Late rally not enough as Aeros fall to Richmond 9-4
AKRON, OHIO - “I am not going to say that I'm happy it happened, but this is the minor leagues and you have to learn. You have to show up to play every day. Whatever happened yesterday you have to turn the page. This is a learning moment.”
Akron Aeros' manager Edwin Rodriguez had that to say about his team's 9-4 loss Friday night. The Aeros were coming off a Thursday night win in what was an impeccable game of ball both offensively and defensively.
A sold-out crowd turned out to Canal Park Friday evening to see the Akron Aeros continue their series against the Richmond Flying Squirrels. After taking the win in game one, Akron struggled to keep up with Richmond. The Flying Squirrels showed up ready to play and knocked Aeros starter Brett Brach (6-7, 5.04) all around the ballpark. Brach threw five innings, giving up nine hits and seven earned runs. He struggled to get ahead in the count and Richmond's lineup took full advantage.
Aside from a second inning home run by right fielder Carlos Moncrief, Aeros batters were dominated by Richmond starter Chris Gloor (RHP, 8-5). Gloor was unstoppable on the mound for eight innings and only gave up four hits to Akron and walked just one batter.
Manager Rodriguez stated, “I wanted to mention, look what the other pitcher did for them - consistently threw first-pitch strikes. In the big leagues, or anywhere for that matter, when you get yourself in an 0-1 count, the batting average is below .200. This game is all about pitching, it will dictate everything that happens in the game. The starter has to keep you in the game.” Unfortunately for the Aeros, Brach was unable to keep them in the game as Richmond ran away with the lead.
Not going down without a fight, Akron's lineup suddenly woke up in the bottom of the ninth inning. Trailing by seven runs, left fielder Cedric Hunter and first baseman Jesus Aguilar came out swinging and led off the final at-bat with back-to-back home runs. Following their lead, Moncrief and centerfielder Tyler Holt kept the momentum going with consecutive singles. Despite the action, the rally was short-lived. Richmond brought in closer Cody Hall (4-0, 1.59) who quickly got third baseman Giovanny Urshela to ground into a double play and then struck out designated hitter Matt Lawson to end the game.
The Aeros and the Squirrels meet again in game three of the series Saturday evening at Canal Park. Is it expected that RHP Will Roberts (6-7, 4.39) will take the mound for Akron against Richmond pitcher Craig Wescott (4-9, 3.84). The Aeros have a record of 51-54 on the season.