Salazar fans 12 as Aeros win 4-1
Dominant pitching effort leads to series win
ALTOONA, PA- On Thursday morning, the Aeros completed their series against Altoona with a 4-1 win. Akron took three out of four in the series against the Curve, but the story of the day was the pitching of Tribe prospect Danny Salazar.
In six innings, Salazar allowed a single hit, two walks, and struck out twelve Curve batters on the way to his second victory of the season. Salazar has often been looked at as one of the Tribe's potential prized prospects in their minor league system but has struggled thus far this season.
In his first three starts, Salazar recorded three straight losses, including an outing against the same Altoona team in which he allowed seven hits and four runs in just 2.2 innings of work. He followed that terrible start with another bad start against the Trenton Thunder, again allowing four runs and taking a third straight loss.
Since the trio of losses, however, Salazar has regained his groove. He had a solid outing against the Bowie Baysox, allowing only two hits and no runs in five innings of work. He continued his dominance against the Binghamton Mets a week ago, going five innings and allowing three hits and again, no runs.
This run of dominant pitching has been much in thanks to Salazar's ability to strike batters out. Salazar struck out 18 batters in his two previous starts, compared to his first three starts in which he struck out 13 batters combined, one less than his total today. His command is back to where it needs to be, and Salazar is beginning to see the benefits of a his hard work.
As for the rest of the Aeros, the offense started off fast, and did more than enough to secure a "W".
Akron got two runs right off the bat in the top of the first against Curve starter Jameson Taillon. After shortstop Jose Ramirez started the game with a ground out, center fielder tripled off of Taillon to give Akron an early chance to put a run on the board. Designated hitter Chun Chen then continued on his tear and ripped a single to bring Holt home, giving the Aeros a 1-0 lead just three batters into the game.
After first baseman Jesus Aguilar struck out, right fielder Carlos Moncrief singled and moved Chen to third, bringing up left fielder Quincy Lattimore for a chance to extend the lead. Lattimore delievered, knocking home Chen with a single and putting the Aeros up 2-0.
The Aeros added another run in the sixth and one more in the ninth, just giving themselves insurance thanks to Salazar's masterful performance.
Altoona scored their lone run in the bottom of the seventh thanks to a fielding error by third baseman Kyle Bellows, but it wasn't enough to put a dent into the Aeros lead.
For Akron, this series was a big one as they were able to distance themselves from Altoona. Coming in at 10-13, the Aeros are now just a game below .500 at 13-14, and are ahead of Altoona by two games.
The Aeros return to Canal Park tomorrow night to face the Bowie Baysox for a three game series. Tomorrow happens to be Star Wars vs. Star Trek Night at the ballpark, so if there's an urge to unleash your inner-nerd, tomorrow night would be a great time to head to the ballpark.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:05.