Chen plays hero, Aeros win 7th straight
AKRON - The Eastern League leading Akron Aeros extended their winning streak to seven games with a 6-5 victory over the Binghamton Mets on Tuesday night.
Akron starting pitcher lefty T.J. House made his first appearance as an Aero. He had a rocky start hitting the first batter of the game and allowing the Mets to quickly jump out front putting two runs on the board in the first and second innings.
But House made adjustments and soon recovered and has a stretch where he sent down nine consecutive batters before being taken out of the game.
"I just stayed back and decided I've been doing this for years and I shouldn't go out there and fret over something,” House said of his adjustments. “It's just a new baseball stadium, but it's the same players out there. It's 90 feet to first, 90 feet to second and 60 feet to home from the mound, so I just realized to stay within myself and keep doing what I've been doing."
The newcomer faced 25 batters and struck out four and walked only one. House was credited with allowing four runs (three earned) and now has an ERA of 4.50.
"He did a nice job," Manager Chris Tremie said about House. “Especially after the first and second inning, he really started commanding his fastball better and started throwing his slider down and in. He threw a few good change-ups and he really did a nice job for his first outing in Double-A.”
In the bottom of the fourth inning the Aeros countered the Mets 2-0 lead.
Jared Goedert got the bats going on a line drive single to Mets’ center fielder Matt Den Dekker. Nick Weglarz followed up with another single up the middle. Ryan Rohlinger grounded out on a force out that advanced Goedert to third. A wild pitch by Binghamton starter Greg Peavey got the first Akron run on the board with Goedert reaching the plate. Ben Copeland kept it going by smashing a line drive double to the right side scoring Rohlinger tying up the score 2-2.
Both teams would go scoreless in the fifth and the sixth innings. Binghamton returned strong in the top of the seventh to put three additional runs on the board to stretch to a short lead of 5-2.
Binghamton brought in reliever Kevin Mulvey to replace starter Greg Peavey in the bottom of the seventh. Rohlinger jumped right on the pitching change hitting a solo home run reducing the Mets’ lead to 5-3. Bellows followed up with a trip down the first base line with a walk. Chun Chun pinch hit for catcher Roberto Perez and hit a line drive double to the right side that scored Bellows.
With the Aeros down 5-4 going into the bottom of the ninth, Chen showed up again with a deep single to second base. Fedroff drew a walk and then Diaz hit a solid line drive up the middle earning the RBI to score Chen tying up the score 5-5 to send the game into extra innings.
Akron started the bottom of the tenth off with a walk by Rohlinger and then Bellows singled on a ground ball to center field. It would be Chen, who went 3-for-3 after being substituted in the seventh inning, which would drive in the winning run with a hard line drive to the right side to finish off the Mets off 6-5.
Akron will face the B-Mets again Wednesday with Giovanni Soto taking the mound at 7:05 at Canal Park.