Portland, ME - Portland lefthander Drake Britton was so dominant against the Akron Aeros Sunday afternoon that it would be more accurate to call him "Great Britton."
Facing a hot-hitting Aeros team looking for a series sweep, Britton allowed only two runs, one earned, on five hits over seven innings as the Sea Dogs salvaged the final game of the series, 7-4, over the Aeros before a crowd of 6,735, at Hadlock Field.
Despite the loss, the Aeros (34-34) took two of three against the Sea Dogs and enjoyed a winning road trip, winning three of the five games at New Hampshire and Portland. Akron returns home Tuesday to begin a series against Trenton at 7:05 p.m.
Ranked as the #11 prospect in the Red Sox organization by Baseball America, Britton won his third consecutive decision for the Sea Dogs (35-32). In three career outings against the Aeros, dating to last season, he is 2-0, with an ERA of 1.04. Showcasing a 94 miles-per-hour fastball, Britton didn't allow a run until Jose Ramirez's RBI single in the fifth. By then, the Sea Dogs held a comfortable, 4-0, lead.
Akron starter Will Roberts (4-4) scuffled from the jump, allowing a two-run triple by Michael Almanzar in the first inning. Portland added two more in the fourth to extend the lead to 4-0. After the Aeros pulled to within 4-1, on the Ramirez single, Portland's Peter Hissey got that run back with a solo homer off Roberts in the fifth to make it 5-1, Sea Dogs.
Roberts, making his first road start since May 11th, left after 4.2 innings. He didn't walk any hitters and struck out six, but was charged with five earned runs in the loss. Righthander Enosil Tejeda came on to get the final out in the fifth. The Sea Dogs then reached Trey Haley for a pair of runs in the sixth to extend the lead to 7-1.
Akron's best chance against Britton came in his seventh and final inning when a pair of walks and an error loaded the bases with no one out. Instead of crumbling, Britton induced a double-play ball from Justin Toole that scored a run, but recorded two outs. He then got Ramirez on a fly-out to end the inning.
Carlos Moncrief laced a two-run triple in the eighth off righthander Miguel Celestino to make it 7-4, but that was a close as Akron would get. Moncrief had two hits on the day to extend his hitting streak to 15 games. During the streak he is hitting .429 (27-for-63).
There was no shortage of offense in the three-game series for Akron. The Aeros pounded out 36 hits against the Sea Dogs, 18 of which went for extra bases.
Following a day off Monday, the Aeros will return to Canal Park on Tuesday night at 7:05, to begin a three-game series against Trenton. LHP Matt Packer (4-5, 2.93) will start for Akron, and RHP Sean Black (NR) is expected to get the ball for Trenton. The game will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1350 AM, and online at www.sportsradio1350.com. For more information, please call the Aeros at 330-253-5151. Follow the team on Twitter @akronaeros or on Facebook at facebook.com/theakronaeros.