The Aeros did their part to stay in the wild card hunt, winning their last regular season game against Bowie 8-1. Akron received an excellent effort from left-handed starter Eric Berger in his first start after returning to the team as they improved to 66-64 while the Baysox fell to 68-62.
Berger limited the Baysox batters to just one hit while striking out two and walking two in his first appearance since returning to Akron on Aug. 22. The southpaw earned the win to improve to 5-5 on the year with the Aeros.
Akron started the scoring early with two runs in the first inning. Second baseman Jason Kipnis reached safely on a single to left field and eventually scored the first run after a wild pitch by Bowie starter Eddie Gamboa. Designated hitter Jerad Head then hit a sacrifice fly that allowed third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall cross home plate and made the score 2-0. Right fielder John Drennen and left fielder Tim Fedroff paired up for a third run in the second when Drennen hit a double to left-center field before Fedroff brought him home on a single to right-center.
The Aeros doubled their lead with three runs in the fifth. Fedroff put the wheels in motion with a walk to start the inning. Kipnis pushed him to third on a double to center field, and Chisenhall followed up with an RBI-single that scored Fedroff. Kipnis scored shortly after when he took advantage of a fielding error by Carlos Rojas.
In the seventh, Head crossed home plate after Drennen hit a bases-loaded RBI-single. Catcher Juan Apodaca followed with a groundout that allowed Mills to score from third and give the Aeros a commanding 8-0 lead. Bowie’s only offense also came in the seventh when Joel Guzman his league-leading 29th home run.
Right-handed reliever Steven Wright came on in the seventh for the remainder of the game to record his fifth save of the season, allowing one run on four hits with three strikeouts and two walks.
The Aeros remain 3.5 games behind Harrisburg for the wild card, but are now just two games behind Bowie with 12 games to play. Overall, the Aeros are 10.5 games behind division-leading Altoona.
Akron returns home Thursday for their last homestand of the year with a four-game series against the Erie SeaWolves. There will be an Alex White poster giveaway sponsored by Busson Digital for the first 2,000 fans through the gates of Canal Park. It is also Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank Drive Night sponsored by the Akron Plan, where fans can bring a canned food item to the game and receive a $5 ticket! It is also the last Thirsty Thursday of the year where dollar drafts and sodas are available through the end of the seventh inning. Appropriately enough, Alex White (7-7, 2.44 ERA) takes the hill for Akron against Erie’s Anthony Shawler (4-2, 4.63 ERA). Join Jim Clark for Thursday’s radio broadcast beginning at 6:50 p.m. only at www.akronaeros.com. For more information, please call the Akron Aeros team offices at (330) 253-5151.