Erie's Wayne Gaynor was 2-4, with a two-run homer in the sixth inning Monday night, as the SeaWolves notched a come-from-behind, 7-4 victory over the Akron Aeros at Canal Park.
Gaynor's home run, his third of the season, came during a four-run rally in the top of the sixth, and gave the SeaWolves a 5-3 lead.
The loss snapped the Aeros win streak at two games, and extended the SeaWolves win streak to six games. It was the first meeting of the season with Erie, currently the first-place club in the EL West. Following Monday's action, Erie leads Richmond by three games and the Aeros by four.
Akron took a 2-0 lead in the first against Erie starter Victor Larez (5-0). Chun Chen belted a two-run home run, his fifth, but Larez stranded two runners aboard. Over the next four innings, Larez only gave up three more hits, but one of them was a solo homer by Quincy Latimore to make it 3-0, Akron.
Then came the sixth, when the SeaWolves came to life against Akron starter Will Roberts (1-1). After a double and single put runners on the corners, Tyler Collins lifted a shallow fly ball to left that disappeared in the twilight sky and fell in behind Latimore in left for an RBI single to make it 3-2. James McCann came up next and delivered a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 3-3. One out later, Gaynor's shot to left put the SeaWolves (18-11) ahead to stay.
The Aeros (15-16) threatened in the seventh, putting a pair of runners on base with two outs against reliever Will Startup. Chen smoked a pitch up the middle, deflecting off Startup and rolling to second baseman Hernan Perez, who threw to first to nip Chen for the third out. Feeling he was safe, Chen argued with first base umpire Roberto Ortiz and was ejected from the game.
Erie extended the lead to 7-3, with a pair of runs in the ninth off Cole Cook, including a solo homer by Eugenio Suarez. Akron made it 7-4 in the ninth on an RBI double by Giovanny Urshela.
Carlos Moncrief was 1-4, for Akron, extending his hitting streak to eight games. Moncrief's is the longest hitting streak on the team this season.
The Aeros and SeaWolves will play the second game of the series on Tuesday evening at 7:05. LHP Kyle Lobstein (3-2, 2.89) will start for Erie, while RHP Danny Salazar (2-3, 2.83) will make the start for Akron.