The Aeros struggled to get much going offensively against visiting Richmond, beginning with being shutout over the first six innings by starter Michael Kickham. The left-hander scattered five hits, walked two batters and struck out seven to pick up the win.
While Kickham cruised, Aeros starter and LHP Giovanni Soto struggled with his command from the get go and took the loss.
Soto had already thrown 81 pitches after four innings, ultimately lasting only five. During that span he nearly allowed as many walks (five) as he did hits (six), but limited the damage to three runs (two earned) before giving way to the bullpen.
Richmond started the scoring by taking a 1-0 lead on a run-scoring double play in the third inning. Despite laboring and Richmond having the bases loaded, Soto managed to limit the damage in the inning to just one run.
But the Flying Squirrels pushed the lead to three unanswered runs against Soto, who didn’t have much help from his defense on the steamy afternoon, with two early errors behind him by SS Juan Diaz and C Michel Hernanadez.
But it wasn’t just Soto that the Squirrels offense battered, as Richmond increased its lead to 4-0 in the seventh against Aeros reliever and RHP Loek van Mil on a two-out run by 1B Mark Minicozzi, who put on a hitting display with an 11-pitch at-bat.
In the ninth, Richmond added another pair of runs against reliever and RHP Kyle Landis with a lead off double by CF Gary Brown followed by an RBI-triple by LF Nick Liles.
In the bottom of the inning, the first two Aeros reached base via RF Jeremie Tice’s leadoff walk and 1B Adam Abraham being hit by a pitch in the hand. But like they had the rest of the game, the runners were stranded as Akron left 10 men on base all game, going 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
The Aeros and Flying Squirrels are back at it again Monday for the third game of the four-game series. First pitch is 7:05 p.m. at Canal Park.