Wright is wrong as Aeros lose 8-5
AKRON - The Akron Aeros fell to the Erie Seawolves, 8-5, in game two of a four game series on Wednesday.
Akron took the early lead in the first inning, but lost momentum after the fifth. Erie put up twelve runs against Aeros pitching with knuckleballer Steve Wright taking the loss.
“When I get in trouble I just fall behind and I end up throwing a fastball to catch up,” Wright said of battling with his knuckleball. “That’s what happened today. I kind of fell behind with some of those guys and ended up throwing the fastball. If you leave it up there, they’re going to get hit.”
Centerfielder Jordan Henry started the game off with a fly ball double up the middle. First basemen Chun Chen advanced to second after he hit a ball that got Henry into a pickle and eventually thrown out at third. Left fielder Nick Weglarz showed up big at the plate to smash his eighth homerun for the month of June over the right field fence to put the Aeros up to a hasty 2-0 lead.
The Seawolves came back in the top of the fourth inning. With a runner on second and one down, left fielder Tony Plagman hit a line drive homerun to the right side to tie the ball game up 2-2.
Wright struck out five of his first eight batters and only allowed one hit. As the top of the fifth inning rolled around the righty began to struggle. After walking two and allowing two singles, Wright walked in the leading run to put the Seawolves up 3-2.
“It looked like he had a little movement on the ball and had a little bit of a hard time today controlling it like he usually has all year," manager Chris Tremie said about Wright. “But he still threw the ball pretty well. He still did a nice job today.”
The Aeros weren’t done putting runs on the board when Henry started the bottom half of the inning with a single to the right side. Shortstop Juan Diaz followed up with a sacrifice bunt to get Henry around to second. Chen got on with a walk, but it would be right fielder Thomas Neal who would score two runs with an RBI double to center field to put Akron back up 4-3.
In the top of the sixth inning, reliever Loek van Mil inherited the mound from Wright with runners on second and third. Wright ended the outing with six strikeouts, three walks and four earned runs giving him a new ERA of 1.98, which pushed him to second place in the Eastern League.
“I got behind more often then I wanted to," Wright said. “I think for the most part they just did a good job of putting the ball in play. When you put the ball in play more times than not they’re going to have the chance to make something happen. That’s exactly what they did."
The Seawolves quickly took advantage of the pitching change and racked up five more runs on the scoreboard to take an 8-5 lead.
Diaz hit a fly ball double, his twelfth for the season, to the right side to start the bottom half of the seventh off. With Chen at the plate, Diaz advanced to third on a wild pitch. Chen was able to get Diaz across the plate with a sacrifice fly to cut the lead down 8-5, but the runs would stop there.
“I think we’ll come out and play well tomorrow," Tremie said. “We swung the bat well today, came out and played some defense. It just didn’t turn out our way.”
The 47-31 Aeros will face the Seawolves in game three of the series Thursday. Right-handed pitcher Brett Brach will chase his third win of the season against Erie right-hander Patrick Cooper. The game will be held at Canal Park at 7:05 p.m.