AKRON – The Akron Aeros fell to the Harrisburg Senators 8-4 on Sunday afternoon after falling behind early in the first inning.
Left-hander T.J. House (1-0, 2.25) took the bump for Akron against Harrisburg’s Mike Ballard (1-2, 2.67).
The Aeros were 2-0 in House’s two starts prior to Sunday’s game. House’s start was rough this time around as he surrendered four runs in the first.
Senators’ centerfielder Eury Perez sent the first pitch he saw to center for a lead-off double and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt on behalf of second baseman Jeff Kobernus. Left fielder Chris Rahl and right fielder Destin Hood strung together a pair of singles and catcher Devin Ivany doubled center to plate Hood. Designated hitter Sean Nicol capped off the offensive output with another double to center to score Ivany, giving the Senators a 4-0 lead.
Harrisburg plated two more in the third as Rahl led off with a walk and stole second. With one out, Hood singled to left to score Rahl. Ivany continued his good day at the plate with another double to bring home Hood, boosting the Harrisburg lead to 6-0.
The Aeros responded in their half of the third when centerfielder Tim Fedroff hit a one-out double to left and shortstop Ryan Rohlinger drew a walk. Cue left fielder Jared Goedert, who sent a monster shot over the batter’s eye in centerfield for his third home run of the season, cutting Harrisburg’s lead in half. First baseman Chun Chen kept the inning going as he doubled deep to right and designated hitter Adam Abraham brought him home on a single to center.
House was replaced with Loek Van Mil, the 7’1” right-hander the team received in a trade for considerations a week ago. House’s line concluded with five innings pitched, yielding seven hits, six runs and two walks while striking out seven.
The Senators tacked on another run against Van Mil in the seventh inning as the top of their line-up strung together a trio of singles.
Rob Bryson replaced Van Mil in the eighth inning, ending Van Mil’s third appearance as an Aero with two innings pitched, relinquishing four hits and one run while striking out two.
Bryson retired the side in the eighth but allowed the Senators an insurance run in the ninth as he walked Perez, who went on to swipe second. Rahl singled for his third hit of the afternoon to score Perez, adding to the Senators lead to make the score 8-4.
That was more than enough for Patrick McCoy, who entered to pitch for Harrisburg back in the seventh, as he tossed a scoreless bottom of the ninth to seal the Senators’ win at 8-4.
House, who now posts a 4.76 ERA after Sunday’s start, struggled early, but Aeros’ manager Chris Tremie noted that House settled in to make it through five innings.
“He had a little trouble in the first, kind of had the ball up a little in the zone, but also there were a couple of cheap hits and infield hits too that just kind of compounded the others hits he gave up,” Tremie said. “He had a rough start to the outing, but he settled down a little bit and ended up going five innings and threw the ball pretty well after the second.”
Goedert, whose third-inning home run was his second of the season, is now hitting .372 on the season.
Tremie said that Goedert’s home run was the first he has seen over the left side of the centerfield backdrop. “He [Goedert] has solid at-bats every day, and not just one a day. He usually has three or four and the results are there,” Tremie said. “He continues to do exactly what he’s doing, his focus is very good right now and he’s put himself in a good position.”
Next, the Aeros will head to Erie for a three-game series with the SeaWolves. Lefty Giovanni Soto (3-1, 3.94) is scheduled to start Monday’s game against lefty Ramon Garcia (1-2, 7.31).
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.