Beacon Journal staff report
The Senators chased Aeros starter Paolo Espino in the fourth inning, pounding the Akron pitcher for 11 runs (all earned) on 14 hits, including three home runs. Espino’s record dropped to 2-3 overall for the Aeros as they fell 12-3 in Harrisburg, Pa., Thursday night.
Already trailing 6-2, the right-hander could not get an out in the fourth inning. The Senators hit two singles and a double, before Justin Bloxom and Jimmy Van Ostrand hit back-to-back home runs off Espino to give the Senators an 11-2 lead.
Nate Karns went eight innings and gave up just three singles to earn the win. Steven Souza Jr. was 4-for-5, including a two-run homer in the second inning. In all, Harrisburg (55-44) pounded out 17 hits to remain in first place in the Eastern League’s Western Division. They are 7½ games ahead of fourth-place Akron.
Carlos Moncrief hit his 12th home run of the year for the Aeros (47-51), connecting on a solo shot off Senators reliever Matt Swynenberg in the ninth. The outfielder is hitting .308, which ranks sixth in the Eastern League.
Akron’s four-game series in Harrisburg continues at 7 p.m. today. In June’s visit to Harrisburg, the Aeros were swept in three games. This weekend, they will have a new catcher with them, as Chris Wallace was placed on the seven-day disabled list with a left knee strain. Alex Monsalve started for Akron behind the plate Thursday. He went 0-for-3 at the plate.