McFarland, Neal lead Aeros to 5-1 win
BOWIE - T.J. McFarland had another strong outing and right fielder Thomas Neal had three hits to lead the Akron Aeros to a 5-1 win over the Bowie Baysox on Tuesday.
The Aeros lineup gave McFarland an early lead, scoring two runs in the first inning off Bowie starter Cole McCurry, who lost his second game to Akron in less than a week.
After recording two quick outs to start the game, McCurry gave up an opposite field home run to third baseman Jared Goedert. The home run was Goedert’s second of the season. After a double by first baseman Chun Chen, Nick Weglarz was safe on a throwing error by Baysox second baseman Jonathan Schoop. Chen scored on the play and Weglarz advanced to second. McCurry struck out the next hitter to escape further damage in the inning.
McFarland continued his dominance to open the season, working out of his only jam in the second. With one out in the inning, McFarland gave up a double to shortstop Manny Machado. Designated hitter Robbie Widlansky followed with a single up the middle to make the score 2-1. McFarland retired the next two hitters in order to limit the damage.
For the night, McFarland went five and two-thirds innings, allowing five hits and three walks, striking out six. He was able to work around base runners to earn his third win of the year.
The Aeros were able to answer the Bowie score with two more runs of their own off McCurry in the bottom of the third. After a one-out single by Weglarz, second baseman Ryan Rohlinger grounded into a fielder’s choice. Neal followed with a two-out single to move Rohlinger into scoring position. Designated hitter Adam Abraham drove in both runners with a double to center to make the score 4-1.
McCurry would pitch one more inning before leaving the game. He finished the night pitching four innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on seven hits and two walks. Eddie Gamboa came on in relief of McCurry and kept the Aeros quiet for four innings, giving up no hits and no walks while striking out one.
Akron would add an additional run in the top of the ninth to make the score 5-1. Neal opened the inning with a double. After a ground out and a strike out, center fielder Tim Fedroff drove in Neal from second.
The run was Neal’s second of the game. He had three hits in the game to raise his average to .278 for the season.
The Aeros bullpen pitched lights out the remaining three and one-third innings to keep the game out of reach. Matt Langwell worked around two hits and two walks in two innings of work with the help of four strikeouts.
Preston Guilmet came on with two outs in the bottom of the eighth for the four-out save. He struck out two and walked one to bounce back from his first blown save of the season against Reading on April 20.
The Aeros will look for the sweep tomorrow as knuckleballer Steven Wright (2-1, 1.56) will go against Bowie right-hander Zach Clark (1-1, 6.48) at 11:05 a.m. Akron will begin their second home stand of the year against Altoona on Friday.
Notes: Reliever Kyle Landis has been reassigned to the Akron Aeros from AAA Columbus after one appearance. ... Announced attendance: 1,053. ... Nick Weglarz has a hit in seven of his last eight games.
Nathan Kemp graduated from The University of Akron in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in English. He plans to pursue a graduate degree through NEOMFA in the fall. Follow him on Twitter @NathanCKemp.