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Battery Mates Rondon, Santana Lead Aeros

April 8, 2009
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AKRON, OH – Starter Hector Rondon carried a shutout into the sixth and catcher Carlos Santana belted a home run and drove in four as Akron strolled to a 9-5 win over Bowie before 6,615 fans at Canal Park on Opening Night Wednesday. The Aeros improved to 12-9 all-time in season openers with the win.

Rondon struck out a pair in a scoreless top of the first, and the offense gave him an immediate cushion in the bottom of the frame. Jose Constanza and Carlos Rivero both worked leadoff walks from Baysox starter Jason Berken, and after Beau Mills popped up Santana crushed a 1-0 fastball off the batter’s eye just to the right of dead center for a quick 3-0 Aeros advantage.

It would remain that way until the bottom of the fourth, when more walks hurt the Baysox as Akron exploded for six runs in the frame. An innocent infield single from Niuman Romero started the rally off reliever Ryan Rodriguez, and walks to John Drennen and Josh Rodriguez (the eight and nine hitters) loaded the bases. Constanza stayed on a slider long enough to dump it the opposite way into left field for an RBI single, and Rivero followed with a two-run single up the middle and then alertly took second on the throw to extend the lead to 6-0. Mills then drove the next pitch back into center to plate Constanza, and a sacrifice fly from Santana pushed it to an 8-0 contest. The Aeros capped the inning with a walk and a pair of singles, the last of which was delivered by Jared Goedert and made it 9-0.

The Baysox got on the board in the sixth on Brandon Snyder’s RBI single and added another run in the seventh before making things interesting in the eighth. Snyder delivered his second RBI hit of the night to make it 9-3 and Dave Krynzel followed with a two-run triple later in the frame to make it 9-5 and bring the potential tying run to the on-deck circle. Randy Newsom ensured that the tying run would never make it to the plate however, retiring the final four batters of the game in order to seal the victory.

Rondon (1-0) was impressive in his Double-A debut, limiting Bowie to a run on five hits over 5.2 innings. He walked one and struck out six, with all of his punch-outs coming in the span of the first 13 hitters. Berken (0-1) struggled with his command all night, walking four batters in his three innings. He allowed three runs on two hits, and struck out three. Newsom notched his first save of the year and 48th of his Akron career, extending his franchise record. Santana finished 2-4 with a homer and four RBI, while Constanza, Goedert and Romero all had two hits also. Aeros hitters combined to draw nine walks on the night, with five of those runners coming home to score.

Game two in this opening four-game series is set for 7:05 p.m. Thursday, with the Aeros sending Frank Herrmann (11-6, 4.10 ERA for Akron in 2008) to the hill against Bowie’s Jake Arrieta (6-5, 2.87 ERA for Class A Frederick in 2008).

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