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AKRON, Ohio -- Aeros starter Jeanmar Gomez has been named Eastern League Pitcher of the Year, the league announced today. Gomez is just the second Akron pitcher to win the award, following Adam Miller in 2006.
"There are many variables in developing into a Major League starting pitcher, and Jeanmar continues to check them off the list," Indians director of player development, Ross Atkins said. "He's intelligent, he's durable, he has weapons and he puts his weapons on the plate consistently. Jeanmar has worked hard to put himself into this position and there is still more potential to realize."
Gomez began 2009 with Class A Advanced Kinston and went 2-2 with a 2.63 ERA before joining the Aeros on April 29. The right-hander reeled off four straight wins in his first four Double-A starts, capped by the first perfect game and individual no-hitter in franchise history May 21 at Trenton. Gomez needed just 87 pitches to complete his masterpiece, and it was only the second nine-inning perfect game in the 86-year history of the Eastern League. The gem also provided the bulk of another rare feat for Gomez, as he retired 36 consecutive batters over three starts between May 14 and 26.
Overall this season, Gomez has gone 10-4 with a 3.38 ERA in 21 starts for Akron. He is tied for fourth in the league in wins, ranks third in ERA, second in WHIP (1.24) and sixth with 105 strikeouts in 117 1/3 innings. The native of Caracas, Venezuela, won the Eastern League Pitcher of the Week award for the week ending May 24, pitched a perfect inning in the All-Star game at Waterfront Park in Trenton, and was named as the right-handed starter on the season ending All-Star team.
Gomez has not allowed an earned run in seven of his 21 starts this season and has given up three earned runs or fewer in 15 of those starts. He originally signed with Cleveland as a free agent on April 4, 2005.
Trenton right-handed starter Zach McAllister finished second in the voting for the award, and Bowie left-handed starter Brian Matusz finished third. The award was voted on by Eastern League team managers and coaching staffs, sportswriters, radio and television broadcast personnel and other members of the media.
Gomez and Eastern League Manager of the year Mike Sarbaugh will be recognized on the field prior to Friday's home game against the Erie SeaWolves. Tickets are available for that game, and the contest will feature a postgame fireworks show as part of a Kids Cancer Survivors Celebration.
Akron continues its quick road trip to Altoona at 6:35 p.m. tonight with the finale of this three-game series. Left-hander Eric Berger (2-1, 3.18 ERA) will take the hill for the Aeros as they look for the sweep against Curve southpaw Kyle Bloom (6-8, 3.96 ERA). The game broadcast begins at 6:20 p.m. on SportsRadio 1350 AM and at www.akronaeros.com online. For more information, please call the Aeros at (330) 253-5151.