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Gomez Throws Perfect Game

May 21, 2009
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Jeanmar Gomez delivered the first perfect game in Aeros franchise history as they defeated the Trenton Thunder by the final score of 3-0 in front of 6,344 fans at Waterfront Park on Wednesday. Gomez retired all 27 Thunder batters he faced on the day, finishing off the very first individual no-hitter in franchise history in perfect fashion. Akron takes the three-game series from Trenton (17-20) with the win, improving to 29-9 on the season.

The Aeros batters provided all the support Gomez would need in the top of the third inning by manufacturing a pair of runs. Carlos Rivero kicked off the frame with a single to left, and then Beau Mills extended his hitting streak to three games with his eighth double of the season to right field. Rivero came around to score on a sacrifice fly by Carlos Santana, and then Mills scored on a throwing error by Trenton 3B Marcos Vechionacci to give Akron the early advantage.

As the Thunder continued to put up zeroes on the scoreboard, the Aeros delivered again with a run in the seventh inning. Cristo Arnal picked up his second hit in his first day as an Akron Aero to start the rally, and Niuman Romero moved him over with a sacrifice bunt. Rivero then gathered another single, scoring Arnal and providing the final margin of the game at 3-0.

Gomez, a 21-year-old native of Venezuela, was the story for the day today as he pitched the first nine-inning, complete game shutout since Adam Miller did so in August 2006. In retiring all 27 batters, he struck out eight men, while ten hitters flied out, and nine grounded out. It was just the third no-hitter of any kind in franchise history dating back to 1989 in Canton as the two other no-hitters featured two and three pitchers respectively, during the 2003 season. In addition, Gomez’s perfect game was the first in Minor League Baseball since July 15, 2007.

With the victory, Gomez improved to 4-0 in his only four starts with the team since being promoted from Class A Kinston, and lowered his ERA from an already sparkling 0.45 to 0.31 with the perfect game. In his past six starts between Akron and Kinston, Gomez now has a 0.21 ERA in 42 innings pitched, allowing just two runs (one earned), 15 hits and four walks while gathering 37 strikeouts. Zach McAllister (2-2) took the loss for Trenton despite delivering six efficient innings and only allowing two runs on six hits for the quality start. Arnal, Rivero and Mills all had two-hit games for the Aeros, who actually stranded eight base runners and were only 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position. None of this would matter today as Gomez needed little help to pick up the win and improve upon the team’s record, which remains the best in professional baseball.

Akron returns home for a seven-game home stand Friday night as they play division rivals Erie for Fireworks Night starting at 7:05 p.m. Left-hander Chuck Lofgren (3-0, 1.23 ERA), who is second in the Eastern League in ERA, will start for the Aeros against Seawolves southpaw Jon Kibler (1-3, 4.23 ERA).

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