Recap 07/20: Kipnis Leads Aeros Sluggers to 10-3 Victory

AKRON,
OH – Second baseman Jason Kipnis homered twice Tuesday night as the Aeros
improved to a perfect 6-0 since the All-Star Break with a 10-3 win over the
Altoona Curve. Kipnis starred while three other Akron players also hit home
runs against Altoona starter Jared Hughes. It was yet another blowout at Canal
Park in front of 2,602 fans and a 22-minute rain delay preceded a massive
three-homer, seven-run fourth inning. With the win, the Aeros (51-45) are now
only 6.5 games behind the first-place Curve (57-38) in the Western Division
standings, the smallest margin for Akron since a loss on April 30th.

The
offensive outpour began quickly as Kipnis, batting leadoff for the first time
in his brief Double-A career, smacked a home run to left-center to start the
contest. Rehabbing Cleveland Indians right fielder Shin-Soo Choo reached base
on a fielding error at second base shortly after, and scored on a two-out RBI
double by first baseman Beau Mills.

A
rain delay interfered with play in the middle of the second, halting play for
just 22 minutes before Altoona responded to tie the score at 2-2 in the third.
With two outs against Akron starter Kelvin De La Cruz, the Curve smacked three
straight hits including back-to-back RBI knocks from Josh Harrison and Matt
Hague.

Third
baseman Lonnie Chisenhall then gave the Aeros the lead for good in the bottom
half of that third with a one-out solo homer to center. That blast preceded a
monster bottom of the fourth for the home team against the 6’7″ right-hander
Hughes.

Another
fielding error brought Carlos Rivero to first base to start the inning, and
left fielder John Drennen followed with a two-run homer to right. After a
hit-by-pitch and a bunt single, Kipnis then unloaded on his second moon shot of
the night to center. Hughes finally forced two straight outs after a Chisenhall
single to left, but Mills promptly followed with the inning’s third homer,
extending the margin to 10-2.

The
Curve scored a final run in the sixth as Akron’s Rob Bryson struggled in his
Eastern League debut. He walked four straight batters with three wild pitches
before fellow reliever Bryan Price avoided further damage with a strikeout and
an inning-ending double play.

De
La Cruz (3-5) earned his second straight victory in allowing just two runs in
five innings, striking out three against six hits and three walks. The
left-hander had won just one contest in his first 12 EL starts while Hughes
(10-7) took the loss as he permitted all 10 runs (six earned) including the
five home runs on the night. Price retired eight of the nine batters he faced
in three scoreless innings of relief with one strikeout.

Kipnis
was the star as he is now batting .600 (15-for-25) with six multi-hit
performances in six games since the All-Star Break. The five home runs were a
new Akron season-high and Choo finished 0-for-4 with a run scored and a stolen
base in his second rehab game.

The
Aeros look for the seven-game home stand sweep in the series finale with the
Curve Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. at Canal Park. Fans can save $28 at the
ballpark on Family Pack specials of four tickets, four hot dogs, four bags of
chips and four soft drinks for only $48 total! Eastern League All-Star Paolo
Espino (9-3, 3.76 ERA) takes the mound for Akron against Altoona’s newest
starter in lefty Jeff Locke (1-0, 0.00 ERA). Wednesday’s radio broadcast begins
at 6:50 p.m. on Fox Sports 1350 AM and at www.akronaeros.com.
For more information, please call the Akron Aeros team offices at (330)
253-5151.

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