Akron powers past B-Mets 7-5
Surprising power from Ramirez gives Aeros series win
AKRON, OH -- The Akron Aeros used four home runs to slug their way past the Binghamton Mets 7-5 Sunday afternoon at NYSEG Stadium, winning their second consecutive series. Akron is up to a 10-13 record now after a fairly rough start to the season.
Heading into Sunday, the Aeros only owned a paltry .101 ISO and 12 home runs as a team, but from the most likely to the least likely, they broke out in a big way against Binghamton (12-11).
With the score knotted at 5-5 in the top of the seventh inning, one of the least likely sources of power struck for Akron. Diminutive second baseman Jose Ramirez led off the inning with his first home run of the season, pulling the ball down the left field line and giving the Aeros a lead they did not relinquish.
Listed at 5'9" and 165 pounds, Ramirez typically fills the role of leadoff hitter and tablesetter. He did not shirk those duties today, also reaching base on a walk and stealing two bases -- his 10th and 11th of the young season -- later in the game.
Sunday was about power over tablesetting though and it started in the sixth inning.
With the score 2-1, center fielder Tyler Holt started the fireworks with a triple to center. Following a fly out, first baseman Jesus Aguilar launched his second home run of the year to put Akron up 4-1.
Right fielder Carlos Moncrief then made it back-to-back home runs, also connecting for his second of the season. With the score at 5-1 and only four innings to go, the Aeros were in control of the game.
That, of course, overlooks the issues Akron has had with its bullpen and holding leads.
Starting pitcher Paolo Espino began the trouble in the bottom of the sixth, allowing a double, a home run, and a double before being pulled. The right-hander ended up allowing four earned runs with six hits, three walks, and four strikeouts in five innings pitched.
Espino has not looked all that good in the early going, allowing 34 hits and 17 walks in 31.0 innings. For someone whose walk rate has never climbed above 3.1 BB/9, the early-season lack of control -- despite the small sample size -- is concerning.
Right-hander Kyle Landis could not get out of the inning without more damage, allowing a home run to the first batter he faced. Landis managed to strikeout three batters and limit any further scoring, but his ERA ballooned to 6.94 and he left with the game tied 5-5.
The bullpen has struggled all year for Akron, with relievers combining for a 6.05 ERA so far in 2013. Right-handers Bryan Price and Bryce Stowell calmed things down after Landis, though, combining for three shutout innings and six strikeouts.
Left fielder Quincy Latimore added his own insurance home run in the eighth, his third of the season.
The Aeros will head to Altoona on Monday, starting a four-game series as they continue their road trip. Right-hander Toru Murata (1-2, 3.63 ERA, 3.78 FIP) will start for the Aeros as the Curve counter with right-hander Stolmy Pimentel (1-0, 0.39 ERA, 2.90 FIP).
Attendance: 1,842... Time of Game: 3:03... Game time temperature: 70 degrees... Catcher Chris Wallace was promoted to Columbus before the game.
If you want to follow Jim on Twitter, he’s @JimPiascik. If you want to e-mail him, you can do so at firstname.lastname@example.org