Aeros thrown for a curve by Altoona, lose 9-4
Akron, OH- Slugger Alex Dickerson has a favorite team to hit against. Sunday afternoon at Canal Park, he showed why that team is the Akron Aeros, as the Curve right fielder nearly hit for the cycle and helped fuel a 9-4 Altoona victory.
Dickerson continued his onslaught against Aeros pitching this season, going 4-for-5 in the game, including a pair of doubles and a home run, and finished just a triple shy of the cycle. His second double of the game ignited a four-run ninth to allow the Curve to pull away with the win.
Toru Murata was on the hill for the Aeros and he struggled to figure out the Altoona lineup early in the contest, surrendering a combined eight singles in the first three innings.
With the Curve (42-51) already ahead 2-0 in the third inning, Dickerson smashed a two-run home run off Murata to extend the early Altoona getaway to 4-0. Five of Dickerson’s 11 homers on the season have come against Akron.
But right back came the Aeros in the bottom half of the third, linking together three hits leading to three runs to cut the Curve lead to 4-3. Capping the mini-rally was first baseman Jesus Aguilar, who slapped a double into the left field corner to plate his Eastern League-leading 73rd RBI of the season.
The Aeros (45-49) caught a tough break in the top of the fifth, as leftfielder Matt Lawson and shortstop Jose Ramirez collided on a fly ball to left field. Ramirez left the game with an apparent right ankle injury and did not return. His injury is not believed to be serious.
Two batters later, the collision ended up haunting Akron, when leftfielder Andy Vasquez hit a sacrifice fly to center, pushing the Altoona lead to 5-3.
For the afternoon, Murata (3-5, 4.21) tossed 4.2 innings, giving up five runs with three of them earned off 11 hits, striking out one and walking a one batter.
Meanwhile, Murata’s counterpart, David Bromberg (5-8, 3.64) pitched effectively and appeared to get stronger as he got deeper into Sunday’s contest. The right-hander’s only blemish on the day was the three-run third inning, as he sat down nine straight Akron batters into the bottom of the seventh.
In total, Bomberg lasted seven innings, yielding three runs off six hits, while striking out nine and walking a pair. The righty has now fanned 97 batters in 96.1 innings this season, which is among the top ten most in the Eastern League this season.
Akron continues their home stand Monday night against the Erie SeaWolves at 7:05. Lefty Matt Packer (8-5, 2.55 ERA) is the announced starter the Aeros, while RHP Drew VerHagen (2-2, 1.65 ERA) is the expected starter for the SeaWolves.