AKRON, OH – The Aeros
failed to capitalize on several offensive opportunities Friday night at Canal
Park in a 5-3 defeat against the visiting Binghamton Mets. Post-game fireworks attracted
7,374 fans to downtown Akron for the contest
where starting pitcher Alex White surrendered three unearned runs in yet
another quality start but catcher Mike Nickeas powered the Binghamton offense. The game broke a tie
between the two interdivision rivals, as the B-Mets are now 37-36 on the season
while the Aeros are 36-37.
With one out in the
bottom of the second, Akron
left fielder Tim Fedroff started a rally with a lining triple down the right
field line. Fedroff scored three batters later on a single to center by Jordan
Henry against Mets starter Mike Antonini for the first run of the game.
Nearly the exact same
thing happened in the third as John Drennen again lined a triple to right field
against Antonini. Designated hitter Jerad Head followed immediately afterwards
with an RBI infield single to short, giving the hosts the early two-run advantage.
through the first five innings, White struggled against the Binghamton lineup in the sixth. Sean Ratliff
singled while a Lonnie Chisenhall error at third base prolonged the inning.
White then threw a costly wild pitch, leading to a run-scoring groundout just
before the hot-hitting Nickeas gave the visitors a 3-2 lead with a two-out
homer to left.
The Mets then added
to the Akron
deficit thanks to a seventh inning rally that featured a solo homer by Brahiam
Maldonado and a double play that plated Raul Reyes.
Meanwhile, the Aeros
offense struggled against the Binghamton
pitching staff as the team failed to capitalize on a leadoff double by Head in
the sixth. Akron
rallied again in the seventh as Jason Kipnis drew a leadoff walk, Chisenhall
singled to right and an error advanced both runners. Drennen then plated Kipnis
with a groundout but new reliever Emary Frederick stranded the bases loaded by
forcing Damaso Espino to fly out to center.
Cristo Arnal began
the bottom of the eighth inning with a double, but Mets pitchers retired the
final six Aeros to capture the opener of this three-game series.
Antonini (5-5) earned
the win in averting damage over 5.1 innings while White (2-4) took yet another
tough loss despite his fifth quality start. The highly touted right-hander
permitted seven hits in six innings along with the three unearned runs and
three strikeouts as he now has a 1.77 ERA in seven starts for Akron. Binghamton
closer Manuel Alvarez finished the contest and delivered a perfect ninth inning
for his third save of the season.
The Aeros finished
the night 2-for-16 with runners in scoring position and left 12 men on base
overall. Two hit by pitches, six walks and seven hits (including four for
extra-base) were not enough to propel the team to a third straight home
victory. Binghamton’s Nickeas was the main offensive star as he finished a
triple away from hitting for the cycle.
Akron plays game five of this
six-game home stand Saturday night against the Binghamton Mets with a scheduled
first pitch of 7:05 p.m. at Canal
Park. It is the first
scout campout night of the year, presented by Appalachian Outfitters, and the
first 500 lucky fans in attendance will receive free t-shirts sponsored by Fortis College.
Left-hander Scott Barnes (3-6, 5.82 ERA) will be on the mound for the Aeros as Binghamton southpaw Mark
Cohoon makes his Double-A debut. Join Jim Clark for Saturday night’s game
broadcast, beginning at 6:50 p.m. on Fox Sports 1350 AM and at www.akronaeros.com. For more information,
please call the Akron Aeros at (330) 253-5151.