The Aeros got to Richmond starter and LHP Clayton Tanner early and often Friday at Canal Park, pretty much having the game in hand by the end of the fourth inning.
Too bad the game wasn't of the seven-inning variety that Akron has played so much already this season. No doubt Aeros players would have loved a couple extra hours to get a head start on celebrating the Memorial Day Weekend.
But for the first time in quite a while, not only did not rain Friday, but the day proved to be a beautiful one for baseball as witnessed by the large crowd on hand that enjoyed the Aeros 9-2 drubbing of visiting Richmond in the first game of the four-game series that stretches into Monday.
After scoring two runs in the first inning against Tanner, the Aeros continued to batter him with a six-run fourth that chased him from the game. In the short 3 1/3-inning stint, Tanner dished up eight runs on seven hits and three walks as Akron cruised to victory and snapped their season-high tying three-game losing streak.
While Tanner struggled, Aeros starter and LHP Matt Packer had a superb outing as he earned his second win of the season. Packer limited the Flying Squirrels to a run on four hits over seven innings, issuing thre walks and striking out four.
The Aeros banged out 12 hits in the win - including five in the big fourth inning in which they batted around and sent 10 men to the plate. But the host was also aided by three errors - two by Richmond 2B Charlie Culberson, who made a throwing and fielding miscue.
Leading the way for the Aeros offensively was SS Juan Diaz, who went 2-for-5 with a triple, RBI and two runs scored. RF/C Matt McBride was 2-for with a double and two RBI and LF Tim Fedroff added a 2-for-4 effort with two RBI that extended his hitting streak to 20 games - the third longest hitting streak in Aeros history.
The teams meet again Saturday at Canal Park for Game Two at 7:05 p.m.