The Aeros nearly wasted another solid outing by left-hander David Huff Saturday afternoon at Canal Park. But this time the left-hander could care less.
This time, the Aeros came back to win 2-1 in 10 innings against visiting Harrisburg to snap a three-game losing streak.
Thus, instead of raising their winless streak to 0-5 with Huff on the mound, they instead handed him a much more palatable no-decision.
"I don't really care about my win-loss record as long as our team's winning,'' said Huff, who has now gone 17.1 innings without allowing an earned run spanning three starts. "So I don't have a winning record and a lot of no-decisions. I have no problem with that.''
Matt Whitney's two-out double down the right field line in the bottom of the 10th inning scored Michael Aubrey from first, with Aubrey safely sliding just under the tag of catcher Luke Montz before being mobbed by his giddy teammates.
But the call didn't rest well with Senators manager John Stearns, who upstaged the Aeros celebration by putting on quite a show in trying to change the mind of home plate umpire Brad Purdom. Stearns slammed his helmet, threw his gum and stalked Purdom belly-to-belly as he tried to exit the field.
But unlike Aeros manager Mike Sarbaugh, who was ejected with a quick hook the previous two games, Stearns' tantrum was allowed to go on - as was the one by Harrisburg's Jorge Padilla after being called out on strikes to end the sixth inning.
Taking the high road, Sarbaugh had little so say about the umpire's sudden cache of patience and opted instead to talk about Huff's impressive five-inning outing.
"He did a real good job using both sides of the plates and mixing in his off-speed pitches,'' Sarbaugh said.
After watching the Senators bombard his fellow pitchers for a combined 27 runs the previous two games, Huff limited them to one unearned run on a harmless single. He also struck out five, giving him a team-high 25 on the season.
"My thought coming in was that they were getting too comfortable in the box,'' Huff said. "I was trying to make them uncomfortable by working both sides of the plate and throwing my fastball up and in to shake things up a little bit.''
Harrisburg's run came in the fourth inning on a one-out walk that was parleyed into a run on Huff's throwing error to first while trying to nab Luis Jimenez on a dribbler down the third base line.
"Being a slow runner, I thought I could get him,'' Huff said. "The whole time (catcher Armando Camacaro) is going, 'No! No! No!', but I was so caught up in the moment I didn't really hear him.''
It didn't matter, as Akron's Brandon Chaves tied the game with a two-out solo home run to right field in the seventh - leaving the close contest in the hands of the bullpens.
Akron's T.J. Burton, Jeff Stevens and Randy Newsom pitched five scoreless innings to hold up their end of the bargain. Former Aero Jim Ed Warden took the loss for Harrisburg.
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