Manchester, NH-The Akron Aeros waited for nearly three hours to play Tuesday night's game against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, but the outcome was worth every minute.
Lefthander Matt Packer and relievers Enosil Tejeda and Rob Bryson combined on a five-hit shutout of the Fisher Cats, as the Aeros cruised to a 7-0 victory in the opener of a three-game series at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.
The game was originally scheduled to begin at 6:35 p.m. Tuesday, but heavy rain kept the teams in the clubhouse for 2 hour and 49 minutes. The first pitch was finally thrown at 9:24, and the last at 11:55.
Packer (3-5) was in total command during his 6 2/3 innings of work. He scattered five hits and walked three, but induced three double plays to erase Fisher Cats base runners.
It was the third straight winning decision for Packer, who lowered his ERA to 2.93. He has not given up more than two runs in any of his last five starts.
After Packer left with a man on and two outs in the seventh, Tejeda came on to get Tommy Manzella on a fly out, and then tossed a perfect eighth. Bryson worked around a pair of walks in the ninth to finish the whitewash. It was Akron's fourth shutout win this season.
The Aeros (32-32) took the lead in the top of the fourth on a solo homer by Jesus Aguilar off Marcus Walden (4-7). Jake Lowery added a two-run shot in the fifth, and Adam Abraham chipped in a two-run double in the sixth as the Aeros built a commanding 5-0 lead.
Ronny Rodriguez was 3-4 in the game, with a triple and two doubles. Carlos Moncrief was 2-5, and extended his hitting streak to 11 games.
The Aeros improved to 4-0 against New Hampshire this season. They have won six of the last seven overall to once again reach the .500 mark. Both first-place Richmond and second-place Erie lost Tuesday, so the Aeros are only three games out of first in the EL West, and 1 ½ games out of second.
The Aeros and Fisher Cats (31-34) will play game two of the series on Wednesday night at 6:35. RHP Toru Murata (3-3, 3.80) will start for the Aeros, and RHP Deck McGuire (3-6, 5.35) will start for the Cats. 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.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.