Rock Cats score 7 in first, drop Aeros 13-6
New Britain takes it to Packer in the first inning and then never looks back
Akron, OH – After being swept on the road the previous week, the Akron Aeros were defeated once more by a final score of 13-6 on Tuesday night at Canal Park.
The Rock Cats had secured the victory after the top half of the first inning due to strong hitting against the Aeros’ starter, Matt Packer.
The Aeros suffered one of their worst innings of the season right from the start of the game. Danny Santana led off with a walk and stole second base, and he crossed home plate easily as Eddie Rosario smacked a triple and scored himself on a throwing error from Ronny Rodriguez.
New Britain continued to put the game out of reach as Wilkin Ramirez hit a double and was followed by a massive two-run home run to center field from Miguel Sano, his 11th home run of the year. All of these runs came before the 1st out was even recorded.
After a pair of singles from Dan Rohlfing and Ryenaldo Rodriguez, Rock Cats’ center fielder Jordan Parraz hit a single to drive in Rohlfing, and Danny Santana, in his second at-bat of the inning, hit a two-run RBI single to score Rodriguez and Parraz.
When the inning was finally finished, the Rock Cats had scored seven runs, seven hits, and four batters recorded RBI. The entirety of New Britain’s lineup had at least one at-bat and they hit for the cycle in the same inning.
In the second inning, the Rock Cats picked up right where they left off as Wilkin Ramirez led off with a single and scored when Miguel Sano hit an RBI double. New Britain added two more in the third as Danny Santana hit an RBI double to score Parraz.
After allowing another hit, Manager Edwin Rodriguez decided that it was time for a change and Matt Packer was relieved by Jeff Johnson. However, Johnson would throw a passed ball to his first batter which scored Santana.
At the end of the third inning, the Rock Cats easily held a 10-0 lead.
Both teams would be relatively quiet until the Aeros showed signs of life in the bottom of the sixth when Jesus Aguilar hit a two-run home run to left-center field, his 14th of the season.
Akron’s hitting surge would cut their deficit even further in the seventh inning, as they loaded the bases with no outs and Matt Lawson hit a two-run single to score Ronny Rodriguez and Jake Lowery, which gives Lawson 16 RBI with Akron this year.
The hope that the Aeros would be making a comeback was stopped in the eighth as Dan Rohlfing hit a three-run triple off of the center field wall for his 28th RBI of 2013.
In the bottom half of the eighth, Jake Lowery hit a two-run home run, his sixth long ball with Akron, to cut New Britain’s lead to 13-6. Unfortunately that was the last runs the Aeros would manage and 13-6 was the final score.
The Aeros’ hitting was subdued until the latter half of the game. Moncrief, the Eastern League leader in total bases and second in runs, went 2-for-4 and leads the team with a .302 batting average.
Ronny Rodriguez went 1-for-4, but is currently in a slump at the plate, with four hits in his past 27 at-bats.
Bright spots on the Aeros lineup Jesus Aguilar, who went 2-for-3 and Jake Lowery, who went 1-for-3. Both players hit two-run home runs, which accounted for four of Akron’s runs.
Miguel Sano continues to cause challenges for the Aeros as he led New Britain’s hitting throughout the night, going 3-for-5 with a home run and a double.
He has 35 RBI in the season and a .243 batting average. He is ranked as the top prospect in the Minnesota Twins organization.
Left fielder Wilken Ramirez reached base in each of his at-bats, going 3-for-3 with two runs scored.
The Aeros’ leading starting pitcher Matt Packer got off to a terrible start, allowing seven earned runs and seven hits in the top of the first inning. In total, Packer gave up 10 runs on 12 hits in only 2 1/3 innings pitched and his ERA greatly increased from 2.64 to 3.22.
While only pitching for a small portion of the game, Packer allowed the most runs and hits of his career, and was only the second game of the season where he did not strike out a single batter. He was given the loss and his record drops to 10-7.
On the other end, Matt Summers of the Rock Cats had a much stronger outing, pitching for 6 innings and only allowing two runs on four hits. He would earn the win for his first in New Britain and has a record of 1-1.
Once Packer was taken out, the five Aeros relievers did much better at containing the Rock Cats’ heavy offense, but the major damage had already been done. Three runs and four hits were allowed and 4 runners made it into scoring position.
As opposed to the Aeros, New Britain’s bullpen was not as strong as Summers, as they allowed all of Akron’s six runs, including two home runs.
The game was dominated by the Rock Cats after only 1 half-inning, but both Jesus Aguilar and Manager Edwin Rodriguez believe that the team as a whole played well after that.
“We got to play hard, because it was early in the game. We had to play hard to play good ball” said Aguilar, who kept the Aeros hitting alive with a home run in the sixth inning.
Rodriguez also thought the hitters hit the ball well, but that it was not enough to win the game.
“We hit the ball hard, right at people, that’s all we can do; take good at-bats and hit the ball hard. But nothing was working for us tonight, it was one of those nights. But it’s a 5-month season, these days happen, so we have to turn the page and be ready to play tomorrow.”
The 55-60 Aeros are in fifth place in the Western Division and their two-game winning streak is broken. They have posted a 27-31 record at Canal Park this season. The Rock Cats are also 55-60 for the season.
The series continues on Wednesday night as Major League veteran Josh Tomlin is scheduled to pitch for two innings on a rehab assignment and will be followed by Aeros regular Brett Brach against New Britain’s DJ Baxendale.
The first pitch for Wednesday’s contest is set for 7:05 pm.