Rough eighth inning gives Aeros seventh straight loss
Haley, Flores cannot stop bleeding
Richmond, VA – In the final game of a very disappointing road trip, the Akron Aeros held a late lead but allowed six runs in a devastating eighth inning as they were defeated by the Richmond Flying Squirrels 9-6 on Thursday night at The Diamond in Richmond, Virginia.
With the loss, Akron has now lost seven games in a row and went 0-6 on this road trip.
The Aeros played well in the beginning and were off to an early lead as Tyler Holt hit a triple in the second inning and scored on a sacrifice fly from Ronny Rodriguez. The Flying Squirrels answered with an RBI double from Jesus Navarro to score Adam Duvall.
The Aeros' lineup scored twice in the next inning to take a comfortable lead. Tyler Naquin, a new addition to the Akron ball club, hit an RBI single to drive in Jose Ramirez for his second RBI with the team. Naquin scored when Carlos Moncrief hit an RBI single of his own, his 67th of the season.
At the end of the third inning, the Aeros led 3-1.
Adam Duvall of Richmond scored once more on a sacrifice fly from Skyler Stromsmoe in the fourth to cut their deficit to one, but the Aeros loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the fifth and Cedric Hunter crossed home plate on a wild pitch to take another two-run lead.
Both sides quieted down until the bottom of the seventh in which Skyler Stromsmoe scored on a wild pitch thrown by Aeros reliever Jeff Johnson.
The eighth inning saw Akron extend their lead but lose it just as fast. Jake Lowery and Matt Lawson would each score on wild pitches to the same batter (Tyler Naquin) from reliever Josh Osich to take a 6-3 lead.
Going into the bottom of the eighth, it looked as if the Aeros would end their losing streak, but then they completely fell apart due to their pitching.
After striking out the first batter, Aeros reliever Trey Haley had difficulty finding the strike zone as the next four batters reached base on a wild pitch and three consecutive walks, scoring Angel Villalona.
At this point Haley was relieved by closer Jose Flores, but Akron's problems had just begun. Skyler Strosmoe hit a two-run RBI single to tie the game at six, Jesus Navarro scored when Joe Panik grounded out, and Javier Herrera capped it off with a two-run RBI of his own.
As the inning came to a close, the Flying Squirrels held a three-run lead and the Aeros would not threaten in the ninth as Richmond won with a come from behind 9-6 victory.
Although the Aeros' loss was due mainly to relief pitching late in the game, their starting pitcher Cody Anderson had a very solid outing. He pitched for five innings, allowing only two runs and four hits while striking out five.
Both Anderson and Naquin joined Akron from the Carolina Mudcats earlier this week.
The wins and losses, as well as a majority of the runs scored, were given to the bullpen.
The eighth inning relievers Haley and Flores allowed four runs and twp runs, respectively. Haley was given the loss (he is now 1-2 for the season) and Flores was given the blown save, his third of 2013.
Even though two runs were scored while he was on the mound, Josh Osich earned the win, and his record stands at 2-2.
The Aeros' losing streak puts their record at 56-67, now in last place in the Western Division. The Flying Squirrels on the other hand have won five in a row and are 63-60, good for third place in the division and still very much in the playoff race.
Arkon's road trip has come to a close and they head home for a three-game series against the Reading Fighting Phils starting on Friday night at Canal Park. Josh Tomlin will once again pitch in a rehab assignment and will be followed by Matt Packer, while Bobby Bramhall takes the mound for Reading.
The first pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.