Akron RubbeDucks come back before falling to Altoona, 4-3
(Altoona, Pa.) May 19, 2014 – Altoona centerfielder Mel Rojasripped a two-run single to right field in the bottom of the eighth inning Monday night, giving the Curve just enough offense to slip by the Akron RubberDucks, 4-3, in the series opener at People’s Natural Gas Field.
The Curve (17-25) sent eight batters to the plate in the eighth, rallying from a 3-2 deficit. The first four hitters reached against leftyGiovanni Soto (0-1), the fourth being Rojas, who delivered the eventual game-winning RBI. Soto left with the bases loaded and one out, but righthander Tyler Sturdevant recorded the final two outs with no further damage.
In the ninth, Curve closer Manny De Leon walked Alex Lavisky, but got the next three hitters to pick up his second save. He made a winner of Joan Montero (1-0), who earned his first victory at the Double-A level despite giving up the go-ahead run in the Akron 7th.
After falling behind 2-0 in the first, the RubberDucks (28-15) battled back to tie the game in the fifth on a solo homer by Ronny Rodriguez, his third, and an RBI groundout by Tyler Naquin. In the seventh against Montero, Laviskysingled, advanced to second on a wild pitch, moved to third on a groundout, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Tyler Holtfor a brief, 3-2 lead.
Gabriel Arias started for Akron and settled down after giving up two runs on four hits in the first. He ended up going 5 2/3 innings and allowed no further runs. He walked none and fanned five, and left with the game tied, 2-2.
Despite the loss, Akron still holds a five-game lead in the EL West over second place Bowie, who throttled Erie, 14-3 on Monday .
The RubberDucks and Curve will continue the series Tuesday evening at 6:30. RHP Toru Murata (2-0, 2.30) will start for Akron, while RHP Adrian Sampson (3-2, 2.32) is the announced starter for Altoona. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1350 AM in the Akron area, and also via www.AkronRubberDucks.com.
The Akron RubberDucks are the Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. The 2014 season is the 18th since moving to Canal Park and the first as the RubberDucks. For more information, including official team merchandise, go to www.AkronRubberDucks.com or call 330-253-5151. Fans may also follow the team on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/AkronRubberDucks and Twitter at @AkronRubberDuck.