Curve Fall Again to Akron

CURVE, Pa. – The Altoona Curve scored six of the game’s final eight runs, but a pair of five-run leads by the Akron RubberDucks proved to be too much to overcome, as the Curve fell 7-6 at Peoples Natural Gas Field on Tuesday night.

With Altoona (1-4) rallying late, Akron (5-0) turned the first triple play at PNG Field since a similar three-out play by Erie against the Curve in 2014.

With the Curve trailing by a run in the seventh with no outs and two runners on, Jonathan Schwind lined into a 9-6-3 triple play to end the threat. The base runners were in motion on the pitch, but right fielder Clint Frazier caught the ball on the fly, threw to shortstop Eric Stamets for an out at second, who threw to Joe Sever at first to complete the triple play.

With Akron leading 5-0, Schwind opened the scoring for Altoona in the bottom of the sixth, driving a two-run triple off the left-center field wall to score Jose Osuna and Jin-De Jhang. Schwind came in to score on an Antonio Romero wild pitch, cutting the RubberDucks lead to 5-3.

Akron pushed across two more runs in the seventh inning, one on a Jeremy Lucas RBI single and another on an Eric Wood throwing error, allowing Lucas to score, making it 7-3, RubberDucks.

Altoona rallied to come within a run in the bottom of the seventh, as the first five batters of the frame all reached safely, three of which scored to bring the Curve within 7-6. However, the rally came to a close with the with the triple play.

Chris Diaz walked with one out in the bottom of the eighth and made his way to third, but was left stranded. Altoona went down in order against Ben Heller (Save, 2) in the bottom of the ninth.

Akron hit another home run, its sixth of the series, for the first run of the game in the top of the second inning when Nellie Rodriguez led the frame off with a solo shot to left-center field, and got another run off an RBI single by Jeremy Lucas, taking a 2-0 lead.

In the top of the fourth inning, Clint Frazier ripped a three-run double into center field to extend the RubberDucks lead to 5-0. Despite allowing five earned runs and seven hits over four innings of work, Curve (1-4) righty David Whitehead (Loss, 0-1) struck out six in his Pirates organizational debut.

Anderson Feliz and Jang both notched two-hit games for Altoona.

In his Double-A debut, Akron starter Dace Kime (Win, 1-0) allowed three earned runs on five hits over 5.2 innings.

Altoona brings its season-opening homestand to a close on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at PNG Field. Right-handed pitcher Jason Creasy (0-0, 3.00) makes his second start of the season for the Curve, while righty Adam Plutko (1-0, 0.00) gets the nod for Akron.

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