Portland, ME — Akron righthander Jordan Cooper tossed 5 1/3 shutout innings Saturday night, leading the Akron Aeros to a 6-2 win over the Portland Sea Dogs at Hadlock Field.
The Aeros (34-33) leaped over the .500 mark for the first time since May 12th when they were 19-18. The Aeros have won three of the four games on the road trip, including the first two games against the Sea Dogs (34-32). They'll go for the sweep on Sunday afternoon at 1:00.
Cooper (3-2) worked his magic against the Sea Dogs for the second straight start. Last Saturday at Canal Park, he gave up a single to the lead-off hitter in the first inning, and then proceeded to work six shutout innings in a 4-3 win. This time around, the Berryton, Kansas native took a no-hitter into the fifth, before giving up his first hit. He walked three and struck out seven, which represents his personal-high at the Double-A level.
Cooper gave up a double to Portland's Kolbrin Vitek with two outs in the fifth, which broke up the no-hit bid. He then gave up a pair of singles in the sixth before giving way to reliever Bryce Stowell, who stranded both runners on base.
In his two starts against Portland, Cooper has worked 11 1/3 innings without giving up a run.
C.C. Lee worked two perfect innings after Stowell, and Rob Bryson finished the game in the ninth. Former Kent State star Travis Shaw reached Bryson for a two-run homer in the ninth to wreck the shutout.
Akron struck for four runs in the third off Portland starter Michael McCarthy, when Jesus Aguilar and Carlos Moncrief connected for back-to-back home runs. Aguilar's was a three-run shot, giving him eight homers and 55 RBI on the season. Moncrief followed with a solo shot, his ninth, extending his hitting streak to 14 games. The rally all took place after two were out.
McCarthy (0-1) was making his Double-A debut after being called up from Class-A Salem (Va.).
The Aeros added two insurance runs in the ninth on back-to-back sacrifice flies by Jose Ramirez and Ronny Rodriguez off Chris Balcolm-Miller.
Of the 12 Akron hits in the game, eight went for extra-bases. In the series, the Aeros have 27 hits, 14 of which have been extra-base knocks. Going into play Saturday, the Aeros had climbed to second in the EL in hitting with a .270 team average.
Moncrief, Quincy Latimore, Cedric Hunter, and Giovanny Urshela all had two hits for Akron. Rodriguez was 1-4, to extend his hitting streak to seven games.
The Aeros and Sea Dogs will wrap up the series and road trip on Sunday afternoon at 1:00. RHP Will Roberts (4-3, 3.80) will start for the Aeros, and LHP Drake Britton (5-5, 3.25) will go for the Sea Dogs.