Aeros grounded by Thunder, 3-2
TRENTON, NJ – The Trenton Thunder snapped the Akron Aeros’ four-game win streak with a 3-2 win at Waterfront Park on Tuesday.
Right-hander Paulo Espino got the start for Akron against Trenton’s Vidal Nuno, who was making his debut with the Thunder.
The Thunder struck first as centerfielder Abraham Almonte laced a lead-off single to center and advanced to second on a wild pitch. After second baseman Corban Joseph drew a walk, Almonte moved to third on a fly ball and scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of left fielder Cody Johnson.
As Nuno dominated the Akron line-up, the Thunder scored again in the fourth. Designated hitter David Adams led off with a walk and Johnson singled to right. First baseman Luke Murton doubled to plate Adams and third baseman Kevin Mahoney sent a sacrifice fly to right to score Murton, boosting Trenton’s lead to 3-0.
Nuno was pulled in the fourth inning after a solid showing as he allowed two hits, four walks and no runs to the Aeros while striking out two. Nuno was replaced with Francisco Rondon, who tossed a scoreless fifth for the Thunder.
Espino made it through five innings before he was replaced with Bryce Stowell in the sixth. Espino’s night posted a line of three runs allowed on four hits and two walks with three strikeouts.
The Aeros finally found some offense as they scored in the seventh. With two out, centerfielder Tim Fedroff and second baseman Ryan Rohlinger drew consecutive walks. Fedroff went on to score the inning’s only run on a single to right by first baseman Adam Abraham.
Jose De La Torre came on to pitch the seventh and eighth for the Aeros, yielding three hits while striking out one.
Akron scored again in the eighth inning off of Trenton lefty Lee Hyde. After back-to-back strikeouts, right fielder Thomas Neal doubled and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Cue third baseman Kyle Bellows, who continued to swing a hot bat as he singled to score Neal, bringing the Aeros within one run.
However, one run was enough for Trenton right-hander Ryan Flannery, who entered the game with one out in the ninth to shut the door on the Aeros, sealing the Thunder’s 3-2 win.
Situational scoring seemed to be the Aeros’ issue as the team hit just 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left 10 men on base.
Next, the two teams continue their four-game series with game three on Wednesday. Lefty T.J. House (2-1, 4.76) will start for Akron against Trenton’s Mikey O’Brien (1-2, 1.29). House is coming off a solid start against Richmond, during which he went six innings and surrendered just one run on two hits.
Stephanie is a crime and general assignment reporter for The Morning Journal in Lorain, Ohio. She’s an alumna of Cleveland State University with a degree in Journalism and Promotional Communication. You can follow her on Twitter @7thInningSteph.