Roberts and strong hitting lead Aeros to win
Akron, OH - Brett Myers was the headline, but it was a combined effort from pitcher Will Roberts and several major hits from the Aeros lineup that led to an Aeros 4-1 victory over the Erie SeaWolves Friday night at Canal Park. The win snapped their three game losing streak to successfully begin a seven-game homestand.
The Aeros’ bats started out slow, but came alive in the fourth inning, as Tyler Holt hit a double and was driven in by Carlos Moncrief. In the next inning, Giovanni Urshela scored all the way from first due to an error by SeaWolves second baseman Hernan Perez. Erie committed two errors on the night and both proved to be costly in the SeaWolves’ loss.
After Daniel Fields of the SeaWolves scored in the top of the seventh inning, Akron responded when Ronny Rodriguez hit a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh, which was his second homer of the season. Holt extended the lead as he scored on an Aguilar RBI (his 33rd this season) in the eighth to solidify the Aeros victory. Holt scored twice on the night and Jose Ramirez also had two hits to contribute to the win.
Other good news to come from the Aeros’ hitting was Urshela and Chun Chen, each hitting a single to extend their hitting streaks to eleven games and ten games, respectively. Overall, the Aeros managed seven hits off of Victor Larez and Tyler Clark in a promising start to the homestand.
Myers was on an MLB rehab assignment and pitched a solid three innings, only giving up one hit and one walk, but managing eighteen strikes on only thirty-three pitches to make it a very successful outing. He was placed on the disabled list in April with a right elbow inflammation and a mild ligament sprain, and is now working his way back up to Cleveland.
Manager Edwin Rodriguez also thought Myers’ outing went well, remarking that he was “relaxed, and he’s his own coach; he’s been around, but he did good.” Myers looks to return to the majors later this season, as he signed as a free agent with the Cleveland Indians in January.
After Myers finished his three inning effort, Will Roberts showed considerable improvement in relief, giving up one run and two hits in five strong innings to earn the win. He is now 2-2 on the season. Bryan Price came out to the mound in the ninth and earned his second save of the season.
"[We] caught some bad breaks," Roberts said about the recent road trip where the pitching staff struggled. "We had some guys put some good outings together, and maybe a couple balls went the other way”.
When asked about his own improvement, Roberts feels that he is constantly improving with each outing.
“This week I was able to work on my curveball for strikes, and I was better today than I was in Reading and I was able to make sense of my fastballs late in the count,” Roberts said.
It was a different outing for Roberts as well as he did not start until the fourth inning after Myers had already pitched three scoreless innings. “He (Myers) set the tone early and when I came in there we were able to pull out the win.”
He also gave credit to the Aeros performance in the field.
“It was a good team effort," Roberts said. "Anytime you only give up three hits it means you did a good job in the field. Hopefully we’ll get on a roll here and get some wins out of it.”
"It was an important win to start this series against a very good team”, Rodriguez said about starting the homestand off with a win. “It was a very clean game and set the tone for the series, hopefully.”
Rodriguez also asked shared optimism on Ronny Rodreguez’s gameplay.
"He just cannot get down on himself," Rodriguez said. "He had nineteen home runs last year, but by the middle of May he only had one. We have to be patient and he’ll come around.”
The Aeros are now 20-21 on the season and trail Erie by five games in the Western Division. They look to start a new winning streak in the second game of the series against the Erie SeaWolves Saturday night at Canal Park. Blake Wood is scheduled to start and throw one inning on a rehab assignment. First pitch is set for 6:05 pm.