AKRON AEROS 5, PORTLAND 1
KEY STATS - Despite tip-toeing in and out of trouble in the second and fourth innings (including facing the bases loaded in second) Aeros starter Ryan Edell managed to earn the win. He gave up just one run on four hits, walked three and struck out six batters in five innings.
KEY MOMENT - The Aeros scored in bunches with three runs in the second inning and two more in the fifth. In the second, the Aeros combined to hit for the cycle with a single by John Drennen, double by Jerad Head, triple by Jose Constanza and home run by Matt McBride...Aeros closer Vinnie Pestano came on with two outs in the eighth and the bases loaded to get the key out before notching his league-leading 16th save in the ninth.
NOTES - Portland starter Junichi Tazawa isn't your ordinary Double-A pitcher. Not when the right-hander signed with Boston in December for $3.3 million over three years including a $1.8 million signing bonus.
Tazawa entered Saturday's action appearing as if it were money well spent, having gone 6-1 record with a 1.96 ERA over his last eight starts. In 46 innings he'd stuck out 46 batters and walked just 11 while holding opponents to a .199 batting average.
But the Aeros made him look vulnerable from the start, tagging him for five runs (all earned) on a season-high nine hits, walking two and striking out three over a season-low 4 1/3 innings.
* The start of the game was delayed by 58 minutes due to rain.
STORM'S STARS - In his first game back since recovering from a left knee MCL strain, OF/DH McBride started the Aeros scoring with a home run to lead off the second inning. He drove in another run in the fifth on a double to left.
UP NEXT - The Aeros wrap up the weekend series with Portland (Boston Red Sox) and this home stand Sunday with a 1:35 p.m. match up at Canal Park. Aeros right-hander Hector Rondon (6-4, 3.31 ERA) and Sea Dogs right-hander Ryne Lawson (1-4, 6.11 ERA) are the scheduled starters.