(Akron, OH) - Adonis Garcia tied the game with a seventh-inning home run, then put Trenton ahead with an RBI single in the ninth as the Thunder came from behind to defeat the Akron Aeros, 3-2, Sunday afternoon at Canal Park to move within one victory of clinching a playoff berth. Trenton pitching matched a season high with 14 strikeouts as the Thunder (76-58) lowered their magic number to one for getting into the playoffs and to five for clinching the division title.
The Thunder took three of four in the series against the playoff-bound Aeros (77-56) and held Akron to only seven runs in those four contests. Trenton now leads second-place Reading by 4.5 games with eight remaining to play in the regular season (Reading hosts Erie on Sunday night). Third-place New Britain dropped its eighth straight game Sunday and fell 8.0 games in back of the Thunder.
With the Thunder trailing 2-0 heading into the seventh, Rob Segedin led off the inning with a blast over the left field fence against reliever Bryce Stowell for his third home run of the season. Two outs later, Garcia clobbered a mammoth shot to dead centerfield, his second with Trenton.
The game remaining tied until the ninth, when pitcher Rob Bryson (5-5) walked leadoff batter Jose Gil. The next batter Shane Brown laid down a sacrifice bunt on which Bryson threw the ball away at first place allowing the runners to reach second and third. Garcia then grounded his winning single past a drawn-in infield on an 0-2 pitch.
Mark Montgomery (3-1) tossed two scoreless innings to earn the win, while Ryan Pope pitched around a two-out single in the ninth to finish his sixth save. Starter Brett Marshall tied his career-high by striking out nine batters in six solid innings, during which he allowed two runs on five hits.
Garcia paced Trenton's seven-hit attack by going 3-for-5 with a home run, double and two RBI. Adam Abraham homered for Akron while Jesus Aguilar started the scoring in the third with an RBI double.
Trenton next welcomes third-place New Britain for a crucial four-game series, with the Rock Cats desperately trying to snap an eight-game skid. Game one will be Monday night at 7:05 pm, with right-hander Craig Heyer (2-4, 5.63) expected to start for Trenton against lefty Luke French (2-1, 2.31). Limited tickets are available by contacting the Thunder box office at 609-394-3300 or online atwww.trentonthunder.com.