Lindor’s arrival brings excitement but Aeros fall 5-2
AKRON – After arriving one day before, top minor league prospect Fransisco Lindor made his highly anticipated and much talked about debut on Tuesday night but he was relatively quiet at the plate as the Aeros lost to the Erie SeaWolves 5-2 on Tuesday night at Canal Park.
The SeaWolves wasted no time in putting runs on the scoreboard. The 2nd batter, Eugenio Suarez hit a 2-run home run into left field for his 6th of the season.
In the bottom of the first, Fransisco Lindor stepped up to the plate for the first time and was walked. The Aeros did not score and at the end of the inning, the SeaWolves held a 2-0 lead.
The SeaWolves extended their lead in the top of the fourth inning as Tyler Collins drove in Daniel Fields for his 47th RBI of the year.
The Aeros were quick to respond in the bottom of the fourth as Carlos Moncrief hit a massive triple which was followed by an RBI single from Ronny Rodriguez, who has hit 42 at this point for the Aeros.
In the next inning, the Aeros threatened to score once more, as Giovanny Urshela led off with a double and advanced to third base on a wild pitch, but was unable to convert and the Erie SeaWolves held a 3-1 lead into the seventh inning.
In the top of the seventh, James McCann scored on a passed ball to give the SeaWolves an insurance run. They scored once more in the eighth as Daniel Fields hit an RBI single, a blooper fly ball into center field to score Jamie Johnson off of Aeros' reliever Shawn Armstrong.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Aeros showed signs of life, but ultimately came up short. Moncrief led off with a double and crossed home plate on a sacrifice fly from Ronny Rodriguez that was caught in a diving catch from right fielder Jamie Johnson.
Armstrong was relieved by Enosil Tejeda after loading the bases in the eighth, but the Aeros came out of the inning unscathed. Unfortunately, an Aeros rally in the bottom half of the inning as left fielder Tyler Collins made a great catch, robbing Jesus Aguilar of an RBI double.
While Lindor received most of the attention off of the field, two other Aeros had noteworthy performances in the losing effort. Carlos Moncrief continued to set an example at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a triple and a double. His batting average stands at .311, including an outstanding .408 in July.
Ronny Rodriguez went 3-for-3 with 2 RBI, which were the only runs the Aeros scored in the game.
Going into Tuesday’s game, Tyler Holt brought in a 16 game hitting streak, but that streak was broken as he went 0-for-4, striking out once.
Brett Brach pitched seven innings for the Aeros and after a rough start (2 runs in his first 3 pitches), he settled down, retiring nine consecutive batters following the home run. He allowed four runs and was given the loss, dropping his record to 5-6.
The SeaWolves’ starter Warwick Saupold pitched a solid four innings, allowing one run and 5=five hits, picking up a win.
One major problem that contributed to the Aeros’ demise was defensive, as the SeaWolves’ baserunners stole four bases, leading to a run in the fourth inning.
Lindor’s first game caused excitement among the fans and the team, but his performance was uneventful. He went 0-for-2 with two walks and remarked after the game that he felt comfortable in his new setting.
“I felt good," Lindor said. "I was comfortable, I just didn’t have any hits, but it felt good.”
When asked about challenges he expects at the double-A level, he said that it was too early to tell.
“I don’t know yet,” he said. “It’s hard to tell on the first day.”
The 19-year old prospect is expected to make an impact with the Aeros in the latter half of this season, and in a press conference Tuesday afternoon he explained that while the main goal is to continue advancing up in the Indians organization, at the moment he is ready to give his best efforts in Akron.
“My focus right now is playing double-A baseball. I’m focused in on playing today and winning today.”
Manager Edwin Rodriguez is excited to have Lindor as the new member of the ball club as a player and as a fellow Puerto Rican.
“It’s about development on the field and development off the field. I think he’s doing well” Rodriguez said. “I’m happy to have him here. It’s an honor, it’s a challenge.”
When asked about advice he would give to Lindor, the manager stressed both physical and mental strength.
“He has to be himself on the field and off the field, and he has to work every day. He has to concentrate, and not worry about the things around him. He has to find a way to avoid that, or not to be distracted by them.”
With Tuesday night’s defeat, the Aeros record stands at 46-50, four games behind Erie, who is 49-45 and is second place in the Western Division.
The Aeros will look to win the series on Wednesday afternoon in the conclusion of the series and the homestand with the SeaWolves. Will Roberts is the scheduled starter for Akron and Victor Larez will take the mound for Erie.
The first pitch is set for 12:05 pm.