Aeros closer Jose Flores did Sunday what he wasn’t able to do the night before, in halting a ninth-inning New Britain rally.
After Flores blew Saturday’s save, he was called on Sunday to quell another threat with the Rock Cats having scored two runs to pull within a run with two outs and the bases loaded in the ninth inning.
That’s exactly what Flores did, getting new Britain third baseman Miguel Sano (the parent club Minnesota Twins top prospect) to pop out to preserve the win.
Before the ninth inning fireworks, the Rock Cats got on the board first via on catcher Josmil Pinto’s run-scoring single that plated second baseman Eddie Rosario.
But the Aeros tied the game 1-1 with a run in the bottom of the fourth inning on catcher Chris Wallace’s single to match the one New Britain plated in top of the frame.
A Cedric Hunter solo homer to lead off the 6th inning gave the Aeros a 2-1 lead that marked his seventh overall on the season between Double and Triple-A.
In the I-can-do-anything-you-can-do-better department, Wallace smashed a no-doubt homer that sailed quickly over the left field wall to increase the host’s lead to 3-1.
Aeros starterMatt Packer limited the Rock Cats to a run on seven hits and struck out nine in 6 2/3 innings and left with the Aeros leading 3-1. But Akron added a key insurance run in the eighth inning on right fielder Carlos Moncrief's RBI single that scored designated hitter Cedric Hunter, who walked to lead off the inning. The run would prove to be crucial when the Rock Cats once again rallied late against the Aeros bullpen.
The Aeros’ bullpen blew the previous night’s game, as the Rock Cats scored 12 runs (11 earned) after the seventh inning when the starter departed. Sunday afternoon, the team’s relievers made it interesting again, before managing to escape with the win despite allowing two runs in the ninth inning.
Right-handed fireballer Austin Adams flashed a 97-mph fastball in his 1 1/3 hitless innings. But C.C. Lee quickly found himself in a jam when he took over in the ninth inning.
Lee walked the first batter he faced, then dished up an RBI double to left fielder Curt Smith. Smith soon scored on a sacrifice fly as the Rock Cats pulled to within a run before Lee was lifted for Flores.
Flores quickly got Sano to hit a major league pop up high into the air near the pitcher’s mound, an infield hit that first basmen Jesus Aguilar fielded to end threat and the game.
ROSTER MOVES - Aeros roster moves: RHP Bryce Stowell has been placed on the DL with a shoulder strain and RHP Kyle Landis has been activated. Landis had been sidelined since May 8th with a right lat strain…Also, SS Ronny Rodriguez is day-to-day with hamstring tightness. He left Saturday night’s game in the 10th inning and did not play in Sunday’s homestand finale.
UP NEXT - The Aeros hit the road for a quick three-game road trip to Harrisburg Monday through Wednesday. The Aeros are slated to send right-handed pitcher Brett Brach (4-3, 4.76 ERA) to the Mound Monday at 7 p.m. to face Senators right-hander Taylor Jordan (6-0, 0.73 ERA).