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Diaz, Espino lead Aeros to 9-2 win in Erie

Diaz, Espino lead Aeros to 9-2 win in Erie
July 5, 2012
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Erie, PA – The Akron Aeros have enjoyed prolific offensive outbursts this season, and they have benefited often from terrific pitching performances.  The two haven’t always occurred on the same night, however.

That changed Wednesday night in Erie, as the Aeros snapped a three-game losing streak with a 9-2 victory over the SeaWolves at Jerry Uht Park.

It was the 50th win for the Aeros (50-35), who began a three-game series with the SeaWolves and a six-game road trip on a winning note.

Righthander Paolo Espino and righty reliever Tyler Sturdevant combined to throw a four-hitter against the SeaWolves (40-43).  Espino (3-2) worked seven string innings and held the Wolves to two runs on three hits.  He walked three and struck out five.  It was his longest outing of the season.

Just last Friday, Espino faced the SeaWolves at home and gave up three first-inning runs and was out of the game by the fifth inning.  On Wednesday, Espino did give up single runs in the first and second, but settled in afterward and enjoyed one of his best outings of the season.

The Aeros jumped on Erie starter Cesar Carillo (0-1) for five runs in the first inning, highlighted by a three-run triple by Juan Diaz.  It was Diaz’s first triple of the season, and started a two-hit, four-RBI night for the Aeros shortstop.

The Aeros added two more runs in the second to take a 7-1 lead.  Jeremie Tice and Diaz each clubbed RBI singles.

Akron rightfielder Thomas Neal, who was named both the EL and Indians Minor League Player of the Week for the week of June 24th, had three hits on the night to raise his batting average to .309.  He smashed an RBI double in the third innings to make it 8-2, after three innings.

The Aeros banged out 12 hits on the night.

The Aeros and SeaWolves will meet in game two of the series on Thursday evening at 7:05.  LHP T.J. House (5-2, 3.92) will start for the Aeros, and all-star RHP James Avery (9-6, 4.29) will pitch for Erie.

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