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McFarland rolls again as Aeros sweep Richmond

McFarland rolls again as Aeros sweep Richmond
May 20, 2012
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AKRON -- .  He allowed at least one base runner in six of his seven innings, but found ways to get out of trouble.   

Shortstop Ryan Rohlinger and second baseman David Stoneburner turned four double plays behind McFarland who relies heavily on his sinking fastball.
“Another quality outing,” said Akron Aeros manager Chris Tremie.  “[McFarland] didn’t have as good a breaking ball as he’s had in the past but he really pitched well with his fastball and change up.” 
After scoring 31 runs in the first two games of the series, the Akron bats cooled a bit, scoring just three runs off Richmond starter Craig Westcott (3-4, 4.13). 
 
The Aeros led off the first inning with four straight hits off Westcott.  The third batter of the inning, first baseman Adam Abraham, laced a doubled to center to drive home left fielder Ben Copeland for an early 1-0 lead.
 
The Flying Squirrels tied the game after an RBI-single by catcher Johnny Monell in the fourth, but Stoneburner put Akron back on top with an RBI-single of his own in the bottom of the fourth.  
 
Copeland led off the bottom of the fifth with his third double in two days.  After a ground out and an intentional walk to designated hitter Chun Chen, right fielder Thomas Neal drove Copeland home to make it 3-1.
 
With the single, Neal picked up his fifth run batted in of the series and his 13th of the season.
“Whenever you go through streaks like that when you have so many good at-bats it can be contagious,” said Tremie.  “We had a great series up and down the lineup.”
The run in the fifth inning was the last Akron score of the game.  Westcott pitched six innings, allowing three runs on 10 hits and three walks while striking out two.  Daryl Maday pitched the final two innings for Richmond, allowing no base runners while striking out two.
 
Eight Aeros batters had at least one hit, as the lineup reached double-digit hits for the third straight game.
“I think they’re playing like what was expected of them,” said Tremie.  “There’s a lot of good players here -- they work hard and they play the game the right way and they’re getting results from it.”
Bryan Price (2.96) relieved McFarland in the eighth, and pitched the final two innings for his second save.  Richmond pulled within one run in the ninth after Monell hit a solo home run to right center.  After a ground out, Price put the tying run on base after a throwing error, but responded by getting a fly ball from first baseman Jose Flores, and a strike out to end the game.
 
The Aeros start eight-game road trip on Monday in Trenton, New Jersey.  Right-hander Brett Brach (0-1, 5.87) will start for Akron against right-hander Brett Marshall (4-1, 2.79) for Trenton.  After four games with the Thunder, the Aeros will play in Erie before returning to Canal Park on May 29th.
 
Notes: Aeros manager Chris Tremie said that OF Nick Weglarz will be active tomorrow. ... The home run allowed by Bryan Price in the ninth was his third allowed of the season, all in the final inning. ... Announced attendance: 3,041.

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.

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