Akron records just 3 hits, loses 6-1
Akron, OH — Trenton scored six runs while limiting Akron to just three hits, beating the Aeros, 6-1, Friday night at Canal Park.
Trenton has taken the first two of the four games series between the Eastern League division leaders. While Akron (76-55) lost, second-place Bowie took advantage for the second consecutive night, beating Harrisburg 6-3. With 11 games remaining in the regular season, the Aeros now hold a 5.5 game lead in the EL Western Division.
Aeros starter Paolo Espino (7-3, 3.22) took the loss, throwing five and two-thirds innings. He allowed four runs on six hits and two walks while posting five strikeouts.
After giving up solo runs in the second and fourth innings, Espino ran into trouble in the sixth. After striking out the first two hitters, he walked the next two before surrendering a two-RBI triple to Luke Murton, who had three hits on the night. Following the triple, Espino was pulled from the game.
“I don’t think [Espino] was getting fatigued,” said Akron Aeros manager Chris Tremie. “Some pitches to the first hitter were pretty close, but he ended up getting on and then I think he lost focus with the next hitter, walked him on four straight pitches. He made two pretty good pitches to Murton and left a pitch up a little bit.”
Kyle Landis followed Espino, giving up two runs in two and one-third innings. Rob Bryson pitched a scoreless ninth and struck out two.
Trenton starter Mikey O’Brien (5-6, 4,30) pitched six and two-thirds innings of one-hit baseball for the Thunder to earn the win. He walked three and struck out five, while breaking a streak of five straight losses.
“He threw the ball well,” said Tremie. “He had a good fastball and he located it down and away. We had a hard time making any adjustments to it.”
Graham Stoneburner, the younger brother of Akron infielder Davis Stoneburner, followed O’Brien with two and one-third innings of relief, allowing one run on two hits.
In the eighth, Tremie pinch hit Davis Stoneburner for second baseman Matt Lawson, so he could hit against his brother. It was the first time they had faced each other in professional baseball.
“There aren’t too many opportunities in this game to have a situation like that,” said Tremie. “He may or may not get a chance to face him again in the future, so I just thought it’d be neat to give him an at-bat off his brother. I’m sure they probably enjoyed it.”
Stoneburner eventually grounded out on a close play at first base.
“In my opinion, I thought it was a hit,” said Tremie. “It was a pretty good matchup.”
Right fielder Thomas Neal had two hits, including a double in the fourth to break up O’Brien’s perfect game. First baseman Jesus Aguilar had the other Aeros hit, a solo homer to left-center, in the ninth.
“He had some really good at-bats tonight and hit four balls hard,” said Tremie. “He got one hit out of it. If he can stay comfortable and have the same type of at-bats over the course of the season and the rest of his career, he’s going to be a pretty good hitter.”
The Aeros and Thunder will continue the series on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. Lefty Shaeffer Hall (9-6, 3.46) will start for Trenton against Akron left-hander T.J. House (7-4, 3.72).
Notes: Adam Abraham had two walks in his first game back from the disabled list. … Jesus Aguilar has eight RBIs in 10 games with Akron. … Announced attendance: 5,867.
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.