Three Portland pitchers combined on a seven-hit shutout Tuesday night, as the Sea Dogs nipped the Akron Aeros, 1-0, in the opener of a three-game series at Hadlock Field.
Portland starter Jason Urquidez worked the first five innings, allowing six hits but no runs. He worked under duress, as the Aeros had men on base in all five innings he pitched. After Urquidez departed, Chris Balcom-Miller (4-5) worked two scoreless innings, giving up just one hit. Brock Huntzinger pitched the final two frames, retiring all six batters he faced to earn his fifth save.
It was only the third time in 109 games this season that Aeros have been shut out.
The game's lone and decisive run for Portland came in the sixth inning off Aeros lefty Giovanni Soto when second baseman Justin Toole committed a throwing error while trying to turn a double play. Portland's Jeremy Hazelbaker, who had singled earlier in the inning, scored from second on the play.
Soto (6-8) lasted seven innings, and gave up only four hits and one unearned run. He did not walk a batter and struck out five in his best outing since his no-hitter against Altoona on July 15th.
Thomas Neal and Ryan Rohlinger had two hits apiece for the Aeros (65-44). Despite the loss, the Aeros remain 9 ½ games up on second-place Bowie, who lost at home to New Britain, 2-1.
On Wednesday, the Aeros and Sea Dogs will play game two of the series. RHP Paolo Espino (5-2, 3.14) will go for Akron, while the Sea Dogs will counter with RHP mike MacDonald (1-1, 4.24).