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05/22/2006 10:22 PM ET
Perez, Kouzmanoff manhandle R-Phils
Hurler holds fort, third baseman's bat stays hot in 7-1 rout
Rafael Perez allowed an infield single and two walks over eight strong innings. (Tony Firriolo/Getty Images)

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Rafael Perez conceded only an infield single and a couple of walks in eight innings and Kevin Kouzmanoff's bat stayed hot as visiting Akron downed Reading, 7-1, on Monday.

Perez (3-4) struck out seven in the win, which marked the Aeros' second shutout in as many days. The 6-foot-3 lefty set down the last 17 batters he faced and totaled 92 pitches, 56 of which were strikes.

The 24-year-old Dominican Republic native's only blemish came after he issued a leadoff walk to J. J. Johnson in the third and Jesus Merchan bounced a chopper over the pitcher's head for a single.

Perez hasn't given up more than three runs in his last seven starts since yielding eight to Bowie on April 11.

Kouzmanoff belted a three-run homer and went 4-for-5 with four RBIs, raising his league-leading average to .418. Javi Herrera and Michael Aubrey also went deep for the Aeros (25-18).

Akron reliever Tony Sipp yielded a run on two hits in the ninth to finish the game.

Phillies starter Daniel Haigwood (1-3) surrendered seven runs on five hits in four innings and struck out five to take the loss.

The game marked the 22nd time Reading (15-27) gave up three or more runs in the first. It was the sixth straight loss for the Phillies, who are only averaging 3.5 runs a game.

Christopher Heine is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.