Aeros Win Series Opener
Akron, OH - The Akron Aeros used a four-run first inning to jumpstart their offense Thursday night at Canal Park. The Aeros added runs in the second, third, and fourth innings to add to their lead. T.J. McFarland (6-1) pitched seven shutout innings to stymie the Harrisburg attack, and record his Eastern League leading sixth win.
The victory came on the heels of a loss Wednesday, a rarity for first place Akron (22-9). With the win, the Aeros have won five of their last six, and remain in first place in the Western Division of the EL. Harrisburg (17-16) lost, yet they remain in second place in the division, 6 games behind Akron.
The Aeros scored their first run on an RBI single by Jared Goedert in the first inning. Chun Chen immediately followed with a single of his own that netted two runs courtesy of a fielding error by Harrisburg right fielder Destin Hood. Chen went 3-4 on the night to raise his season average to .298.
Shortstop Juan Diaz went 3-5 for the Aeros, crushing a solo home run to center field in the second inning. Diaz also scored a run in the first inning, and added an RBI single in the fourth inning. Left fielder Nick Weglarz contributed two RBI groundouts in the first and third innings for a very productive 0-4 night.
The loss was charged to Harrisburg starter Jeff Mandel (3-2). Mandel was roughed up for six total runs allowed and five earned.
Jeff Kobernus and Destin Hood recorded two hits apiece for Harrisburg. The Senators mustered five hits and ten total baserunners, but were unable to capitalize and turn those baserunners into runs.
McFarland started for the Aeros and worked 7 innings, scattering five hits and hitting one batter. He did not walk a batter and struck out four. Through his first seven starts, McFarland sports a sparkling 2.18 ERA.
Bryan Price came on in relief of McFarland and pitched two scoreless innings. Price allowed two baserunners in the ninth inning, but was able to settle down and shut down the Senators to lower his season ERA to 2.84.
The Aeros will face the Senators again in the second game of their four-game series on Friday at 7:05. Friday is Back to the Future Fireworks at Canal Park. Back to the Future Fireworks features our standard spectacular fireworks show set to the music of the 1985 science-fiction adventure classic "Back to the Future". Akron RHP Steven Wright (3-1, 1.13) will bring his knuckleball to the mound to face Harrisburg and LHP Danny Rosenbaum (4-0, 0.81). All Aeros games are broadcast on Fox Sports 1350 AM and online at www.akronaeros.com. For more information, please call the Aeros at 330-253-5151.
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