Bowie, MD -- After the Akron Aeros got on the board early in the first inning, the Bowie Baysox scored seven unanswered runs to defeat the Aeros, 7-1, in the opener of a three-game series at Prince George’s Stadium.
Akron (50-38) continued its struggles just games before the Eastern League All-Star break. The Aeros have now dropped nine of their last 12 games and have just a 2.5 game lead in the EL Western Division. Harrisburg pushed their winning streak to seven games to pick up a game on Akron.
Akron knuckleballer Steven Wright (6-6, 2.62) was damaged by his featured pitch, as he surrendered five earned runs on four hits and seven walks. He also allowed a home run to right fielder Nick Markakis, who went 2-for-3 with two dingers in his first game back from wrist surgery.
Wright has now thrown three straight poor games, allowing five runs in each. He has allowed a home run in four straight starts.
Wright exited after four and two-thirds innings, but reliever Tyler Sturdevant also surrendered a homer to Markakis. In all, Sturdevant gave up two runs on three hits. Toru Murata came on after Sturdevant and pitched one and two-thirds innings of scoreless relief, allowing two hits while striking out two.
Bowie won via the big inning, scoring multiple runs in the third, fifth and seventh innings.
The Aeros out-hit the Baysox 13-to-9, but were unable to push base runners across home plate, as they left 12 runners on base. Bowie starter Eddie Gamboa (3-1, 2.16) allowed 11 hits but surrendered just the one run in five innings.
Michael Belfiore, Robert Hinton and Clay Schrader relieved Gamboa and worked four shutout innings. The relievers allowed just two hits combined.
The top of the Akron lineup all recorded multi-hit nights as center fielder Tyler Holt, second baseman Matt Lawson and first baseman Chun Chen all raised their averages to .308, .329 and .317 respectively. Shortstop Juan Diaz and right fielder Jordan Henry also had multi-hit games to contribute to the double-digit hit total, but the only RBI came off the bat of the left fielder Nick Weglarz, who grounded out with the bases loaded in the first.
Akron will continue its three-game series at Bowie on Sunday at 6:05 p.m. Right-hander Brett Brach (3-4, 4.42) will start for the Aeros against Baysox righty Tim Bascom (4-5, 4.17).
Notes: Matt Lawson has 13 hits in his last six games. … Every Akron batter had a strikeout except Jordan Hendry. … Announced attendance: 2,801.
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.