Richmond blanks Aeros, 6-0
Akron and Richmond took the field Sunday afternoon for game two of their four game series, as the Aeros were shut out 6-0 by the visiting Flying Squirrels.
The Flying Squirrels had four pitchers combine for the shutout, none more impressive than starter Michael Kickham (6-6), who picked up the win pitching six innings, giving up five hits and striking out seven.
Kickham held Aeros hitters in check and had his stuff working all afternoon, as this marks just the second time that the Aeros (49-33) have been shutout this season, the first since April 23rd.
“[Kickham] mixed his pitches up and threw his fastball well today,” said Aeros manager Chris Tremie. “He kept it away from the hitters, threw some pretty good changeups, and it looked like he was able to keep us off balance.”
Relief help came from Daryl Maday, Tom Vessella and Brett Bochy, all of whom combined for three shutout innings. Bocky notched his 10th save.
Richmond jumped on the Aeros early, scoring one run in the third and two more in the fourth. The Squirrels added some late insurance in the seventh and ninth, where they scored one and two runs, respectively.
Richmond lead-off hitter Gary Brown, regarded as the Giants’ top minor league prospect, was 4-5, with a pair of runs scored for the Flying Squirrels.
The Squirrels struck for 12 hits compared to the Aeros’ six on the afternoon.
Adam Abraham and Matt Lawson had two hits apiece for the Aeros, but the Akron lineup as a whole failed to capitalize on scoring opportunities, going 1-12 with runners in scoring position and leaving 10 men stranded on base. Thomas Neal hit a single in the fourth inning to push his hitting streak to eight games.
Akron starting pitcher Giovanni Soto (5-5) labored through five innings for the Aeros, giving up three runs (two earned) on six hits, and walked a season-high five batters.
The normally sound Aeros defense didn’t do Soto any favors, committing two early errors that lead to runs for Richmond.
Loek van Mil and Kyle Landis came on in relief for Soto and combined to give up six hits and three runs, all earned. Van Mil struck out two.
The Aeros and Squirrels will play game three of the series on Monday evening at 7:05. RHP Justin Fitzgerald (3-5, 4.34) will start for Richmond, while RHP Steven Wright (6-5, 1.98) will take the mound for Akron.