Osuna Drives in Four as Curve Continue to Roll with Win over Akron

CURVE, Pa. – Jose Osuna drove in four runs as part of a three-hit night, finishing a home run shy of the cycle, as the Altoona Curve took the first game of a four-game series against the Akron RubberDucks, 7-5, on Monday night at Peoples Natural Gas Field.

Altoona (24-18) has won 13 of its last 15 contests while Akron (31-12) dropped just its fourth game in the month of May.

Trailing 5-4 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Altoona got a leadoff walk from Harold Ramirez, who moved to second on an Erich Weiss sacrifice bunt, and an RBI single from Austin Meadows off RubberDucks’ reliever Robbie Aviles (Loss, 1-1) tied the game, 5-5. Osuna followed with a run-scoring to give the Curve a 6-5 lead. Osuna scored with Reese McGuire at the plate on a wild pitch from Akron reliever Perci Garner, extending the lead to two.

Jared Lakind (Win, 1-0), Brett McKinney and Montana DuRapau combined to throw three scoreless innings of relief, and DuRapau (Save, 9) worked a perfect top of the ninth inning to clinch the victory.

Akron scored the game’s first run in the top of the first, but Altoona answered back with three runs in the bottom of the inning, when Osuna clubbed a two-run double with the bases loaded off the right field wall to give the Curve an early 2-1, and a McGuire fly out drove in Meadows to make it 3-1 against Akron starter Adam Plutko. The three first inning runs against Plutko ended a stretch of 15 straight innings pitched without a run allowed.

Plutko left the game in the sixth inning, finishing with 5.1 innings pitched, allowing four runs over six hits with a walk and a strikeout.

The RubberDucks chipped away at the lead with a run in the third and tied the game on an Eric Stamets sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth before taking the lead with a two-run single into center field from Ivan Castillo to make it 5-3, Akron. Altoona answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the sixth inning on an Osuna RBI groundout to score Meadows, who led the inning off with a triple to right field.

DuRapau has converted all nine of his save chances this year and has the second-most saves in the Eastern League, behind only Hartford’s Matt Carasiti.

Curve starter Clay Holmes tossed five innings, allowing three runs over seven hits with a walk and seven strikeouts.

Osuna led the offensive charge going 3-for-4, while Ramirez and Meadows also logged multi-hit nights. Ramirez extended his hitting streak to 11 games, a season-best for any Curve player this year.

The Curve and RubberDucks play the second game of their four-game series at 6 p.m. on Tuesday. Curve southpaw Brandon Waddell (3-0, 2.41) makes his fourth start with Altoona, and the Curve will oppose RubberDucks lefty Anderson Polanco (0-2, 11.74).

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