GAME #112 ? SATURDAY, AUGUST 7, 2010 ? 7:05 P.M.
ROAD GAME #55 ? NEW BRITAIN STADIUM ? NEW BRITAIN, CT
AKRON AEROS (57-54) AT NEW BRITAIN ROCK CATS (33-80)
CLEVELAND INDIANS MINNESOTA TWINS
? Friday Fireworks… The Aeros snapped a six-game losing streak Friday night with a 2-1 victory over the New Britain Rock Cats thanks to a dominant pitching performance from starter Scott Barnes. Center fielder Jordan Henry and second baseman Jason Kipnis ignited a first inning Akron rally with singles and third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall followed with a sacrifice fly. Right fielder John Drennen later gave the team a 2-0 lead with a run-scoring fielder’s choice. Barnes dominated at New Britain Stadium through seven innings as the hosts plated a lone run in the bottom of the ninth inning on an error by Chisenhall. Barnes (6-8) earned the victory, Rock Cats starter Chris Province (5-4) took the loss and reliever Connor Graham picked up his second save.
? The Rock… Barnes shined Friday night in front of a supporting crowd only 45 minutes away from his hometown of Chicopee, MA. The left-hander limited New Britain to two hits and one walk over seven scoreless frames with eight strikeouts, finishing with one of his best starts of the season. The hosts collected only four base runners total against him and the 22-year-old retired 18 of his final 19 batters while facing the minimum through his final six innings. After a rocky start to the year, the 6’4″ Barnes has been much improved and is now 5-3 with a 3.34 ERA in his past 11 starts dating back to June 9th. The Cleveland Indians acquired the St. John’s University product in a July 2009 trade with the San Francisco Giants for Ryan Garko.
? Redhawk Relief… The Rock Cats rallied in the ninth inning Friday but Graham stranded the bases loaded to prevent a comeback and secure the victory. Graham began 2010 as a starter but has led the Akron bullpen since moving into the new role in May. The 24-year-old now has a 2-3 record with two saves and a 2.03 ERA in 28 relief appearances and joined the Indians system in July 2009 trade with Colorado for Rafael Betancourt. He was a fifth-round pick in the June 2007 Draft out of Miami University.
? Oh Henry… Two runs were just enough Friday night as the leadoff hitter Henry drove the Aeros offense. He finished 3-for-4 with a run scored, a walk and three singles, continuing his impressive hot streak. Henry now is batting .432 (13-for-44) with an extra nine walks in his last 12 contests and he turned 22 years old the day before his promotion from Class A Kinston in June.
? Bloopers… Chisenhall’s error scored the lone New Britain run Friday night, continuing a streak of rough defense by the Aeros. The team has now committed an error in 10 of the past 11 games and ranks ninth in the Eastern League with 112 this season.
? Wild, Wild West… With last night’s victory, Akron still trails the second-place Bowie Baysox by 4.5 games for the Western Division wild card lead. The Aeros remain in fourth place, two games behind the Harrisburg Senators while also trailing the division-leading Altoona Curve by 7.5 games. Akron has advanced to the EL Championship Series for five straight seasons.
AEROS STAT OF THE NIGHT:
LHP T.J. McFarland will be the 54th different player to appear for the Akron Aeros this year when he starts tonight, the most since 58 different people played for the 2005 Aeros.