Aeros walk off with 3-2 win
Aguilar's heroics lead Aeros to win in 12-inning marathon
Akron, OH – After coming into the game in the sixth inning, Jesus Aguilar proved to be the hero as the Aeros pulled out a narrow 3-2 victory over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in 12 innings Tuesday.
With the bases loaded and two outs, Aguilar hit a walk-off RBI into right field for the win. It was the first game of a six-game homestand for the Aeros, and they started it out in good fashion.
Aguilar’s heroic antics in the 12th was only one factor that led to the Aeros’ win; strong pitching throughout the entire game kept the Fisher Cats in check, and after one setback, the Aeros did not give up a single run after.
Manager Edwin Rodriguez believes that pitching was the key to keeping the team in the game for all 12 innings.
“This game was all about the pitching. Will Roberts did a great job and the bullpen was outstanding. They came out and kept us in the game.”
Solid pitching from both starters kept the hitting at bay until the fifth inning, when Adam Loewen of the Fisher Cats smacked a two-run home run off of Roberts for his sixth of the season.
The Aeros responded in the bottom of the fifth with a deep solo home run from Jake Lowery into right field. Lowery joined the Aeros on April 29 and this was his first home run at the Double=A level.
After loading the bases in the sixth inning, Jesus Aguilar (pinch running for Adam Abraham) scored on a wild pitch to tie the game at 2-2, but his highlight was to come later in the game.
However, he was thrown out as he slipped trying to run back to third when a hit by Lowery went up the third base line.
When the Aeros came up to bat in the bottom of the 12th inning, they were ready to win and came out swinging. Urshela hit a single, Lowery doubled off the right field wall, and Ramirez was intentionally walked to load the bases with no outs, and it looked as if it was going to come out an Akron victory.
However, both Ronny Rodriguez and Tyler Holt grounded out to first, but Holt nearly squeezed out a bunt to score Urshela, but it went foul. Aguilar was next to bat and hit a line drive into right field to end the game on a good note for the Aeros.
Edwin Rodriguez commented that his strategy with the bases loaded was to bunt Ursehla home.
“He (Holt) is right-handed and there was a left-handed pitcher. There was a 1-1 count and he was looking to throw strikes. Their manager (Gary Allenson) came out and told him (pitcher Randy Boone) what to do.”
Edwin Rodriguez also described what he told Holt before his at bat. “I told him (Holt) that he doesn’t want to be too perfect, just get the ball in play.”
Despite the close finish, it was a great performance all around for the Aeros’ pitching. Altogether, there were five pitchers who took the mound and gave up six hits in 12 innings, as well as an impressive 12 strikeouts and only four walks.
Roberts walked one batter and only walked five batters in his last six games. It was also the first time in his last four appearances in which he did not earn the win, and his first no decision as a starter with Akron.
Edwin Rodriguez sees Robert’s pitching shaping up to improve. “He is starting to command, he’s using his fastball earlier in the game, now his secondary pitches are working better, and now when he’s behind in the count he has the confidence to throw those secondary pitches for strikes. He’s pitching now, he’s not throwing, he’s pitching.”
Strong performances from Jordan Cooper, Austin Adams, Bryce Stowell, and Jose Flores was most important for keeping the game tied until the twelfth. Jose Flores recorded the win and is now 5-1 while Randy Boone, despite pitching three strong innings before the Aeros took advantage, was given the loss and is now 1-1 for the season.
Stroman on the other hand gave up one run and three hits while striking out three in five innings pitched.
A pair of Aeros hitters brought their streaks into Tuesday night’s game, but only one was salvaged.
With a double in the second inning, Roberto Perez has successfully reached base safely via a hit or walk in twenty-one straight games.
Jose Ramirez went 0-for-4 with two walks and scored the game-winning run, but his hitting streak of eight games was halted.
The Aeros committed zero errors in Tuesday night’s win. They have played eight straight games without committing an error. Also error-free for Akron is Tyler Holt, who has not given up a single error and is the top defensive outfielder in the Eastern League.
While on second base after hitting a single in the sixth inning, Adam Abraham was inexplicably taken off the field and was replaced by Jesus Aguilar at first base for the rest of the game. After the game, E. Rodriguez said that Abraham pulled a hamstring, and hopefully will be back for Wednesday night’s game.
“I’ll see how he comes in tomorrow,” Rodriguez said.
After coming in for Abraham in the sixth inning, Aguilar went 1-for-3 with the game-winning hit. He is currently tied for the lead in the Eastern League in RBI with 42.
Aguilar was determined to do his part for the Aeros after only coming in later in the game. “They needed me and I have to play hard every day,” Aguilar said.
The Aeros’ record now stands at 27-31 and are in fifth place in the Western Division. The Fisher Cats have dropped three straight and are now 28-31 for the season.
The Aeros are hoping to win the series Wednesday night as they continue their homestand against the Fisher Cats. Matt Packer looks to start a new winning streak for Akron as he faces off against Marcus Walden of New Hampshire.
The first pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.