Poor pitching and defense lead to Aeros' 9-5 loss
Murata, Cook, Ramirez stumble on the mound and field during four-run fifth
AKRON, OH -- Akron pitchers continued their collective inability to prevent runs Sunday as the Akron Aeros lost 9-5 to the Bowie Baysox at Prince George's Stadium. The Baysox took three of the four games in the series while averaging seven runs per game.
The Aeros have allowed 59 runs through 10 games, setting a pace that is nearly impossible for the offense to keep up with. The defending Eastern League champions have now lost seven of their first 10 games as they simply cannot keep opposing teams off the scoreboard.
Things went south for Akron starter Toru Murata (1-1, 3.09 ERA, 4.05 FIP) in the fifth inning after a relatively uneventful beginning to the game. Murata had runners on first and second with two outs when Bowie second baseman Ty Kelly hit a grounder to Akron second baseman Jose Ramirez.
Ramirez committed his third error of the season, booting the ball and leaving everyone safe. Designated hitter Caleb Joseph followed Kelly with a two-run single, chasing Murata from the game after 4.2 innings.
Before the team left on this road trip, Aeros manager Edwin Rodriguez commented that the errors from his young middle infield are a result of rushing plays. Between Ramirez and shortstop Ronny Rodriguez, Akron's middle infield has five errors as the two 20-year-olds adjust to the Double-A level.
Right-hander Cole Cook relieved Murata and immediately made things worse. Third baseman Buck Britton doubled to right field, driving in two more runs attributed to Murata and giving Bowie the lead for good.
Cook ended the day without allowing a run, though he allowed both inherited runners to score. Right-hander Brett Brach relieved Cook and threw two innings, allowing the Baysox two insurance runs in the eighth inning.
Though the pitching and defense did not show up for Akron, designated hitter Chun Chen got an encouraging sign for the season. Chen led the third inning off with a home run, his first of the season.
The designated hitter continues to hit the ball well -- he is 10-for-32 on the season with eight walks -- though he really needs more power to advance through the system. Chen only managed five home runs last year and strikes out too much (12 in 10 games so far in 2013) to make it without the deep ball.
The Aeros drew first blood in the second inning, scoring three runs as Bowie fumbled the ball around the field. First baseman Jesus Aguilar reached on an error by Britton at third base, with left fielder Quincy Latimore adding a single to left.
Bowie center fielder Xavier Avery then contributed an error of his own on right fielder Carlos Moncrief's single to score both Aguilar and Latimore. Moncrief came around to score after a single from third baseman Giovanny Urshela and an RBI groundout by R. Rodriguez.
Akron's final run came after back-to-back-to-back singles by Moncrief, Urshela, and Rodriguez in the third inning.
Catcher Alex Lavisky -- the only catcher Akron had on the roster -- went on the DL before the game with a broken toe. Jeremy Lucas was called up to take his place and went 0-for-2 with two walks and a strikeout.
The Aeros move on to Trenton to face the Thunder in a three-game series starting Monday. Right-hander Danny Salazar (0-2, 5.87 ERA, 2.29 FIP) will face left-hander Nik Turley (0-1, 9.35 ERA, 6.55 FIP).
Attendance: 5,103... Time of Game: 3:28... Game time temperature: 63 degrees
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