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The Suburbanite
  • Aeros near All-Star break, remain in EL hunt

  • The Akron Aeros are nearing the Eastern League All-Star break and remain within 6.5 games of first place in the league's Western Division.

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  • The past week: Following a five-game winning streak earlier in the month, the Aeros have slipped back into the up-and-down pattern that has come to define their season thus far. After a four-game losing streak pushed them back to the middle of the pack in the Eastern League's Western Division, they have gone 2-4 in the past week, including taking two of three in a home series with New Britain to end a six-game homestand.
    Where they stand: At 36-41, the Aeros sit in fifth place in their division, 6.5 games behind first-place Harrisburg. All six of the teams in the Western Division remain within 8.5 games of one another as the league's All-Star break approaches.
    Who's hot: Shortstop Jose Ramirez has been swinging the bat well in the past week, batting .321 (9-28) with three extra base hits, three runs scored and 3 RBI to lift his average to .256. Right fielder Carlos Moncrief has also reached base consistently, going 7-21 with a home run, four walks and five runs. scored  Matt Packer kicked off the week with a strong effort on the mound in a 4-3 win over New Britain, pitching 6 2/3 innings and allowing just one earned run while striking out nine to even his record at 5-5 and lower his ERA to 2.64.
    What's ahead: After capping a six-game homestand on Sunday, it will be time to pack the bags for the Aeros as they embark upon their longest road trip of the season. With eight straight on the road in two series against Bowie and Richmond, the trip provides a chance to make up ground on the two teams closest to them in the Western Division standings.
    All-Star selections: Jesus Aguilar, Jose Flores, Moncrief and Packer have all been selected to participate in the Eastern League All-Star Game on July 10 in New Britain, Conn.
    Next home games:
    Tonight vs. Altoona, 7:05 p.m.
    Friday vs. Altoona, 5:30 p.m. (DH)