Akron stuns Reading in ninth, wins 5-4
Aeros secure comeback victory with wild finish
READING, PA -- Akron began its away series with a close win against the Reading Phils Thursday night 5-4. The Aeros offense overcame weak pitching to clinch their 17th win of the season.
First baseman Jesus Aguilar led Akron throughout the game putting up exceptional numbers throughout his five at bats. Aguilar put Akron on the board in the first inning with a single on a line drive to left field, allowing second baseman Justin Toole to go home.
The large first baseman came to the Aeros' rescue again in the fourth inning after Reading took the lead scoring twice against Akron starting pitcher Paolo Espino. Aguilar hit a long ball to center field for a solo home run, tying the game 2-2. Unfortunately, the Fightin Phils answered back in the bottom of the fourth with a home run that would tack two additional runs on the board. This brought Espino’s earned run total to four for the night.
The game remained scoreless for both teams during the fifth through the seventh innings. Six-foot-four-inch right-hander Trey Haley relieved Espino in the sixth inning. Haley pitched two scoreless innings, ultimately earning him the win. Thursday marked the reliever’s first win of the season.
Akron’s offense made a comeback starting in the eighth inning when designated hitter Chun-Hsiu Chen scored the Aeros’ third run of the night after left fielder Quincy Latimore hit his 15th RBI of the season.
Starting the ninth inning 4-3, Akron made a final pull to win the game. The Aeros’ batters wasted no time loading the bases with one out. After a wild pitch by Reading closer Kyle Simon, third baseman Giovanny Urshela ran in to score the tying run. Simon ultimately was saddled with the loss. Aguilar was once again Akron’s go to guy stepping up to the plate hitting his 30th RBI of the season, breaking the tie. Aguilar leads the team with the most RBI, but also most strikeouts.
Jose Flores replaced Haley on the mound for Akron in the ninth, holding Reading and protecting the Aeros’ lead. Flores received his fourth save of the season for his performance.
The win tonight at First Energy Stadium was an essential one for the Aeros. Not only did it enable Akron to take the number two spot in the Eastern League Western Division standings, Akron also was able to bring their record to 17-17. For only the second time this season the Aeros have reached a .500 winning percentage.
Akron will remain in Reading for three more games before heading for Binghamton to face the Mets.