Former Aeros manager Brad Komminsk returned to Canal Park for the first time as the enemy, guiding his new team - the Bowie Baysox (Baltimore Orioles) - to a 7-5 win Thursday to put a damper on the Aeros home opener.
Komminsk, as many Aeros fans might fondly recall, led Akron to its first-ever Eastern League Championship in 2003. He spent eight seasons (1999-2006) with the Indians organization while guiding the Aeros to back-to-back Southern Division titles in '02 and 2003.
His 2002 squad posted 93 wins - the most in all of minor league baseball - as he earned league Manager of the Year honors. He was also selected as a coach for the prestigious MLB All-Star Futures game in 2002 and 2003.[ep
The victory - the Baysox's third straight after dropping their first five games to start the season - did not come without a scare, as Akron rallied for four runs with two outs in the bottom of the ninth before falling short.
The loss puts the Aeros at 2-5 to start the season.
Entering the game, the Aeros were already last in the league in team pitching, a hefty 5.57 ERA weighing down the group. It's rather early in the season to be too concerned, but the relatively inexperienced group has dished up 11 homers in the first seven game, including two more Thursday.
The pitching staff has also only struck out 31 (second to last in the 12-team league) as well as issued 23 walks (only four teams have given more free passes).
In other news, Aeros left fielder and leadoff man Trevor Crowe was placed on the disabled list with a lower back injury. The "official" word being used is "lower back tightness".
But Crowe, who saw the Indians team doctor Thursday, said the injury has left him with shooting pains down his legs. Word around the clubhouse is that he could be out for a few weeks with a bulging disk.
Let's hope that's not the case. Serious back injuries never heal quickly and can cause a player havoc throughout a career.