The Binghamton Mets defeated the Aeros 1-0 in the opening game Thursday night at Canal Park for both Double-A teams in the Eastern League.
Lorenzo Scott led off the third inning with a walk and then stole second base. Scott advanced to third on a Jordany Valdespin ground out and scored the game's lone run after Aeros left-handed starting pitcher Kelvin De La Cruz tossed a wild pitch.
The 4,524 fans that braved cold temperatures got to watch Major Leaguers Grady Sizemore and Joe Smith played for the home team.
Sizemore started in center field and batted leadoff, and Smith pitched a scoreless inning of relief to start their Major League Rehabilitation from the Cleveland Indians.
Sizemore, a 28-year-old left-hander, went 1-for-3 at bat as he continues to rehab his left knee after having microfracture surgery this past June. He played seven innings. . . . Fans shouted "Grady" each time he came to bat and gave him the loudest ovations. . . . Sizemore delivered a sharply hit single to right-center field to leadoff the first. He followed with a flyout in the third and a ground out in the fifth. . . . He displayed his speed and athleticism by snagging a flyball in the fourth. He said the knee feels stronger. . . . Sizemore, a three-time MLB All-Star and two-time gold glove winner, looked fresh and in shape Thursday. He injured his knee sliding into a base in April and then was limited to 33 games last season.
Smith, a 27-year-old right-hander, is rehabbing a strained abdominal muscle on his left side that occurred in the second week of March. He tossed the sixth inning and retired the side in order with two strikeouts.
Sizemore and Smith are both scheduled to play again for the Aeros on Saturday. There is no exact date determined for their returns to the Indians.
Notes: De La Cruz worked five innings and took the loss. He allowed one run and one hit, struck out seven and walked four. . . . Scott made a nice headfirst diving catch in center field to rob Aeros shortstop Juan Diaz of a hit. . . . The Aeros collected four hits; singles by Sizemore, Tim Fedroff and Jordan Henry and a triple by Diaz. . . . Brahiam Maldonado doubled and Josh Satin singled for the Mets other two hits . . . Mets right-hander Josh Stinson earned the win by pitching five innings. . . . . Each team used three relievers for four shutout innings. The Mets used Ricky Brooks, Roy Merritt and John Lujan. The Aeros used Joe Smith, Nick Hagadone and Matt Langwell. . . . . The Aeros starters entered the field during pregame introductions on a trolley. . . . . The University of Akron pep band played the school fight song before the game. The Kent State University Air Force ROTC present the colors during the national anthem that was song by the Franklin Twp. Elementary School.
Next game starting pitchers: Right-hander Joe Gardner will start for the Aeros and left-hander Mark Cohoon for the Mets at 7:05 p.m. Friday.
Grady Sizemore Quotes
On the Thursday’s game: “It is just another game under the belt and more reps. I am just trying to build strength in that area and get back to playing nine innings everyday.”
On his approach at bat: “I am not so worried about results right now. I just want to see pitches. I think timing is a big issue for me right now. Obviously, I take the same approach no matter where I am at or who I am facing. I think just getting in the [batter's] box, seeing pitches, and feeling strong and confident is something I am working on so I am 100 percent when I get back up their.”
On when he might be back with the Indians: “I would like to be back in mid-to-late April. It just depends how I feel out here in these games.”
Joe Smith Quotes
On his one inning of scoreless pitching: “I was just throwing strikes and feeling good. My biggest thing is making sure my side feels good and just make sure the ball is going over the plate.”
On the nagging injury that kept him sidelined for two weeks: “Anyway you moved or turned you felt it. It was just one of those things where you try to rest it and lay around for two weeks and do absolutely nothing.”