Akron, OH - Three Akron Aeros pitchers combined on a five-hit shutout Friday night as the Aeros captured a 4-0 victory over the Binghamton Mets in the opener of a three-game series at NYSEG Stadium.
Starter Danny Salazar worked the first five innings, limiting the Mets to three harmless singles. He walked only one and struck out nine, matching his season-high. Salazar (1-3) extended his scoreless innings streak to 11.
Touching 98 miles-per-hour with his fastball, Salazar used a mix of pitches to carve up the B-Mets lineup. He was the beneficiary of two double plays turned by his defense. Only one runner advanced to third, and that was due to an errant pick-off throw by Salazar himself.
Relief help came from righthanders Austin Adams and Bryce Stowell, each of whom pitched two scoreless innings to complete the whitewash. Adams allowed two hits, but fanned four. Stowell worked around a walk and hit batter in the ninth to close the game. He struck out three.
All told, the Aeros pitchers recorded a season-high 16 strikeouts in the game.
The Aeros notched two runs in the third inning off starter Rafael Montero (3-1). Montero entered the game unbeaten and sporting an ERA of 1.59. Ronny Rodriguez and Giovanny Urshela led off with single. After Rodriguez advanced to third on a deep fly ball, Tyler Holt grounded to third, but beat out the double-play relay to first to drive in Rodriguez.
Chun Chen drew a walk from Montero, just the second issued by the righthander this season. With Jesus Aguilar at the plate, Holt stole third. Aguilar then stroked an RBI single to center to make it 2-0. Aguilar now has 23 RBI, most in the EL.
Akron extended the lead to 4-0 in the sixth when catcher Roberto Perez blooped an opposite field double to right to drive in two runs off reliever Adrian Rosario, who had issued a pair of walks.
The Aeros have won three straight games for the first time this year. Jose Ramirez, Chen, Aguilar, and Rodriguez all had two hits apiece. Chen raised his average to .355.
The Aeros and B-Mets (11-10) will play game two of the series Saturday afternoon at 1:05. LHP Matt Packer (0-2, 3.15) will start for Akron, while RHP Logan Verrett (3-0, 2.55) will get the starting nod for the B-Mets. The game will be carried live on WHLO News-Talk 640 AM, and online at www.640WHLO.com. For more information, please call the Aeros at 330-253-5151 and follow them on Twitter at @AkronAeros and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheAkronAeros.