Aeros starting pitcher Danny Salazar struck out 12 batters in his last outing at Altoona before Tuesday night’s start against Erie at Canal Park.
Against the SeaWolves, the right-handed ace who is two years removed from Tommy John surgery, increased his scoreless innings streak to 20 and went on to stike out eight batters in just five innings before hitting his 85-pitch limit.
But Salazar was overshadowed by Erie starter and LHPKyle Lobstein, who tossed a complete-game victory in Erie’s 4-3 win to improve to 4-2 with a 2.91 ERA. Lobstein scattered seven hits for three runs over his nine innings, walking three and striking out seven.
After allowing a leadoff walk to Eugenio Suarez, Salazar (2-3, 2.67 ERA) retired the next seven batters batters he faced - including the last five by strikeout – before SeaWolves RF Luis Castillo singled with two outs in the third inning.
Aeros DH Chun Chen got the night’s scoring going and moved to within two RBI of the team lead by driving in his 24th of season with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning to give Akron a 1-0 lead.
Salazar's consecutive scoreless innings was halted at 20 by the Eastern League’s top hitting team, as Erie first baseman James Robbins drove in a run with a single to tie the game at 1-1.
A clutch two-run single by 2B Justin Toole put the Aeros up 3-1 in the fifth inning, but the Akron bullpen failed to hold the lead.
Aeros RHP Kyle Landis relieved Salazar to start the sixth inning and promptly loaded the bases with a single and two walks and faced just four batters before leaving the game with what was later described as soreness on his right side.
With Landis (nine walks in 13 innings at Double-A) out, another RHP in Bryce Stowell was called on to try to limit the damage. But by the time the long inning ended, Erie had plated three runs that handed the vistors a 4-3 lead.
Next up for Akron is the final game of the homestand. Aeros LHP Matt Packer (0-4, 4.60 ERA) is slated to face SeaWolves RHP Patrick Cooper (1-2, 5.19 ERA) Wednesday at 10:35 a.m. at Canal Park.