Akron pitching dominates again in 2-1 win over B-Mets
A day following an opening day shutout, T.J. McFarland pitched five innings of one run ball to beat the Binghamton Mets 2-1.
McFarland, who went 9-9 with a 3.87 ERA with Akron in 2011, tossed three shutout innings before allowing a run in the fourth. It would be the only offense provided by the Mets. McFarland worked around a double by Pedro Zapata in the fifth inning before handing the game to the bullpen.
Binghamton starter Zach Wheeler, regarded as the top prospect in the New York Mets system by Baseball America, struggled through three innings in his first AA start. After striking out Tim Fedroff to begin the game, he walked two batters before escaping the first by way of a double play.
After striking out two more Aeros in a scoreless second, Wheeler ran into trouble in the third inning. Aeros catcher Michel Hernandez lined a single up the middle and Fedroff reached on an infield single. With runners on first and second, Juan Diaz hit a double down the left-field line scoring Hernandez and Fedroff. In all, Wheeler allowed two runs on four hits and three walks.
The Mets bullpen kept the game close as Edgar Ramirez, Elvin Ramirez, Brad Holt, and Josh Edgin combined to throw six shutout innings. They allowed just one hit and struck out eight.
The Aeros lineup struggled to make contact against Wheeler and the Binghamton bullpen, striking out 12 times. After going 3-5 in the opener, Fedroff turned in a performance to forget, going 1-5 with four strikeouts. Left fielder Nick Weglarz also struggled at the plate, striking out three times before Ben Copeland took over in the outfield as a defensive substitution in the eighth.
After throwing seven scoreless innings in relief of injured starter Paolo Espino during the opener, the Aeros bullpen kept Binghamton quiet again. Three relievers combined to toss four scoreless frames.
Bryan Price, part of the 2009 Victor Martinez trade, pitched two innings, allowing one hit and striking out two. Bryce Stowell looked dominant in the eighth inning, striking out two of the three batters he faced.
Preston Guilment, making his AA debut, retired the side in order for his first save of the season. Last year, Guilment led the Carolina League in saves (35), appearances (52), and walks per nine innings (1.54).
The Akron Aeros will wrap up their first series of season on Saturday when Aeros knuckleballer Steven Wright goes against Binghamton left-hander Darin Gorski at 1:05 p.m.\
Nathan Kemp graduated from The University of Akron in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in English. He plans to pursue a graduate degree through NEOMFA in the fall. Follow him on Twitter @NathanCKemp.