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Murata, Akron outlast Altoona 1-0 in pitcher's duel

Both pitching staffs' excelled in Tuesday's game allowing a combined 14 batters on base.

Murata, Akron outlast Altoona 1-0 in pitcher's duel
Toru Murata has been lights-out as a RubberDucks starter in 2014, and Tuesday's performance was no different. Murata (3-0, 1.66) hurled 6 innings of scoreless baseball, while allowing just 2 hits, 3 walks and striking out 5 Curve batters. (Photo c
May 21, 2014
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ALTOONA, PA — Akron right fielder Jordan Smith had the RubberDucks only extra-base hit when he doubled in the top of the fifth inning. This would prove to be vital, as a Tyler Naquin RBI single followed one batter later, and was the difference in Akron’s 1-0 victory in Altoona. The win evened the series at a game apiece with two more left to be played.

The game was a pitcher’s duel from the beginning, as both starters allowed just one run on five hits combined.

Toru Murata (3-0, 1.66) earned the win for Akron and remained undefeated this season.

Murata ran into trouble early when he gave up a two-out triple to Altoona right fielder Willy Garcia; however, after walking the next batter, he was able to get Gift Ngoepe to ground out at first. From then on, it was smooth sailing for Murata.

The right-hander pitched a two-hit shutout, striking out five and walking three batters.

Curve starter Adrian Sampson (3-3, 2.17) turned in a valiant effort himself, going seven innings strong, giving up just one run on three hits. Sampson stranded eight RubberDucks, struck out eight and walked one in the loss.

Adam Miller was solid in two innings of relief, striking out one and yielding only one hit to Altoona.

Spotlighted in this week’s RubberDucks notebook, Shawn Armstrong came into the game in the ninth and continued his dominance, recording his seventh save of the year. The sharp right-hander struck out one and walked one.

The game ended when Curve pinch-runner Drew Maggi was caught stealing by RubberDucks catcher Tony Wolters on his second caught steal of the night, this one sealing the Akron road win.

Akron (29-15) will continue the series tomorrow against Altoona (17-26). The RubberDucks have won 11 of 15 games against the Curve this season, thus far. RHP Nick Kingham (1-4, 3.35) is scheduled to start for Altoona and RHP Joe Colon (2-2, 2.82) will take the mound for Akron.

Spencer Davies is a student at the University of Akron studying Sports Management with a minor concentrating in Mass Communication. Follow Spencer on Twitter @SpinDavies.

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