AKRON -- Akron third baseman Kyle Bellows went 4-for-5, with a pair of doubles and four runs batted in on Sunday, as the Aeros beat up the Altoona Curve, 7-1, completing a three-game sweep at Canal Park.
Bellows’ four RBI’s increased his season total to 26, which is the most on the team. It was his second four-hit game of the season and also his second four-RBI effort.
“He’s had some games where didn’t have hits, but he’s also had a string of quality games,” said Akron Aeros manager Chris Tremie. “He had a very good day today with four hits and really good at-bats.”
After right fielder Trevor Crowe led off the bottom of the first with a double, Bellows drove another double to left off Altoona starter Shairon Martis (4-2, 3.67), scoring Crowe. Bellows scored on a ground ball double play later in the inning to make it 2-0.
The Aeros drove Martis from the game in the fourth after scoring three more runs for a 5-0 lead. After a leadoff double by shortstop Juan Diaz, left fielder Nick Weglarz doubled low off the wall in left-center to score Diaz. With two outs and the bases loaded, Bellows singled to left, driving in two more runs.
Weglarz continued his resurgence at the plate, going 1-for-2 with a double, two walks, and a run batted in.
“Nick, throughout his career, has been a good hitter,” said Tremie. “Last year, he was stumbling a little bit with injuries and he battled those and early on this year he just had a little bit of a slow start.
“I think he’s worked hard and put himself in a position, both health-wise and his approach, he’s starting to see results that are showing the kind of hitter he is.”
Giovanni Soto (ND, 4.08) pitched four strong innings but ran into trouble in the fifth. Soto allowed a leadoff triple to left fielder Anthony Norman that traveled into the right field corner. Norman scored after Soto induced a ground out to short. Soto walked the next two batters before Jose De La Torre came on in relief.
“He ran into a little trouble with the command of his fastball -- I think in the fourth inning,” said Tremie. “His pitch count got up a little bit but he threw some good pitches throughout the course of the game.”
De La Torre (4-0, 2.33) worked out of the jam with no problems and pitched a perfect sixth inning to earn the win.
Bellows and first baseman Chun Chen added back-to-back RBI doubles in the sixth, extending the lead to 7-1.
The Aeros hit seven doubles and walked four times, continuing their patient approach at the plate.
“We’ve been very good as an offensive team in our approach of not going out of the zone a whole lot and being able to drive the ball,” said Tremie. “With the multiple amount of extra-base hits that we got, that usually results in scoring runs.”
The Aeros (39-20) extended their winning streak to six games while continuing their dominance at Canal Park, winning their 12th straight at home. Akron has swept four consecutive home series.
The Aeros have an off day tomorrow before starting a three-game series at New Britain on Tuesday. The first game of the series will be played at New Britain Stadium at 6:35 p.m. Akron right-hander Brett Brach (1-2, 4.44) will face New Britain right-hander Steve Hirschfeld (4-4, 3.20). The Aeros return home to face Binghamton on June 19.
Notes: Altoona shortstop Brock Holt and hitting coach Ryan Long were ejected in the seventh inning for arguing balls and strikes. … Four Akron relievers allowed just three base runners in the final four and two-thirds innings, striking out five. … Announced attendance: 3,285.
Nathan Kemp graduated from The University of Akron in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in English. He plans to pursue a graduate degree through NEOMFA in the fall. Follow him on Twitter @NathanCKemp.