RubberDucks hang on for 5-4 win at Altoona
Akron moved into a tie for 1st place in the EL West following Friday's win.
ALTOONA, PA – Funny thing in baseball. You never know when a one-run game is going to break out.
That was the last thing the Akron RubberDucks were expecting as Friday night’s game with Altoona went to the bottom of the ninth with Akron holding a 5-1 lead in the series opener at People’s Natural Gas Field. After all, the Curve had been held to just one run on the night, and that had come all the way back in the fourth inning. Relief pitcher Toru Murata even retired the lead-off hitter, Elias Diaz, on a routine fly ball to center for the first out.
Three singles and a two-run double later, the Ducks were clinging to a 5-4 lead with two outs and the potential tying run on third base. Closer Shawn Armstrong was summoned from the bullpen, and, after walking Stetson Allie to further complicate matters, he induced Mel Rojas, Jr. to fly out to left field, and end the nail-biter in Akron’s favor.
It was the third save of the season for Armstrong, and it lifted the RubberDucks (15-11) to their fifth consecutive win. With Trenton’s 8-1 victory over Richmond, the RubberDucks moved into a tie with the Flying Squirrels for first place in the EL West.
Francisco Lindor had a sensational evening for Akron, going 2-for-4, with a two-run home run, a triple, a sacrifice fly and three RBI to headline an Akron offense that produced 12 hits on the night. Lindor slugged a two-run shot to left in the seventh inning off Jhonathan Ramos (1-2) to snap a 1-1 tie. His sacrifice fly in the fifth tied the game, 1-1.
All the offense and the ninth-inning heroics by Armstrong helped make a winner of Akron starter Cody Anderson (2-2), who enjoyed one of his best outings of the season. Anderson worked a personal-best 6 2/3 innings and allowed just one run on eight hits. He walked two and struck out one lowering his ERA to 3.13.
The RubberDucks and Curve (11-14) will continue the series with a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon beginning at 4:30 PM. RHP Gabriel Arias (2-2, 3.32) will oppose RHP Tyler Sample (2-0, 1.00) in game one. The nightcap will feature a pitching match-up of RHP Duke von Schamann (0-0, 1.69) for Akron and LHP Brandon Mann (1-2, 2.20) for Altoona. Both games will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1350 AM in Akron 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 at www.facebook.com/AkronRubberDucks and Twitter at @AkronRubberDuck.