There was a lot less fanfare Friday night at Canal Park for the second game of the season, but the results were exactly the same.
The Aeros lost 2-1 again to the Binghamton Mets.
The Aeros’ bats were once again as cold as the chilly weather. It was 38 degrees with a 21-mph wind when the game started and dipped to 33 by the time the nearly three-hour game was over.
Again the Aeros’ starting pitcher fared well, but was outdueled by the Mets’ starter.
Again the Aeros had a shot to tie or win the game in the ninth inning with a runner in scoring position, but came up short.
With Mets closer Jack Leathersich struggling to find his command in his Double-A debut, the Aeros put runners on first and second with two outs and pinch hitter Chun Chen at the plate.
In the same situation in Thursday’s season opener, Chen struck out to end the threat. This time, he worked a walk to load the bases. But Tyler Holt wasn’t as lucky, striking out to end the game and slamming his bat to the ground in disgust.
“[Leathersich] was struggling and we didn’t take advantage of it,” Aeros manager Edwin Rodriguez said.
Aeros left-hander T.J. House limited the Mets to a run on five hits, did not walk a batter and struck out five in five innings.
“With it being so cold, [the Mets batters] wanted to go out there and get a hit as early as possible,” House said. “With it being so cold and you can’t feel your fingers, I knew that. So my job was to give them what they want and just attack them. They were a little more patient today, but it still worked out in my favor throughout the game.”
Mets right-hander Cory Mazzoni held the Aeros to an unearned run on four hits, issued one walk and struck out seven in his five innings.
“[House] did very well,” Rodriguez said. “He kept a very good tempo, he was throwing a lot of first-pitch strikes and he was very efficient. He did a heck of a job. The pitching has been very good.”
The same can be said of Mazzoni.
“There’s nothing overpowering about him, he was just moving [the ball around],” Rodriguez said. “Even his fastball had a little cut to it. Everything moved. Nothing overpowering, but he definitely knows how to pitch.”
With two outs in the bottom of the second inning, the Aeros loaded the bases but Mazzoni struck out Delvi Cid to seemingly end the threat. But the pitch got away from Mets catcher Juan Centeno and by the time he grabbed the ball, Aeros catcher Roberto Perez was bearing down on him from third base. Centeno turned toward first base as if he was going to try to get the last out there, but he froze momentarily and Perez scored to give the Aeros a 1-0 lead.
The Mets tied the score in the sixth on an RBI groundout by Daniel Muno. Although House had been relieved by Fabio Martinez, he did so with two men on base, so the run was charged to House.
Martinez then walked former Aeros shortstop Josh Rodriguez. But Rodriguez was caught stealing and Martinez struck out Rhyne Hughes to end the threat.
The Mets pulled ahead without the aid of a hit in the seventh, taking advantage of some wildness Martinez. In just an inning of work in relief of House, Martinez issued two walks, tossed a wild pitch and hit a batter before being relieved by right-hander Kyle Landis.
Landis intentionally walked Francisco Pena (the son of current New York Yankees bench coach and former Indians catcher Tony Pena) to load the bases with one out. The strategy backfired when an error allowed Cory Vaughn (son of former major leaguer Greg Vaughn) to score and give the Mets a 2-1 lead.
Stephanie Storm can be reached at email@example.com. Read the Aeros blog at http://www.ohio.com/aeros. Follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SStormABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.