Matt McBride and Beau Mills homered and Josh Tomlin worked seven strong innings as Akron bested Connecticut, 7-2, in Game 1 of the Eastern League Finals.
Tomlin struck out seven and held the Defenders to a pair of runs on five hits in his second playoff start. Steven Wright and Neil Wagner each tossed a scoreless inning of relief.
Mills ripped a two-run shot in the fourth and McBride added a solo drive in the eighth. John Drennen went 3-for-5 with an RBI and Carlos Rivero scored twice and knocked in a run.
Top Indians prospect Carlos Santana singled and scored and former first-rounder Lonnie Chisenhall added a pair of base hits for the Aeros.
Connecticut starter Ben Snyder was charged with five runs on nine hits and two walks over 3 2/3 innings to suffer the loss. He struck out three and allowed a home run.
Garrett Broshuis made his first playoff appearance and was charged with one run on two hits over two frames of relief.
Eddy Martinez-Esteve smacked his third playoff homer in the seventh and former first-round pick Jackson Williams knocked in the other run for Connecticut.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.