From Mirror reports
AKRON, Ohio - Despite playing without center fielder Robbie Grossman (suspended), first baseman Matt Curry (injured) and catcher Tony Sanchez (promoted to Triple-A), the Curve won two of three at Reading and gave the Eastern League's best team, Akron, a good battle in two one-run losses this past week.
Sunday, however, the short-handed Curve were no match for the Aeros, who won their 12th straight home game, 7-1, at Canal Park. Akron, which has won six in a row overall, finished off a three-game sweep while improving to 39-20 and 26-7 at home.
The most mysterious story of the season continued Sunday as Grossman missed his seventh consecutive game, and still no one with the Pirate organization is giving any details about the suspension.
Minor leaguers occasionally get benched for two or three games for various minor indiscretions, but a week-long suspension is very rare. With Sanchez now in Triple-A, Grossman is the highest-rated prospect on the Curve's roster (No. 8 in Pirates' system), and his extended absence led to Bucs general manager Neal Huntington having to address the issue Sunday.
Huntington told the Pittsburgh media that Grossman's situation is "due to an issue internally. We'll leave it at that." Those words echoed the sentiments this past week of Curve manager P.J. Forbes, as well as Pirates farm director Larry Broadway and assistant general manager Kyle Stark.
Next game: Tuesday vs. Trenton, 7 p.m.
Altoona fell behind early Sunday and was never really in the game as Akron scored two runs in the second inning and three more in the fourth for a 5-0 lead against Curve starter Shairon Martis (4-2).
Aeros third baseman Kyle Bellows tormented Altoona pitching all day, going 4-for-5 with four RBIs and two runs. His two-run single in the fourth made it 5-0 and broke the game open.
The Curve's lone run scored in the fifth when Anthony Norman tripled and scored on a groundout by Miguel Perez.
Akron starter Giovanni Soto lasted only 4 1/3 innings and did not qualify for the win, which went to reliever Jose De La Torre (4-0).
The Curve are off today, and many members of the team will take part in the Booster Club's annual golf outing at Park Hills Country Club.
Key player: Akron 3B Kyle Bellows was 4-for-5 with four RBIs.
Key play: Bellows' two-run single in the fourth gave the Aeros a 5-0 lead.
Key stat: CF Robbie Grossman has now missed seven games for undisclosed reasons.
How they scored
Bottom 1st: Crowe doubled, scored on Bellows double (0-1); Abraham groundout scored Bellows (0-2).
Bottom 4th: Diaz doubled, scored on Weglarz double (0-3); Neal singled, scored along with Weglarz on Bellows single (0-5).
Top 5th: Norman tripled, scored on Perez groundout (1-5).
Bottom 6th: Perez walked, scored on Bellows double (1-6); Chen double scored Bellows (1-7).