Jeremy Sowers pitched 7 1/3 solid innings Friday as the Akron Aeros topped the Erie SeaWolves, 6-3, to take a 2-1 lead in the Eastern League Southern Division Finals.
Sowers (1-0) allowed four hits and two walks with seven strikeouts as the Aeros rebounded from a 9-6 loss in Game 2 on Thursday.
"I was able to command my fastball early," said the 21-year-old left-hander, who yielded only one hit over the first five frames. "It was a pitchers' duel into the fifth. We caught a couple of breaks."
Rich Rundles allowed two runs on two hits and struck out two over 1 1/3 frames before Jim Ed Warden retired Daniel Worth for the final out and his first save of the playoffs.
Argenis Reyes snapped a scoreless tie with a sacrifice fly in the fifth, Stephen Head belted a two-run homer, his second of the series, in the sixth. Jordan Brown capped a three-run seventh with a two-run shot, his first of the postseason, as Akron opened a 6-0 lead.
"Anytime your team gives you a lead, you're more aggressive and throw more fastballs," said Sowers. "I was able to show them my off-speed pitches for strikes."
Sowers started the year in the Major Leagues but went 1-6 with a 6.93 ERA in 12 starts. He made 15 starts for Triple-A Buffalo and was 4-5 with a 4.10 ERA.
Michael Hernandez and Clete Thomas each had an RBI and Nick McIntyre collected two hits and two runs scored for the SeaWolves, who will try to stave off elimination at home in Game 4 on Saturday.
Erie starter Andrew Kown (0-1) gave up three runs on six hits and two walks with four strikeouts in six innings.