AKRON, OH- The Akron Aeros (35-37) put aside the offensive struggles and the four game losing streak on Friday night as they used a season-high 13 runs and 17 hits to defeat the New Britain Rock Cats (34-38) by a final score of 13-4.
The Rock Cats gained an early 1-0 lead off of Aeros’ starter Will Roberts in the second inning. First baseman Reynaldo Rodriguez hit a one-out triple to center field. Right fielder Daniel Ortiz drove in his 37th RBI with a single, scoring Rodriguez.
Akron answered with a four spot in the bottom of the second. Centerfielder Tyler Holt and third baseman Giovanny Urshela walked with one out. A throwing error moved both runners up before left fielder Quincy Latimore singled to score both runners. Second baseman Jose Ramirez followed with his third homer of the year, a two-run shot to right field.
Akron added a run in the third with a RBI single by Holt, scoring right fielder Carlos Moncrief, who doubled in the prior at-bat.
New Britain pulled within two runs, which was the closest margin in the game, with two runs in the fourth. Rodriguez led off with his tenth homerun of the campaign. Ortiz doubled, moved to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a RBI knock by shortstop Danny Santana.
The Aeros scored three in the fourth while sending the Rock Cats’ starter to the showers. Catcher Jake Lowery launched his third round-tripper to right field. After a single and a sacrifice, shortstop Ronny Rodriguez plated another run while ending the night of Tom Stuifbergen. B.J. Hermsen entered in an one out, one on jam. First baseman Jesus Aguilar doubled home Rodriguez to make the score 8-3 after four.
Stuifbergen took the loss, allowing eight runs on eight hits in three and one third innings.
Top Twins prospect and third baseman Miguel Sano hit his second Double-A home run in the fifth inning for New Britain.
Akron put the game away in the bottom of the fifth inning with four runs. Rodriguez and Cedric Hunter had RBI singles while Moncrief hit a two-run triple.
Roberts won his fifth game, giving up four runs on eleven hits in five innings. He struck out one batter.
The Aeros bullpen of Enosil Tejeda, Blake Wood, CC Lee and Trey Haley blanked the Cats on one hit and two walks over four innings. The Rock Cats bullpen was not as stellar as they combined for five runs (four earned) on nine hits in four and two thirds innings.
Holt finished the scoring with another RBI single in the seventh inning.
Every hitter in the Akron lineup had at least one hit while seven different players had multiple hits. Eight of the nine players in the lineup drove in at least one run. Rodriguez led the team with three hits and Ramirez led with three RBI’s.
The Aeros and Rock Cats will play the middle game of the series on Saturday night at 7:05. RHP Toru Murata (3-3, 3.44 ERA) will get the ball for Akron, while RHP Virgil Vasquez (0-0, 0.00) is the scheduled starter for New Britain.