Akron offense powers Aeros past Rock Cats 7-3
Monsalve's home run leads onslaught
AKRON – The Akron Aeros smacked the New Britain Rock Cats for 15 hits on Wednesday evening, resulting in a 7-3 win.
Josh Tomlin received the start in his first rehab appearance for the Aeros. Tomlin tossed two innings of scoreless ball, allowing one hit as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery. Tomlin also tossed a pair of innings during two rehab appearances with the Low-A Lake County Captains this past week.
Tomlin was replaced with Brett Brach (7-8, 5.35) to start the third inning but the Aeros scored first off of New Britain starter DJ Baxendale (4-5, 5.67) in the inning. With two out, first baseman Jesus Aguilar doubled home second baseman Ronny Rodriguez, who reached base on a force play and advanced to second on a pickoff attempt.
The Aeros scored two more in the fourth inning as center fielder Tyler Holt drew a leadoff walk and stole second, advancing to third on a throwing error. Holt scored on a sacrifice fly by third baseman Giovanny Urshela before catcher Alex Monsalve hit his first home run of the season with a shot to left, giving the Aeros the 3-0 lead.
The Rock Cats responded in the following inning with a home run of their own as first baseman Reynaldo Rodriguez walked and scored on right fielder Jordan Parraz's 10th home run of the season. With two out, shortstop Danny Santana tripled and scored on a single by second baseman Eddie Rosario to level the score at 3-3.
Akron immediately seized the lead again in their share of the fifth. Ronny Rodriguez led off with a single to right and scored as right fielder Carlos Moncrief tripled to right for the 4-3 advantage.
The newest Aero, Kyle Crockett, replaced Brach to start the seventh inning, sealing Brach's line at four innings of work in which he allowed three runs on four hits, two walks and two strikeouts. Crockett tossed a scoreless seventh before Baxendale was also removed and replaced with Rock Cats' reliever Matt Hauser.
The Aeros jumped on Hauser as they took advantage of a one-out hit batter. Aguilar followed with a single to push left fielder Cedric Hunter to third, and Hunter scored on a sacrifice fly by Moncrief. Holt continued the offense with a single that advanced Aguilar to third and designated hitter Adam Abraham lived up to his job description as he sent a double to center to empty the bases and give the Aeros the 7-3 lead.
That was all the Akron relievers needed to maintain the win. Enosil Tejeda tossed a scoreless eighth inning before giving way to closer Jose Flores, who retired the side in order to shut down the ninth and preserve the win.
Wednesday's win advances the Aeros to a 56-60 overall record while the Rock Cats presently sit at 55-61. Monsalve had a season-high three hits on the night and shortstop Jose Ramirez had two hits as he gave Francisco Lindor a night off.
Next, the Aeros turn to Will Roberts (7-8, 4.25) to counter Rock Cats' righty Kyle Davies (2-0, 4.67). Roberts received the loss in his last outing, in which he surrendered a trio of runs through 6.1 innings to the Altoona Curve.
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.