Sloppy defense allows Aeros past B-Mets 7-3
Four Binghamton errors give Akron the winning edge
AKRON, OH -- The Binghamton Mets came into Akron Thursday night fresh off of clinching the Eastern Division.
Not that the Akron Aeros cared.
The Aeros (62-68) defeated the B-Mets (81-50) by a score of 7-3 thanks to four Binghamton errors and a four-run first inning.
After a one-two-three inning from Akron starter Toru Murata, the Aeros wasted no time scoring. A leadoff single from shortstop Jose Ramirez followed by a fielding error on Binghamton second baseman Josh Rodriguez allowed Ramirez to reach third base.
Ramirez ran on the error and nearly was hit by the ground ball. He was aware of his surroundings, however, just one of the little things manager Edwin Rodriguez loves about the shortstop.
"I've seen runners that just run without knowing where the ball is," Rodriguez said. "So that's just one of the little things that Jose Ramirez does that makes him a very good baseball player."
Left fielder Tyler Holt singled to center field and was caught rounding too far off of first base.
Fortunately for the Aeros, J. Rodriguez missed the catch during the rundown and his second error of the inning allowed a run to score. Second baseman Ronny Rodriguez followed with a well-struck double to right field to push the Aeros' lead to 4-0.
E. Rodriguez was happy to see his team strike early.
"It was important for us to score first," Rodriguez said. "They have the best record in the league. They know what they're doing. Their pitching is very good, they play very good baseball, so it was important for us to go out there and be aggressive."
The four-run fourth was more than enough for Murata (6-5, 3.65 ERA, 3.81 FIP) as the right-hander went 5.1 innings, allowing two runs on four hits, one walk, and four strikeouts. Murata failed to get a quality start for the first time in his last seven starts, though Rodriguez thought that the right-hander did a great job of pitching with the lead.
"Sometimes some pitchers don't know how to pitch when they have the lead," Rodriguez noted. "Murata stays with his plan. He was attacking the hitters, he was establishing the fastball, so he stayed within himself."
Murata's opponent, left-hander Mark Cohoon (9-4, 4.07 ERA, 3.69 FIP), was only charged with one earned run in his five innings, though his team's lack of defense helped him allow five runs total.
The B-Mets finally got Murata in the sixth inning. After a leadoff single by shortstop Wilfredo Tovar, center fielde rAlonzo Harris hit a groundball down the third-base line toward the left-field corner.
Holt, who is playing left field following Tyler Naquin's callup, got a late jump on the ball, allowing Harris to reach third base for a triple. Rodriguez was not too upset with Holt, though, as this is a new position for the outfielder.
"Holt is a natural center fielder," Rodriguez said. "He's been playing left field, what, four games? Five games? So that's why he's there… to learn to play that position… It's a tricky corner, [especially] for a guy who never has played there. But I’m pretty sure he learned from that."
Akron added one run in the second inning following a leadoff error by first baseman Allan Dykstra. Additionally, the Aeros scored two runs in the sixth, highlighted by a throwing error by left fielder Joe Bonfe. In all, Binghamton's four errors led to five unearned runs.
Akron made the B-Mets pay for those errors, as three hits for R. Rodriguez and two hits apiece for Ramirez, Hunter, Holt, and third baseman Giovanny Urshela paced the offense.
Two Aeros players left the game early as Hunter was pulled in the fifth inning with a stomach virus. E. Rodriguez said that Hunter has been playing hurt lately and must have been hurting badly to actually need out of a game.
First baseman Jesus Aguilar left the game in the seventh inning, though Rodriguez said he was just getting Aguilar some rest after playing a lot lately.
The Aeros will look to keep this winning going tomorrow night with right-hander Brett Brach (8-9, 5.22 ERA, 4.74 FIP) taking the mound against right-hander Erik Goeddel (9-6, 3.79 ERA, 3.88 FIP). First pitch is at 7:05 p.m.
Attendance: 3,410... Time of Game: 2:44... First pitch was at 7:09... Game time temperature: 78 degrees...Moncrief's first-inning single extended his hit streak to eight games… Naquin went hitless for the second-straight night after owning a six-game hit streak prior to Wednesday.
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