The first place Akron Aeros beat the Binghamton Mets, 3-2, Monday to improve to a 6-0 winning streak.
Right-handed reliever Rob Bryson took home his second win of the season, going for 2 2/3 innings, while allowing three hits; one run and one strike out. It wasn’t a perfect outing for Bryson, but it was good enough to put up another tally in the win column.
The Mets would draw first blood in the top of the fifth inning against knuckleball starter Steven Wright. Former Aeros player, Josh Rodriguez hit a sacrifice fly to the right side to score first baseman Travis Ozga, making the score 1-0.
The Aeros quickly countered to tie up the ball game in the bottom of the fifth when Thomas Neal smashed a line drive to right, followed by walks by Kyle Bellows and
Roberto Perez. Tim Fedroff earned the RBI with a fielder’s choice to first base.
Wright saw 25 batters from the hill in his 6 1/3 innings, striking out five, while walking three and allowing six hits for one run. It was another solid outing for the starter, who’s still developing the knuckleball he first threw last season.
“Nobody likes to hit it,” said Wright of his knuckleball. “You don’t know what it’s going to do. Some guys think it messes up their swing. I don’t know and I really don’t care.” Wright currently leads the team in ERA, so he has no reason to care, as long as they keep swinging and missing.
The Mets brought in right hand reliever Edgar Ramirez in the bottom of the seventh inning to reliever starter Darin Gorski. The Aeros jumped in on the pitching change with designated hitter Chun Chen capitalizing in the bottom of the eighth inning with a deep single to center field. Nick Weglarz followed up with a walk down the first base line to be replaced on the bag by pinch runner Ben Copeland. Second baseman Ryan Rohlinger reached on a force out attempt to Mets’ third baseman Jefrey Marte. Marte earned the error on a dropped catch from catcher Juan Centeno in attempts to get Rohlinger out at third. Both Chen and Weglarz crossed the plate advancing the score to 3-1.
The Mets weren’t done battling at the plate and put one more on the board in the top of the ninth. Juan Lagares singled with a shot to center field. Catcher Juan Centeno singled off a line drive hit to Rohlinger at second on a throwing error to first base. Ozga continued the hitting streak with a line drive single to the right side scoring Lagares. With two outs and runner on third, Bryson took down Rafael Hernandez at the plate advancing the Aeros record to 15-6.
Bryson credited his offseason work for the win tonight. “I threw mostly fastballs and I mixed in a lot of change ups and threw couple sliders to righties,” Bryson said. “I spent a lot of time in the off season pitching in winter ball and the main thing all of us are working on is throwing strikes and commanding the fastball.”
The Aeros will start left-handed newcomer TJ House, who was on the mound Tuesday in the third game of the series. House was promoted from High-A affiliate, the Carolina Mudcats on Sunday.
The game will kick off at 7:05 p.m. at Canal Park in Akron, Ohio.
Christian Turner is a senior public relations major at the University of Akron where she covers baseball, tennis and military veterans for the student newspaper, The Buchtelite.She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.