Akron's Matt Packer worked seven strong innings to earn his first victory of the season as the Aeros slipped by the Erie SeaWolves, 4-2, Wednesday afternoon at Canal Park.
The Aeros (16-17) avoided the sweep after losing the first two games of the series to the first-place SeaWolves (19-12). Akron was 3-3, on the six-game homestand. Wednesday's win improved Akron's home record to 8-11.
Packer (1-4) enjoyed his best and longest outing this season. He scattered five hits over seven innings, allowing two unearned runs. He walked two and struck out two, and lowered his ERA to 3.72. He gave way to the bullpen after allowing a lead-off single in the eighth.
Bryan Price tossed a scoreless eighth inning, and Jose Flores closed the ninth, striking out three in the process, for his third save in as many chances.
Akron jumped on Erie starter Patrick Cooper (1-3) in short order, collecting two runs in the first inning. Tyler Holt led off with a triple to left and scored on a double by Justin Toole. Two batters later, Carlos Moncrief laced a double off the wall to drive in Toole and make it, 2-0.
Erie took advantage of a two-out fielding error by Ronny Rodriguez to extend their second inning. After the error, Packer gave up an infield hit and a walk to load the bases, and then surrendered a two-run single by catcher Zach Maggard to tie the game, 2-2.
The Aeros took the lead in the third, thanks again to Holt and Toole at the top of the batting order. Holt led off with a single, and then took third on a base hit to center by Toole. After Cooper struck out Chun Chen, Jesus Aguilar hit a grounder to short that scored Holt, to make it 3-2. It was Aguilar's team-high, 27th RBI, and broke a six-game RBI drought for the Akron slugger.
Michael Morrison picked up for Erie after Cooper left. His back-to-back walks and a wild pitch in the seventh inning forced in an insurance run for Akron, making it 4-2.
Holt and Toole had two hits and two runs apiece. Latimore also added two hits and a steal for Akron. The Aeros collected 10 hits, but left the bases loaded twice. Erie turned three double plays on the day, helping to keep the game close.
The Aeros will hit the road to begin a seven-game road trip on Thursday evening in Reading at 6:35. RHP Paolo Espino (1-0, 4.18) will start for Akron, while LHP Jesse Biddle (2-2, 2.56) will make the start for Reading.