Recap 08/03: Altoona Sweeps Tuesday Twin Bill with Aeros

ALTOONA,
PA – The first-place Altoona Curve defeated the Aeros twice Tuesday evening,
earning a 4-3 victory in Game 1 followed by a 3-2 victory in the 10th
inning in the finale.  Akron ace Alex
White took the loss in the opener in front of 4,542 fans at Blair County
Ballpark while a quality start from lefty Matt Packer in his Akron debut was
not enough in the extra-inning finale. Akron (56-52) has now lost four straight
and moved into a fourth place tie in the Western Division with Harrisburg as Altoona
improved to 63-46.

Altoona
started the scoring in the bottom of the first against White in the opener. An
RBI single by Andrew Lambo preceded an Aeros outburst against Curve lefty
Justin Wilson in the second. Four hits, highlighted by back-to-back two-out
hits from center fielder Jordan Henry and second baseman Jason Kipnis, gave the
visitors an early 3-1 lead.

The
lead did not last long as the Curve responded in the bottom of the fourth
inning with two outs and runners on first and third base. Yung-Chi Chen later
delivered a two-run single and Chase d’Arnaud provided the game-winner on a
base hit to right-center.

Wilson
(9-6) retired the final 10 batters he faced through his six innings pitched,
earning the crucial win while recovering from the rough second inning. White
(6-5) allowed four earned runs for the first time in 14 Double-A outings,
permitting seven hits in five frames. Michael Dubee recorded his second save of
the year with a perfect seventh inning.

In
the nightcap, Packer and Altoona starter Jared Hughes battled through the first
two frames before Akron began the scoring in the third. Shortstop Cristo Arnal
singled to begin the frame, stole both second and third and then scored on an
error by Josh Harrison. The Curve tied the score at 1-1 on a run-scoring
fielder’s choice in the bottom of that inning.

The
Aeros used a small ball attack again in the fourth when Kipnis initiated the
brief rally with a single. He moved to second on a wild pitch, took third on a
Lonnie Chisenhall fly out and then scored on a sacrifice fly from first baseman
Beau Mills. The lead stood until the bottom of the sixth when Harrison plated Chen
with a clutch single to right-center.

The
game advanced to extra innings where both bullpens maintained the dramatic tie
until the bottom of the 10th. Chen continued his impressive evening
with a single to left, moved to second on a controversial balk and scored on d’Arnaud’s
walk-off base hit to right.

Dustin
Molleken (4-4) earned the win for the Curve with by allowing a lone single in
the top of the final frame. Reliever Bryan Price (4-3) took the loss in his 2.1
innings, permitting three hits and three walks overall. Packer was dominant
after receiving the promotion from Class A Lake County earlier in the day,
limiting the powerful Altoona offense to just two runs (one earned) on six hits
with six strikeouts in seven efficient innings pitched.

Kipnis
starred offensively in the two games for the Aeros, finishing 4-for-7 with a
triple, a run scored and two RBI. Henry extended his hitting streak to 10 games
with two singles while the team finished 0-for-9 with runners in scoring
position in the night’s second loss.

This
four-game series continues Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. at Blair County
Ballpark between the Aeros and the Curve. Akron has yet to officially announce
a starting pitcher to face off against Altoona’s Rudy Owens (8-6, 2.92 ERA). Join
Ken Carman for Wednesday’s radio broadcast beginning at 5:15 p.m. on Fox Sports
1350 AM and at www.akronaeros.com. For
more information, please call the Aeros at (330) 253-5151.

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