Akron hold on for 2-1 win
“Bryan came in and really did a good job commanding his fastball," said Aeros Manager Chris Tremie. “He kept the ball down in the zone for an outstanding two and a third innings.”
Price came into the game in the top of the sixth inning to relieve starter Giovanni Soto.
The right-hander, who has an ERA of 1.42, faced nine batters and only walked one. He struck out five batters, all swinging.
“I was mixing in the fastball, but I was striking out [people out] with my split," Price said. "It’s a new pitch for me. I starting throwing it effectively really towards the end of last year and I’ve really used it a lot this year.”
Center fielder Tim Fedroff led the bottom of the first inning off with a double to left center, but after rounding third too far he was picked off as he turned to head back to second. The pickoff squashed an early attempt to put a run on the board for the Aeros.
In the bottom of the fifth inning the Aeros broke through for their first run. With two outs third basemen Kyle Bellows battled and drew a walk. Catcher Roberto Perez stepped up to the plate and tripled over the head of Altoona right fielder Adalberto Santos’ head to get Bellows across the plate and give the Aeros a 1-0 lead.
The Curve quickly countered in the top of the sixth as center fielder Robbie Grossman started off the inning with a single off Soto to left field. With two outs Soto was pulled and Price was summoned from the bullpen, but the first batter he faced, Santos, followed with a single scoring Grossman to make the score 1-1.
Soto, now with an ERA of 4.05, faced 20 batters and pitched 5.2 innings and allowed one run on five hits, no walks and had four strikeouts.
Adam Abraham, who went 2-for-4 on the night, doubled to left center in the seventh inning. Thomas Neal hit a perfect shot over first base just inside of foul line for a double and earned what would be the game-winning RBI.
“The guys played a good solid baseball game today,” said Tremie. "We had really good pitching out of our relievers and starter, we played solid defense and we got big hits when we really needed them. I think we just need to go in and play the same kind of game tomorrow."
The Aeros take on the Curve in the second game of the series Saturday with left-hander Eric Berger going for his first win of the season.