats in 12 innings on Tuesday night at New Britain, Connecticut.
The Aeros took a 4-3 lead into the top of the 12th, but gave up two runs to the first three batters for the loss.
The game was off to a quiet start as the pitchers were in control early, and both teams managed just 1 hit in the first 3 innings. The Aeros would stimulate the struggling offense in the top of the 4th as leadoff hitter Ronny Rodriguez reached 1st base on a throwing error and scored when Jesus Aguilar grounded into a double play.
Taking a narrow 1-0 lead into the sixth inning, the Aeros’ hitters came alive to extend it. Carlos Moncrief hit a two-out RBI single to drive in Fransisco Lindor, and Tyler Holt would follow with an RBI single of his own, scoring Jesus Aguilar. Moncrief and Holt have 62 and 34 RBI, respectively.
Moncrief almost extended the lead further, but was caught stealing home plate to end the inning.
In the bottom half of the sixth, the Rock Cats would begin a comeback that would ultimately send the game into extra innings. Aeros starter Toru Murata, who had not allowed any runs up to that point, walked two consecutive batters and loaded the bases with only 1 out.
Daniel Ortiz then came up to the plate and hit a massive single into right field, scoring Danny Santana and Miguel Santo, but a potential third run from Josmil Pinto was prevented as Pinto was called out at home plate for the final out of the inning.
The Rock Cats nearly tied the game once again in the bottom of the seventh as Aeros reliever Austin Adams got out of a jam with runners on second and third base with one out by retiring the last two batters.
New Britain’s offense continued to be relentless, as they succeeded in tying the game in the bottom of the eighth. Dan Rohlfing hit a two-out single off of Jeff Johnson to score Adam Pettersen for the tie.
Both teams went cold for the next three innings until the Aeros took the lead on a very unusual play in the top of the 12th inning. Jake Lowery hit a one-out double and crossed home plate on a wild pitch. Matt Lawson was next up to bat and hit a long triple to center field, but did not score.
The Aeros would go for the win in the bottom of the 12th, but the wheels would come off quickly as Miguel Sano hit his walk off double to score Danny Santana and Eddie Rosario. Shawn Armstrong, who allowed the hit, was given the loss and is 0-2 for the season.
Despite allowing two crucial runs at the end of his outing, Aeros pitcher Toru Murata had a solid and encouraging performance. He allowed two earned runs and five hits in six full innings, while striking out eight and only walking two. He kept the Rock Cats scoreless until the sixth inning, before he was relieved by Adams.
A total of four relief pitchers took the mound for Akron, with only Jose Flores lasting for one full inning.
Despite allowing the Aeros to take the lead in the 12th, reliever Dakota Watts of the Rock Cats would earn his first win of the season and is 1-0 in New Britain.
The Rock Cats’ hero Miguel Sano went 2-for-5 with two crucial RBI, and now has 32 RBI this year.
Tyler Holt led the Aeros’ hitting on Tuesday night, as he was the only Aero with more than two hits. He went 3-for-5 with a double and an RBI and has a batting average of .279 for the year, including a very strong .308 in July.
The Aeros drop to 53-56 with the disappointing loss and they are now in fourth place in the Western Division while the Rock Cats improve to 50-59 and are fifth place in the East.
The Aeros continue their week-long road trip with the second game with the Rock Cats on Wednesday night in New Britain. The Aeros will send Matt Packer to the mound while Pat Dean will start for the Rock Cats.
The first pitch is set for 7:05 pm.