Curve Strike Out 13 but Lose to Akron

CURVE, Pa. – Five Altoona Curve pitchers combined to strikeout 13 Akron RubberDucks hitters but the Curve fell, 8-3, on Tuesday evening at Peoples Natural Gas Field.

The 13 strikeouts for Altoona (24-19) set a nine-inning game best this season, but Akron (32-12) used three fifth-inning home runs to propel themselves to their 18th win in the month of May.

Altoona held a 3-2 lead heading into the top of the sixth inning before Eric Stamets and Bradley Zimmer each crushed two-run home runs to left field and Nellie Rodriguez blasted a solo shot over the center field wall to give Akron a 7-3 lead off Curve reliever Edgar Santana (Loss, 2-1). Zimmer and Rodriguez hit their home runs in back-to-back at-bats.

The RubberDucks added a run in the top of the seventh against Josh Smith on a Todd Hankins RBI bloop single, extending the lead to 8-3. The Curve collected just two hits in the game’s final four innings, and went down in order in the top of the ninth.

The Curve scored the first run of the game on an Edwin Espinal RBI single to score Jose Osuna, who led the inning off with a walk, to make it 1-0, Altoona. Akron responded with a pair of runs in the top of the third on a two-run triple from Zimmer, making it 2-1 RubberDucks, but the Curve retook the lead with consecutive RBI hits from Erich Weiss and Austin Meadows to make it 3-2.

Altoona starter Brandon Waddell turned in his shortest outing this season, tossing just four innings and allowed just two runs despite scattering five hits and issuing four walks to accompany four strikeouts. Waddell saw a streak of winning seven straight starts come to an end.

Akron starter Anderson Polanco (Win, 1-2) earned his first career Double-A win, after allowing three runs on five hits with three walks and six strikeouts over five innings pitched. The Akron bullpen held the Curve to just one hit over four shutout innings, with two walks issued and three strikeouts.

Curve reliever Dovydas Neverauskas extended his scoreless streak to 14.2 innings, the longest stretch for any Curve pitcher this season, after tossing a perfect top of the ninth inning. He has now posted ten consecutive scoreless outings.

Zimmer finished the game a home run shy of the cycle for the RubberDucks, while Edwin Espnial paced the Curve offensively with a 2-for-4 night, with an RBI. Harold Ramirez saw his season-best 11-game hitting streak come to an end.

Altoona and Akron will square off in the second Education Day of the season on Wednesday with a special 10:30 a.m. start. Curve right-hander Tyler Eppler (2-2, 2.74) will oppose RubberDucks righty D.J. Brown (2-0, 2.70). Wednesday is 4-Pack Wednesday where fans can get four tickets, four hot dogs and four regular sodas for one low price, starting at $45. It’s also Wing Wednesday, with .50-cent wings (min. order of six). For tickets and more information, visit, call 877.99.CURVE or stop by the PNG Field box office.

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