BOWIE - Knuckleballer Steven Wright pitched a five-hit shutout, leading the Akron Aeros to a 5-0 win over Bowie on Sunday.
Wright (3-1, 1.13) continued to build on his strong start to the season, winning his third game of the year. He threw 112 pitches (64 strikes), allowing five hits and two walks while striking out six Baysox batters.
The complete game was Akron’s first of the season and the first complete game shutout by an Aeros pitcher since Jeanmar Gomez’s shutout of the Trenton Thunder on May 21, 2009. It was the second complete game of Wright’s career. His other came in 2008, during a seven-inning game for Kinston.
After nine scoreless innings, Wright lowered his ERA to 1.13, good for third in the Eastern League.
The Aeros defense played strong behind Wright, turning three double plays to eliminate base runners in the second, fourth, and fifth innings. Catcher Roberto Perez struggled to contain Wright’s knuckleball, allowing two passed balls. Perez did eliminate a first inning base runner, however, throwing out Bowie left fielder Steven Bumbry attempting to steal second.
Akron (19-8) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning off Bowie starter Zach Clark (2-2, 4.54). Center fielder Tim Fedroff doubled to open the game, advancing to third on a base hit by shortstop Juan Diaz. Fedroff scored after left fielder Jared Goedert grounded into a double play.
The Aeros extended the lead to 3-0 in the fourth on back-to-back doubles by Goedert and first baseman Adam Abraham, followed by an RBI ground out by right fielder Thomas Neal.
Abraham had four doubles in the series. Over the last 10 games, Abraham is batting .364 (.500 OBP) with seven doubles.
Akron added additional runs in the eighth and ninth innings to make the final score 5-0. With the win, the Aeros now hold a 3.5 game lead in the Eastern League Western Division.
The Aeros are set to begin a seven-game home stand at Canal Park on Monday night at 7:05 p.m. against the Erie SeaWolves. Left-hander T.J. House (0-0, 4.50) will make his second start for Akron against the former Aero left-hander Kelvin De La Cruz (1-3, 5.32). Free tickets for the game are available at any Akron-area Subway restaurant.
Nathan Kemp graduated from The University of Akron in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in English. He plans to pursue a graduate degree through NEOMFA in the fall. Follow him on Twitter @NathanCKemp.