PORTLAND – The Akron Aeros arrived Friday for their once-a-year trip to Hadlock Field. They unpacked their bats and quickly put them to use.
Akron, the second-best hitting team in the Eastern League, pounded out 15 hits for a 6-3 win over the Portland Sea Dogs at Hadlock Field.
The game began in a comfortable 72 degrees but was delayed an hour in the seventh inning when the skies opened up with a downpour.
Both Christian Vazquez and Travis Shaw enjoyed 2-for-4 nights for Portland. Vazquez, who entered the game in a 2-for-42 slump, had two RBI.
Vazquez’s two-run single came in a fourth-inning rally that briefly gave the Sea Dogs a lead.
Portland loaded the bases on singles by Tony Thomas and Shaw, and a Ryan Dent walk. Vazquez grounded a ball into center field to make it 2-2.
Heiker Meneses followed with an RBI single to right for a 3-2 Sea Dogs lead.
Akron tied it in the fifth on three hits and an error — Vazquez’s wild throw on a stolen base.
Sea Dogs right-hander Keith Couch made his second start since coming out of the bullpen to replace the promoted Brandon Workman. He gave up 10 hits but only three runs, two earned, over 51/3 innings.
Reliever Pete Ruiz (1-2) allowed three singles and a run in the seventh as Akron took a 4-3 lead.
Then came the rain.
Ruiz returned to the mound in the eighth despite the delay and walked three batters. One came home on a wild pitch, putting the Aeros up 5-3.
Reliever Rafael Perez entered in the ninth. Akron tagged him for a run on two doubles.
Brett Bach (4-2) got the win with six innings of work (six hits, three runs). Jose Flores pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his sixth save.
The teams meet again at 6 p.m. Saturday, then 1 p.m. Sunday.
NOTES: The Red Sox routinely skip a start for their pitchers in the minor leagues to give them some extra rest. Boles said it is Matt Barnes’ turn to miss a start, leaving today’s starter listed as “TBA.” Boles likely will use a committee of relievers. Barnes is tentatively scheduled to pitch Tuesday in Reading when the Sea Dogs play a doubleheader. … Reliever Will Latimer was activated from the disabled list Friday, filling the vacancy by Xander Bogaerts’ promotion to Pawtucket. … Vazquez threw out 1 of 2 would-be base stealers. He leads all catchers in the Red Sox organization with a .459 percentage (29 of 61). … The announced paid attendance was 4,063. … Bogaerts went 1 for 2 with a walk in his Triple-A debut Friday. He scored the winning run on Alex Hassan’s walk-off RBI single. Bogaerts homered in the second game of the doubleheader. … Former Sea Dogs outfielder Bryce Brentz also homered, his 13th for Pawtucket.
Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at: