AKRON, OH – The Aeros lost for the eighth time in 10 games Tuesday night at Canal Park, suffering their largest margin of defeat this season by the final score of 11-0 against the Reading Phillies. Right-hander Corey Kluber surrendered six runs on 11 hits in just four innings in his first home start while the Phillies collected 18 hits on the night against the five Akron pitchers. Despite the loss, Akron (58-56) remains 4.5 games behind the Western Division wild card race and the R-Phils improved to 56-58.
Center fielder Jordan Henry and second baseman Jason Kipnis each singled to start the first, but the Aeros then struggled offensively against Reading lefty starter Yohan Flande. Kluber avoided damage in the first two frames before a rally in the third that featured four runs on five hits highlighted by a two-run double from Timo Perez.
The blowout continued in the fourth as Harold Garcia extended the lead to 6-0 with a one-out, two-run single to center. Left-handed reliever Nick Hagadone replaced Kluber in the fifth but allowed another run on Keoni De Renne’s RBI double.
The Phillies provided for the final margin of the night with another four-run rally against relief pitcher Steven Wright in the top of the seventh. Flande retired 15 of his final 16 batters and the Aeros finally rallied but stranded a pair of runners to end the ninth.
Flande (8-7) earned the victory in his seven scoreless frames, allowing just three hits and two walks in one of his finest starts of the year. Kluber (0-2) faltered again in his second Eastern League outing, striking out five with one walk in the game. Akron’s bullpen fared no better, allowing the next five runs on seven hits with four hits in the final five frames.
New catcher Juan Apodaca was the only Aeros batter to reach base twice as he finished with a single and a walk. Left fielder Lucas Montero also doubled but the team has now failed to score four runs in eight of the nine games played in August.
This three-game series continues Wednesday night for “Paws and Pitches” Pet Night at Canal Park sponsored by Camp Bow Wow of Cuyahoga Falls. The game begins at 7:05 p.m. with proceeds from the event benefitting the Humane Society of Greater Akron and the Summit County Animal Coalition. Fans can bring all the members of the family for the fun in downtown Akron with a special offer of a $48 Family Pack including four tickets, four hot dogs, four soft drinks and four bags of chips, a savings of $28!
Cleveland Indians starter Anthony Reyes is expected to resume his rehab assignment tomorrow with the Aeros against Reading’s J.C. Ramirez (3-3, 4.76 ERA). Jim Clark for Wednesday’s radio broadcast beginning at 6:50 p.m. on Fox Sports 1350 AM and at www.akronaeros.com. For more information, please call the Aeros at (330) 253-5151.