AKRON AEROS 3, HARRISBURG SENATORS 2
KEY STATS: Akron starter Hector Rondon set a new Aeros season-high nine strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings as Akron improved to 13-4...Harrisburg dropped its 10th consecutive game to fall to 2-14.
"Just like he has all year, Hector had a good live fastball going through the zone," Aeros manager Mike Sarbaugh said. "I also thought he threw some real good sliders tonight, which is something he's been working on."
KEY MOMENT: The Aeros got on the board with a three-run fifth inning highlighted by Josh Rodriguez's two-run double...Former Aeros slugger Matt Whitney broke up the Aeros shutout bid with a lead off home run in the seventh inning...Aeros reliever Erik Stiller tip-toed out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth and closer Vinnie Pestano notched his eighth save with a 1-2-3 ninth.
"(Stiller) left a couple breaking balls up in the zone and that's the couple hits they got," Sarbaugh said. "But he came back and didn't give in, and that was the ball game right there."
STORM'S STARS: This one goes to the home pitchers: Rondon for his fourth consecutive win, Stiller for more solid relief and nerves of steel and Pestano for quickly shutting the door.
UP NEXT: Akron and Harrisburg (Washington Nationals) continue this three-game series tonight at Canal Park at 7:05 p.m. Aeros right-hander Josh Tomlin (2-1, 3.38 ERA) and Sens left-hander Ross Detwiler (0-2, 5.11 ERA) are the scheduled pitchers.
ROSTER MOVES - The Aeros made a pair of changes to their bullpen Tuesday, transferring Right-handed pitcher Paolo Espino to low Class-A Lake County and promoting right-handed side-armer Randy Newsom to Triple-A Columbus.
Espino, a cousin of Aeros backup catcher Damaso Espino, was promoted to Akron to help provide depth while the Aeros played a pair of double headers in a three-day span. But after being unable to hold a four-run lead in his Double-A debut Sunday, Espino was shipped back to Eastlake.
Newsom departed after making a successful transition to set-up work from closing, tossing two innings in back-to-back outings Thursday and Friday after not pitching two innings since July 2 of last year in his Triple-A debut for Buffalo.
Corresponding moves are expected to be made before Wednesday's game to bring the Aeros roster back to full strength.¶
WELCOME BACK: A pair of former Tribe farm hands made their way back to Canal Park Tuesday as members of the Harrisburg Senators in designated hitter Matt Whitney and Catcher Javi Herrera. Both came up through the Indians farm system and played with the Aeros, Whitney, who hit a solo homer in the seventh, as recently as last year.