Akron's Tyler Holt had three hits, including an RBI triple, on Thursday night as the Aeros completed a three-game series sweep of the Harrisburg Senators with a 4-1 win at Metro Bank Park.
The Aeros (73-50) dropped the magic number for clinching the EL West title to 12. They also matched their win total from last season with 19 games to play in the 2012 regular season.
On Thursday, the Aeros took a 2-0 lead in the third when Holt launched a triple to deep right center off Nationals righthander Chien Ming Wang (1-4), who was making a rehab start for the Senators. Holt's triple drove in Roberto Perez, who had doubled to lead off the inning.
The next hitter, Jordan Henry, lifted a sacrifice fly to left to bring in Holt for a 2-0 lead. Wang went 4 2/3 innings, giving up three hits but two runs to suffer the loss.
In the sixth inning against Senators reliever Marcos Frias, Chun Chen singled home Henry for a 3-0 lead. Chen entered the game tied for the EL batting lead. He was 1-4, and is now hitting .321 for the season.
Aeros starter Toru Murata worked the first four innings, shutting out the Senators on four hits. After 81 pitches, Murata gave way in the fifth inning to righthander Trey Haley. Haley (2-0) worked three scoreless innings to earn the win. He allowed just an infield single in the sixth, but faced the minimum of nine hitters with the help of a double play.
The Senators (56-68) avoided the shutout in the eighth when Seth Bynum homered off Bryce Stowell. Righthander Shawn Armstrong came into the game and recorded the final four outs to earn his second save. Armstrong worked around ninth inning trouble, facing the tying run at the plate twice, but inducing a pair of flyouts to end the game.
In the three-game series, the Aeros bullpen allowed one run in 11 innings of work.
The Aeros will open a three-game weekend series against Reading at Canal Park on Friday night at 7:05. RHP Trevor May (8-10, 4.94) will start for the R-Phils, while RHP Danny Salazar (1-0, 3.72) will make the start for the Aeros.