The Aeros followed up Sunday’s no-hitter with another win, this one just didn’t come as easy.
Instead of one pitcher cruising through nine innings in under two hours, Monday’s game featured five Aeros pitchers, who combined to allow a dozen hits over nearly three hours.
But the result was still the same, a 5-4 win over visiting Harrisburg at Canal Park that marked the Aeros fourth consecutive victory.
Aeros starter and RHP Paolo Espino erased any idea of toying with another no-hitter when he allowed a single to the first batter of the game in Harrisburg CF Eury Perez. It was a sign of things to come for Espino, who struggled with his command and the left the game after 5 1/3 innings trailing by three runs.
Harrisburg jumped all over Espino for three runs in the third inning but didn’t score again until the eighth inning.
That’s because RHP Kyle Landis stranded two runners in relief of Espino and went on to pick up the win when the host’s offense came alive in the bottom of the inning.
Aeros CF Tyler Holt and 2B Matt Lawson ripped back-to-back RBI-triples to pull Akron to within a run, 3-2 and DH Nick Weglarz continued the rally with an RBI-single that tied it.
A ground-rule double that hopped the right centerfield wall by SS Juan Diaz scored LF Thomas Neal to give Akron its first lead, 4-3.
The Aeros four-run rally knocked Harrisburg starter and RHP Trevor Holder out of the game and eventually handed him the loss.
In his rehab outing with the Aeros, Indians reliever and LHP Rafael Perez (strained lat muscle) allowed a lead-off single to the first batter he faced, but rebounded to sit down side. He threw 14 pitches, 12 for strikes.
The Aeros pushed their lead to 5-3 in 7th inning on a bunt by Holt (his second RBI) that scored C Roberto Perez. It proved to be a key insurance run, as the Senators inched within a run in the eighth inning thanks to a run on a hit and two walks issued by Aeros reliever and RHP Jose De La Torre.
But after allowing a lead-off double, Aeros closer and RHP Preston Guilmet struck out the side to notch his 14th save, as the Aeros hung on for a 5-4 win.
The Aeros continue this home stand and current three-game series against the Senators Tuesday with Game Two at 7:05 p.m. at Canal Park. Akron LHP T.J. House (5-2, 4.07 ERA) is slated to face Harrisburg RHP Ryan Tatusko (2-2, 4.06 ERA) on the mound.