The Aeros scored two early runs but the bullpen couldn’t hold a 2-1 late lead as visiting Erie rallied for three runs in the eighth and ninth innings to earn a 4-2 victory and even the three-game series at one game a piece.
Akron scored single runs in the first and third innings, with DH Chun Chen having a hand in both runs. In the first inning, Chen raised his hitting streak to 11 games with an RBI double that put the Aeros on the board.
In his next at bat in the third, Chen singled with one out and then later scored on 1B Jesus Aguilar’s single to boost the Aeros advantage to 2-0.
In the meantime, Indians rehabber and RHP Blake Wood (recovering from Tommy John surgery) started for the Aeros and needed just five pitches to induce three quick groundouts for his lone inning.
Left-handed pitcher Matt Packer, the Aeros orginally-scheduled starter, took over for Wood and allowed just one run over five solid innings as the SeaWolves cut the host’s lead in half, 2-1.
The game stayed that way through seven innings before Erie rallied for a pair of runs in the eighth inning against Aeros reliever Austin Adams and then added an insurance run against Bryce Stowell in the ninth.
The two teams meet for the rubber match Sunday at Canal Park at 2:05 p.m. The Aeros are scheduled to send RHP Paolo Espino (1-0, 4.47 ERA) to the mound against SeaWolves RHP Patrick Cooper (1-3, 5.87 ERA).