Recap 07/08: Bullpen Leads Aeros to 4-3 Win in 10 Innings

AKRON,
OH – The Aeros bullpen delivered another dominant performance Thursday night at
Canal Park, helping Akron capture a series victory with a 4-3 win in 10 innings
against the Trenton Thunder. Three different Aeros relievers combined to allow
just one hit and one walk in 6.2 innings pitched in front the 2,506 fans in
attendance, as shortstop Carlos Rivero plated Lonnie Chisenhall for the
walk-off run in the bottom of the 10th. Akron (43-43) is now 1.5
games behind the wild card spot in the Eastern League’s Western Division after
winning three out of four games against the Thunder (52-34).

Trenton
shortstop Luis Nunez started the first inning against Aeros starter Kelvin De
la Cruz with a leadoff home run into the canal in left field. De La Cruz
stranded a runner on third base to end the frame and the hosts responded quickly
in the bottom of the second.

First
baseman Beau Mills began the rally with a single to right field, Rivero drew a
walk, a wild pitch advanced both runners and Mills scored on an RBI groundout
by Damaso Espino. Tim Fedroff then gave Akron a 2-1 advantage with a seeing-eye
single to right and Jordan Henry ended the outburst a run-scoring double down
the right field.

The
lefty De La Cruz allowed another solo homer in the third to Thunder first
baseman Marcos Vechionacci and struggled with his control in the fourth. He
walked the bases loaded with just one out and left the game in favor of
reliever Bryan Price, who avoided further damage by forcing an inning-ending
4-6-3 double play.

Price
retired all seven batters he faced and Connor Graham entered the game for the
Aeros in the top of the seventh inning. Nunez greeted him with a stand-up
triple past a diving Henry in center, and a two-out wild pitch tied the score
at 3-3.

The
Thunder stranded a runner on third in the eighth and Akron finally ended the
contest in the 10th. Jason Kipnis started with a fly out and then
reliever Kevin Whelan walked three straight to load the bases. Rivero chopped a
slow grounder to Justin Snyder at second base and his throw home was just late
as Chisenhall scored the game-winning run.

Reliever
Zach Putnam (4-1) earned the win for Akron and struck out his first five
opponents to highlight two perfect innings while Whelan (1-2) took the loss. De
La Cruz allowed six hits and four walks in just 3.1 innings pitched but did not
factor into the decision because of the efforts of the three-headed relieving
corps. Price, Graham and Putnam combined for 10 strikeouts and allowed only two
base runners the rest of the way.

Fedroff
was the offensive leader on the night for the hosts as he finished 3-for-4 with
a run scored and an RBI. Three double plays, including two via a strikeout and
caught stealing, hurt the rallies for the Aeros and the team was just 2-for-12
with men in scoring position.

Akron
hits the road Friday morning for the beginning of a four-game wraparound series
against a nearby rival, the Erie SeaWolves. Eastern League All-Star Paolo
Espino (7-3, 4.16 ERA) returns to the starting rotation for Akron in the opener
against Erie lefty Ramon Garcia (0-4, 4.91 ERA). Join Jim Clark for Friday’s radio
broadcast from Jerry Uht Stadium in Erie 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.

—AEROS—

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