Akron's Scott Lewis is once again displaying the form that made him MiLB.com's Class A Advanced Starting Pitcher of the Year two seasons ago.
The 24-year-old left-hander struck out a career-high 10 over 5 2/3 one-hit innings Monday as the Aeros rolled to a 7-0 blanking of the Altoona Curve at Blair County Ballpark.
Lewis (6-2) went 3-3 with a 1.48 ERA in 27 appearances for Kinston of the Carolina League in 2006, striking out 123 while walking only 28 to earn the website's annual distinction.
The Ohio State product dropped to 7-9 with a 3.68 ERA in 27 outings for the Aeros last year, but still ranked fifth in the Eastern League with 121 punchouts.
Despite his strikeout prowess, the 6-foot, 195-pound southpaw had never fanned more than nine in a contest prior to Monday night's performance. He yielded a two-out single to Jim Negrych in the opening frame and walked Jamie Romak before setting down all but one of the next 15 batters he faced, including 13 in a row at one point.
"I was good for the first two batters, but got into a little funk there and fell behind a few hitters," Lewis said. "I settled in after that and got my fastball back on the corners. The most important thing was that I was able to throw my changeup for strikes."
Lewis walked Jason Bowers to lead off the sixth, but got Melvin Dorta swinging to reach the elusive 10-strikeout mark before Reid Santos came on to get the final out of the inning.
"The umpire had a pretty good [strike] zone for me and I was able to get some calls on the corners," Lewis said of his first 10-K effort.
Santos gave up one hit and struck out one over 2 1/3 frames before Scott Roehl fanned two while allowing a two-out double to Romak in the ninth in Akron's three-hit shutout.
Lewis has been on quite a run over his last six appearances, yielding two earned runs on 25 hits and five walks with 36 strikeouts over 36 1/3 innings.
"I started to throw a slider toward the end of last year and that helps," he added. "I was kind of having average outings last year, but turned it on toward the end of the season. I like to think that I'm back on track right now."
Ryan Goleski doubled and drove in two runs and Matthew Whitney went 3-for-5 with an RBI for the Southern Division-leading Aeros (69-47).
Altoona's Kyle Bloom (2-7) lost his third consecutive start after surrendering six runs on 10 hits and three walks with four strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings.
Brad Corley's one-out single in the seventh was the only other hit for the slumping Curve (51-65), who dropped their sixth in a row.
Akron has been outscored, 55-10, during its skid.
John Torenli 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.