Curve Take Rubber Game from RubberDucks

AKRON, Ohio – The Altoona Curve scored early and held on for a 5-4 win against the Akron RubberDucks on Thursday night, taking the rubber game of the three-game set at Canal Park.

The second-place Curve (30-22) closed within 5.5 games of the division-leading RubberDucks (36-17).

The Curve scored a pair of runs in the first, thanks to two Akron errors. On a ball batted by Jose Osuna, third baseman Eric Stamets was charged with a throwing error that allowed Erich Weiss to score. Jin-De Jhang followed with a fly ball to center that was dropped by center fielder Bradley Zimmer, allowing Austin Meadows to cross the plate.

Meadows reached on a triple and Osuna brought him in to score with a double. Edwin Espinal added an RBI double later in the inning to extend the lead to 4-0 against Akron starter Anderson Polanco (Loss, 1-4).

After back-to-back singles to open the fifth and a fielding error in right field by Mike Papi, Osuna hit a sacrifice fly to plate Weiss and push to Curve lead to 5-0.

Akron broke the shutout with a run in the bottom of the fifth and added a two-run homer by Taylor Murphy in the sixth to close within two runs against starter Clay Holmes (Win, 5-4).

Holmes went six innings and allowed three earned runs on six hits with five strikeouts.

The RubberDucks closed within a run in the seventh after a wild pitch brought Todd Hankins across the plate, ending a streak of 18.1 scoreless innings and 12 outings without allowing a run by Curve reliever Dovydas Neverauskas, the longest span for any Curve pitcher this season.

Lefty Jared Lakind (Save, 3) pitched the final 1.2 innings and stranded the tying run on base in the ninth. He extended his current scoreless streak to 17.1 innings and has not allowed a run in 12 appearances.

Meadows went 2-for-4 with a walk and scored two runs to stretch his hitting streak to 11 games. During the streak, the Pirates’ second-ranked prospect is .464 (19-for-41) with seven multi-hit games, four doubles, three triples, a home run, five steals, five walks, 11 runs scored and just four strikeouts.

The Curve open a three-game series against the Binghamton Mets on Friday night at PNG Field. Lefty Brandon Waddell (3-1, 4.91) will be on the mound for Altoona, countered by Binghamton right-hander Tyler Pill (3-5, 4.13).

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