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Aeros sweep Fisher Cats with 7-2 win

Akron overcomes bad weather, Fisher Cats for win

Aeros sweep Fisher Cats with 7-2 win
Toru Murata (Photo: Lianna Holub)
June 6, 2013
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AKRON- On a cloudy, dreary night in Akron, and after a thirty-minute rain delay, the Aeros took on the Fisher Cats, getting the brooms out to sweep New Hampshire out of town with a 7-2 win.

Aeros starter Toru Murata got into trouble right away when Fisher Cats second baseman Ryan Schimpf lined a single to right field with one out in the inning. Shortstop Kevin Nolan took no time at all to put the Fisher Cats on the board, drilling the second Murata offering he saw deep into the Aeros bullpen in right field. Down 2-0, Murata settled in and got the next two hitters to end the inning.

Throwing three straight balls to start the game, Fisher Cats starter Deck McGuire walked leadoff man Jose Ramirez to start the night for the Aeros. McGuire faced off against shortstop Ronny Rodriguez and took a ball right off his butt, but was able to recover and throw the speedy Rodriguez out at first. Ramirez moved to second on the play, giving the Aeros a man in scoring position with just one out. Center fielder Tyler Holt couldn’t deliver, as he struck out looking, but first baseman Jesus Aguilar saved the day. Down in the count 0-2, Aguilar fought his way back and roped a liner over the head of Nolan at short, bringing in Ramirez and cutting the New Hampshire lead to 2-1.

Murata breezed through the second, giving the Aeros another opportunity to score in the bottom of the second. For the second inning in a row, McGuire walked the leadoff batter, this time left fielder Quincy Latimore. The result of the inning was much different the second time around. After striking out catcher Jake Lowery, McGuire got out of the inning thanks to a failed hit and run and subsequent strikeout by third baseman Giovanny Urshela, which allowed Fisher Cats catcher Jack Murphy to throw out Latimore at second with ease.

Next two innings could be categorized in two words: pitching dominance. Both McGuire and Murata were able to retire the next six batters they faced, in order.

In the top of the fifth, that string of dominance almost came to a crashing halt. Right fielder Brad Glenn started off the inning with a smash to deep right that got past Moncrief. Glenn made his way to second base, but, as Moncrief bobbled the ball, he tried to motor his way to third. Moncrief, with his monster arm, was able to fire a rifle to the cut-off man, Ramirez, who threw a bullet of his own to Urshela, who tagged Glenn before he reached the bag.

As the Akron roared, Fisher Cats DH Jon Talley smacked a single in the very next at bat and Murata owed his defense a big “thank you” for saving him a run. Murphy came up next and hit a moonshot to deep right field that looked as if it was on its way out of the stadium. It may have the cloudy night or humid conditions, but the ball slowly made its way back into the field of play and Moncrief caught it on the warning track. Murata owed another huge “thank you,” this time to the Mother Nature. Finally, after some unbelievable luck, Murata struck out third baseman Tommy Manzella to get out of the inning unscathed.

McGuire continued his dominance into the fifth inning. Giovanny Urshela ended his streak of 10-straight batters retired with a double but he struck out designated hitter Justin Toole to end the inning with minimal damage.

Murata required no luck in the sixth, as he got a strikeout and two groundouts to fly through the inning, but McGuire’s sixth got off to a shaky start. Ramirez hit a ball that scraped the third-base line for a double in the first at-bat of the sixth, but McGuire battled back, just as he had all night long. Rodriguez grounded out, moving Ramirez to third and Holt struck out for the third time on the evening to give McGuire two outs in the inning. Unfortunately for him, the next batter was his personal kryptonite: Jesus Aguilar. After getting ahead of Aguilar in the count, McGuire fell to 3-2 against Aguilar and the big first baseman made him pay, drilling a single up the middle. Ramirez scored and tied the game at 2-2. That was it for McGuire who was replaced by left-hander Evan Crawford.

Overall, it was a great outing from Deck McGuire. In 5.2 innings of work, McGuire allowed only three runs on four hits, while walking two and striking out nine.

McGuire’s replacement, Crawford, wasn’t nearly as successful. After allowing a single on a beautiful piece of hitting from Moncrief, Latimore gave the Aeros the lead. Hitting a ball on-the-nose to the gap in right center, Latimore doubled, bringing in Moncrief and Aguilar, to give Akron a 4-2 lead. The big inning continued when Lowery dribbled a single through the hole between shortstop and third, scoring Latimore and extending the Aeros lead to 5-2. A coaching visit to the mound looked to change things for New Hampshire, but it was unsuccessful. Urshela smacked the next Crawford offering into right field for the fifth consecutive hit of the inning. Lowery scored on the play and the Aeros took a 6-2 lead they did not relinquish.

Murata finished the seventh with ease and his night was over. In seven innings of work, Murata allowed only two runs, both in the first inning, on five hits and one walk. He struck out six with his beautiful off-speed pitches.

Crawford, on the other hand, continued his struggles in the bottom of the seventh.

Jose Ramirez got his third leadoff hit of the game, this time a single, to start things off for the Aeros. After Rodriguez flew out, Holt ended his strikeout slide, hitting a single and moving Ramirez to third. Aguilar continued his RBI-filled night by reaching safely on a fielder’s choice by Schimpf. Ramirez scored on the play, giving Aguilar his third RBI of the game and extending the Akron lead to 7-2. It turns out that Aguilar’s goal was RBI.

“When Ramirez got on base, I tried to drive him in. I’m the clean-up guy, that’s my job, that’s what they pay me for,” Aguilar said. “I want to get RBI’s.”

After Aguilar's fielder’s choice, Moncrief continued the hit parade with a single of his own, but Latimore ended the inning with a pop out to right field.

Crawford’s night was done, but not after he essentially ended the game for the Fisher Cats. In 1.1 innings, Crawford allowed four runs on six hits without a strikeout or walk.

Right-hander Trey Haley came on for the first time since May 19 in the top of the eighth and pitched a scoreless inning for the Aeros, despite allowing two hits.

Fisher Cats left-handed reliever Chorye Spoone pitched a perfect eighth, making way for Aeros reliever Austin Adams to close it out in the top of the ninth.

Adams did just that and secured the sweep of the Fisher Cats, 7-2.

The Aeros move to 29-31, while the Fisher Cats fall to a close 28-33.

Aeros manager Edwin Rodriguez said he was very pleased with the pitching as of late. “The hitters have been finding ways to put runs on the board,” he said. “It’s on the pitching, and these guys have been pitching well.”

Tomorrow night, Akron takes on the Portland Sea Dogs in the first game of a weekend three-game set. Sea Dogs starter Charlie Haeger (2-2, 3.79) is set to take on Brett Brach (2-2, 4.67) of the Aeros.

First pitch is from Canal Park is set for 7:05 p.m.

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