Akron shuts out Richmond, 6-0
Three Akron pitchers combined on a three-hit shutout, and first baseman Jesus Aguilar homered, as the Aeros blanked Richmond, 6-0, Monday afternoon in the final game of the 2012 regular season.
With the win, the Aeros (82-59) capped a successful regular season in which they occupied first place in the division since April 27th, and never fell below second place at any point. The total of 82 wins this season is the sixth most in the 24-year history of the franchise.
The Aeros, winners of the EL Western Division, will begin playoff action at Bowie on Wednesday night at 7:05. The Baysox will host games one and two of the best-of-five series. The venue will shift to Canal Park on Friday at 7:05 p.m. for game three. Games four and five, if necessary will also be played at Canal Park. It is Akron's 13th playoff appearance since 1989.
On Monday, Brett Brach (5-7) tossed six shutout innings, giving up just two hits and one walk. He struck out two, while winning his second start in a row. Brach pitched his best baseball of the season in August and September. In his final six starts of the year, his ERA is 1.85.
Brach gave way to Hector Rondon, who tossed a pair of scoreless frames in the seventh and eighth. Righthander Jose Flores, just activated from the DL on Monday, worked a scoreless ninth to complete the whitewash.
Akron swept the rain-shortened series against the Squirrels (70-71). In each game, the Aeros starter threw six scoreless innings. Toru Murata and Danny Salazar preceded Brach's gem with superior efforts of their own on Friday and Saturday.
On Monday, the Aeros scored three runs in the first inning off Richmond starter Chris Heston (9-8). Jordan Henry led off with a double to left, extending his hitting streak to nine straight games. Henry moved to third on a base hit by Tyler Holt, and then scored on a wild pitch by Heston. Jesus Aguilar and Ryan Rohlinger followed with RBI singles to push the lead to 3-0.
Aguilar led off the Aeros sixth with a home run against reliever Mike Kickham. It was Aguilar's third of the season with Akron. He was 7-11 in the series against Richmond.
In the seventh, the Aeros put the game on ice with an RBI double by Davis Stoneburner, and an RBI single by Holt to make it 6-0.
The game was delayed 26 minutes at the start to due to rain. In the tradition of season finales, the game was played in a snappy two hours, 10 minutes.
Playoff tickets are currently on sale at the Canal Park box office, by phone at (330) 253-5151, or online at www.akronaeros.com.
The Aeros will embark on post-season play on Wednesday evening at 7:05, at Bowie in the opening game of the best-of-five division series. RHP Carlos Carrasco (NR) will make a one-inning rehab start for the Aeros, while RHP Dylan Bundy (2-0, 3.24) will get the ball for the Baysox. All Aeros games are broadcast on Fox Sports 1350 and online at www.sportsradio1350.com. For more information, please call the Aeros at 330-253-5151.