AKRON, OH - A ground ball to third base in the bottom of the eighth inning started a chain of events that gave the Akron Aeros the lead for good in a 3-2 win over the Binghamton Mets Monday night at Canal Park.
With the game knotted at one and two men aboard for Akron in their half of the eighth, Aeros second baseman Ryan Rohlinger sent a chopper to Jefry Marte at third. The ball took an awkward hop, bounced past Marte and rolled into left field, allowing Chun Chen to score from second.
Left fielder Pedro Zapata missed the cutoff man with his throw to home, enticing pinch-runner Ben Copeland to try for third. Centeno's throw to the bag was on time, but Marte muffed it, allowing the ball to roll into left again. Copeland scampered home, giving Akron a two-run lead. The Aeros held off a late rally by the B-Mets in the ninth to secure the win.
The game had started as a pitcher's duel as Darin Gorski and Steven Wright matched zeroes for four innings. That changed in the fifth when the B-Mets finally crossed home. Travis Ozga led off by shooting a double to the right field gap. Matt den Dekker pushed him to third with a hard hit single to center and Josh Rodriguez brought him home with a sacrifice fly to right field.
The lead was short-lived. Facing the bottom third of the batting order, Gorski allowed the first three batters to reach on two walks and a single. With the bases loaded, Tim Fedroff tied the game with a ground out to first base. Gorski escaped any further damage by retiring the next two batters without allowing a run.
Wright put up a scoreless sixth before seeing his night end in the seventh. After Lagares walked to start the inning and was bunted to second, Wright was replaced by Rob Bryson. With the potential go-ahead run on base, the righty got out of the inning by inducing Ozga to fly out and Pedro Zapata to ground out.
Gorski allowed two base runners in the sixth, but put up a scoreless inning to end his outing. The lefty allowed one run on six hits and struck out three over six innings in the no-decision.
After tossing a shutout seventh, reliever Edgar Ramirez allowed the first two batters to reach to set the table for the decisive play in the eighth.
The final run scored proved vital for Akron as Binghamton put up a rally in the ninth against Bryson. Lagares scorched a two-out single to center and moved to third on an infield single by Centeno combined with a throwing error by Rohlinger at second. Ozga cut the deficit to one with a single to right field. Rafael Fernandez was called upon to pinch hit for Zapata, but stranded the tying run at third by striking out to end the game.
Although only one run was earned, Ramirez (0-1) suffered his first loss. Bryson (2-0) allowed one run over 2.2 innings of relief to collect his second win.
The B-Mets (12-11) continue their series Tuesday night with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM. RHP Greg Peavey takes the ball for Binghamton against LHP T.J. House who makes his Double-A debut. The Horizons Federal Credit Union pre-game show begins at 6:50 PM on Newsradio 1290 WNBF.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.