Recap 06/29: Popham Solid in Debut as Aeros Win 4-3

RICHMOND,
VA – Right-handed starter Marty Popham delivered a quality start in his
Double-A debut as the Aeros snapped a four-game losing streak Tuesday night
with a 4-3 victory against the Richmond Flying Squirrels. A crowd of 3,688 fans
at The Diamond witnessed a solid pitching duel between Popham and Richmond ace
Daryl Maday before a wild finish to end the game. It was a crucial win for
Akron (37-40) as the team moved back into fourth place with the victory over
the now fifth-place Flying Squirrels (37-41).

Second
baseman Jason Kipnis helped the Aeros get off to a solid start in the first
with a one-out solo home run although a double play ended the inning and any
further rally.

Host
Richmond then tied the score at 1-1 against Popham in the bottom of the second
inning. Roger Kieschnick began the frame with a single, Conor Gillaspie also
nailed a base hit and catcher Jackson Williams collected the RBI with the third
hit of the frame.

Both
starters cruised after that point as the two teams combined for only two hits
over the next four innings. Akron finally re-took a narrow advantage back in
the top of the seventh, as first baseman Matt McBride singled to left. Recently
returned designated hitter Beau Mills singled again, advancing McBride to
third, while John Drennen produced a huge run-scoring double to right, giving
the visitors a 2-1 lead.

The
Squirrels retaliated in the bottom half of that inning against new Aeros
reliever Zach Putnam. A single, a double, a sacrifice bunt and then a RBI
single by Clay Timpner brought host Richmond on top for the first time in the
contest by just one run.

Akron
then captured the lead and the final runs of the night in their next
opportunity in the top of the eighth. Catcher Damaso Espino singled and Cristo
Arnal laid down a sacrifice bunt, but a throwing error by Maday brought runners
to second and third base with no outs. Center fielder Jordan Henry then nailed
the game-winner with a clutch two-run single to center against Richmond relief
pitcher Jake Stevens.

Putnam
(3-1) earned the win on the night despite allowing the go-ahead runs in the
seventh inning. Maday (8-5) took the loss but was solid through the first six
innings before struggling in the seventh and eighth. Reliever Bryce Stowell
recorded his team-leading seventh save by recording the final four outs all via
strikeout and The 6’6″ Popham permitted just one run on five hits in his six
innings with six K’s against zero walks.

The
Aeros collected 10 hits on the night although Henry and McBride were the only
two batters to finish with multi-hit performances. The win was just the fifth
in 15 contests for the struggling team as the three runs and nine hits allowed
by the pitching staff were the fewest since last Thursday against the Flying
Squirrels at Canal Park.

This
three-game series between the Aeros and Richmond concludes Wednesday night at
7:05 p.m. at The Diamond. It is a crucial rubber match as Akron’s Alex White
(2-4, 1.77 ERA) takes on another dominant Flying Squirrels starter in David
Mixon (8-3, 3.07 ERA). Join Jim Clark, the long-time voice of the Akron Aeros,
for Wednesday night’s radio broadcast beginning at 6:50 p.m. on Fox Sports 1350
AM and at www.akronaeros.com. For more
information, please call the Aeros team offices at (330) 253-5151.

—AEROS—

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