Eight-run ninth leads Baysox past Aeros 8-1
Akron loses third straight as Landis falls apart late
AKRON, OH -- For eight innings, the Akron Aeros got the elite pitching they had been missing so far in their series against the Bowie Baysox.
Unfortunately for the Aeros, they needed one more inning.
The Aeros (5-11) lost their third straight game to the Baysox (10-7) Saturday at Canal Park, losing 8-1 as they blew the game in the top of the ninth.
Right-hander Kyle Landis allowed seven of eight batters to reach in the ninth -- aided by an error by third baseman Giovanny Urshela -- as the game really got out of hand. Landis was charged with seven runs (six earned) on five hits, two walks, and one strikeout in 1.1 innings.
The right-hander was pulled from the game with a side injury, but manager Edwin Rodriguez does not think that contributed to his issues.
"Yeah, he's okay," Rodriguez said when asked about Landis' injury. "I don't think it had [an effect]. When he went out, he was fine."
All told, the Baysox scored eight runs on five hits, two walks, two errors, two wild pitches, and a passed ball as they put the game away. Once things started going poorly in the ninth, the Aeros completely fell apart both on the mound and on the field.
"We talk about that," Rodriguez said of keeping things together in that situation. "When the pitcher's struggling, the more you have to pick the pitcher up, and when the defense is struggling, the pitcher has to pick the defense up... Hopefully [today] will be a learning experience for them."
Landis' meltdown wasted a great day from starting pitcher Danny Salazar. Salazar was in control from the get-go Saturday, striking out nine batters while only allowing two hits and one walk in five shutout innings. The right-hander showed the easy, consistent velocity and control that make him one of Cleveland's top prospects as he mowed down Bowie hitters.
More importantly for Salazar, he got his breaking pitches going Saturday.
"The first game here, it was working," Salazar said about his breaking pitches. "In the last two games, I was trying to overthrow sometimes. But today, I remembered early in the season ... and I was just staying back and throwing the pitches."
"The difference tonight is that his secondary pitches were working," Rodriguez said. "Now his fastball looks much better. Before he was struggling to throw that breaking ball for strikes...Pitchers like that, when they have their secondary pitch working, now their fastball, instead of 95 MPH, looks like 100."
Right-hander Trey Haley relieved Salazar, throwing two scoreless innings with a walk and a strikeout. Haley's outing could have been much worse, though, as he got plenty of help from the defense to keep his line in control.
With one out in the sixth inning and left fielder Buck Britton on first base, Bowie first baseman Aaron Baker launched a deep fly ball to the warning track in center. Britton took off assuming it would fall in, but Akron center fielder Tyler Holt sprinted back to pull it down, allowing him to double off Britton.
Then in the seventh, Haley allowed a walk and a single to open the inning, putting Bowie in position to take the lead. A fielder's choice on a sacrifice bunt attempt eliminated the lead runner, then a double play started by a beautiful play at third base from a charging Urshela got Haley out of the inning unscathed.
Still, it was Haley's first outing of the season, and his manager came away impressed.
"It was outstanding," Rodriguez said. "I was very pleased at what he did. I had Haley last year, and he was very limited last year. He was throwing only one inning and it was good to see him throwing two innings, and he was very effective.
His breaking ball is a big league breaking ball. When he has that working for him, that fastball is hard to hit."
The offense failed to get anything going, a disappointment considering what Bowie starter Jacob Pettit gave them to work with. The left-hander walked five and allowed five hits in his five innings, yet the Aeros only managed to score one run.
"I think they're pressing," Rodriguez said of his offense. "And they should be pressing, because that's part of the game. They have to find a way to perform under that pressure because it's going to be there."
Right fielder Carlos Moncrief in particular had a rough day facing Pettit, twice ending the inning with the bases loaded. He finished the day 1-for-4, stranding six runners, while the team as a whole stranded 10.
The Aeros will look to avoid the sweep Sunday afternoon with a 2:05 start. Left-hander T.J. House (1-1, 3.24 ERA, 2.18 FIP) will start for the Aeros, while Orioles' 2012 first round pick right-hander Kevin Gausman (1-1, 5.63 ERA, 2.95 FIP) will pitch for the Baysox.
Attendance: 1,351... Time of Game: 2:54... First pitch was at 2:11... Game time temperature: 41 degrees...Urshela drove in Akron's only run of the game with a hard hit line drive double to left-center.
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