OH – Right fielder John Drennen provided a game-winning RBI single in the bottom
of the eighth inning to lead the Aeros to a 5-4 victory over the Richmond
Flying Squirrels Wednesday night at Canal Park. A crowd of 3,396 fans in
downtown Akron witnessed Drennen and second baseman Jason Kipnis lead the Akron
offense while both were oddly dressed in old-fashioned stirrups. The win helped
the Aeros (35-36) move just a game behind the Bowie Baysox for second place in
the Eastern League’s Western Division while the fifth-place Squirrels fell to
Speedy center fielder
Jordan Henry began the Akron half of the first inning with a bloop single to
left field. Kipnis followed immediately afterwards with a high arching home run
to right field against Richmond starter Felix Romero, giving the hosts a quick
pitcher Paolo Espino and Romero cruised from there before the Squirrels
attacked in the top of the fifth. Richmond started the frame with a single,
double and a single to cut the deficit to just a single run. Left fielder Clay
Timpner then lined a 3-1 pitch from Espino to the right field bleachers for the
final runs of the game for the visitors.
The Akron offense
returned the favor in the bottom half of that fifth to tie the score at 4-4.
Damaso Espino lined a double down the left field line and Henry plated him with
a clutch two-out single straight up the middle. Henry advanced to second on the
throw home and Kipnis continued his fine evening at the plate with another RBI
hit for the fourth Aeros run.
The score remained
tied until the crucial eighth where with one out in the inning, Richmond
reliever Andy Sisco hit Akron third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall with a pitch. The
intimidating 6’9″ lefty then retired Matt McBride for the second out before
Chisenhall stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by the
catcher. With a 2-1 count, Drennen then smacked the game-winner to left field
to score Chisenhall.
Closer Bryce Stowell
(1-0) shut out the Squirrels offense in the eighth and ninth innings for his
first win of the season as he has now delivered 19 straight scoreless frames to
start his Double-A career. Sisco (0-4) took the loss despite permitting just
the one hit in 1.1 innings of relief. Espino made his first start for Akron
since May 27th and only made one mistake on the Timpner home run,
allowing four runs in five innings with four strikeouts.
Henry and Espino each
collected two hits on the night while Kipnis also finished with a single and with
his third Aeros home run. The one-run victory was Akron’s 12th of the
year and the team is now 15-5 in their past 20 contests decided by two runs or
The Aeros and the
Flying Squirrels start early at 12:05 p.m. Thursday afternoon in the rubber
match of this three-game series at Canal Park. Many local day camps will be on
hand for the contest as Akron continues their weeklong home stand. Highly
touted Aeros left-hander Nick Hagadone (1-0, 6.19 ERA) will look to rebound
from his rough past two starts against dominant Daryl Maday (8-3, 2.09 ERA) of
Richmond. Thursday’s game broadcast begins at 11:50 a.m. on Fox Sports 1350 AM
and at www.akronaeros.com. For more
information, please call the Aeros at (330) 253-5151.