Aeros right-hander Kevin Dixon cruised through the first five innings of Monday's game against Binghamton, not even giving up his first hit until DH Mike Carp singled to center to start the fifth inning.
But things quickly fell apart in the sixth when the visiting B-Mets exploded for four runs off four hits against Dixon - an offensive outburst highlighted by 1B Nick Evans' three-run homer.
Binghamton went on to a 6-3 win, scoring a pair of insurance runs in the ninth against reliever Sung-Wei Tseng.
Dixon, who went 0-4 with a 3.72 ERA last year at high class-A Kinston, likely found it hard to focus on the positive.
"The way he threw the first five innings, it's a shame for it to end up the way it did,'' said Aeros manager Mike Sarbaugh, who managed Dixon last year at Kinston. "That's the best I've seen him in a long time. What he did tonight was outstanding.''
Except for one inning.
"He got a few balls up in the zone in the last inning and made some mistakes that hurt him,'' Sarbaugh said. "I know he doesn't feel real good right now, but he should feel good about the way he pitched early on.''
The Aeros went ahead 2-0 in the first, using three hits by SS Josh Rodriguez, 3B Wes Hodges and LF Ryan Goleski along with a RBI-sacrifice fly by DH Michael Aubrey. But Binghamton starter Jonathan Niese (a native of Defiance) settled in and held the host to just one more (in the fifth inning), when 1B Matt Whitney doubled and scored.
The B-Mets bullpen shut out the Aeros the rest of way. But the visiting hitters were just getting started.
LF Josh Peterson singled to lead off the sixth and CF Fernando Martinez followed with a single of his own. A fielder's choice by 2B Emmanuel Garcia followed by a RBI-single by 3B Daniel Murphy set the table for Evans, who unloaded and cleared the bases.