Curve shut down RubberDucks in DH
The Curve enjoyed a terrific twinbill that finished in thrilling fashion Saturday night to sweep Akron.
Domingo Robles dominated on the mound in the first game with a seven-inning shutout as Altoona rolled, 6-0.
The Curve were getting no-hit into the bottom of the sixth in game two, only to strike quickly for two runs and the lead. Akron then loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh before reliever Blake Weiman struck out Wilson Garcia to finish off a 2-1 win before 6,873 fans at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
The big crowd also had reason to celebrate that final punchout, as it was the McDonald’s strikeout guy, sending everyone home happy knowing they could get a free Big Mac.
“This is the best two games that we’ve played team baseball, and that’s what we’re looking for,” Curve manager Michael Ryan said.
All told, Curve pitchers allowed just one run over 14 innings in the doubleheader. Robles did superb work in the opener, and game two starter James Marvel did, as well, holding the RubberDucks to one run in 6ª innings.
Still, Altoona trailed 1-0 and didn’t have a hit going into the sixth of the nightcap. Akron starter David Speer tossed four no-hit innings, then Jared Robinson came on in relief with a hitless fifth.
The no-no disappeared right off the bat in the sixth, though, as Bralin Jackson smacked an opposite-field single to lead things off. Alfredo Reyes moved the runner over with a sacrifice bunt, and Jared Oliva doubled home Jackson to tie the game.
Mitchell Tolman followed with a go-ahead single off Robinson (0-1) to score Oliver for a 2-1 edge.
“To be able to chip away and get two shows us what we’re capable of,” Ryan said.
The offense did its job late, but it still had to thank Marvel for keeping the team in the game.
“Credit to Marvel for keeping it at one run because you don’t know if those at-bats are going to be the same if we are down three or four runs,” Ryan said.
Marvel went out for the seventh inning with a chance at a complete game. He gave up a leadoff single and then a one-out double that put runners at second and third.
Ryan went out for a brief mound visit and decided to let his starter stay in and try to escape the jam. Akron’s Ernie Clement then grounded out to third for the second out, with both runners holding.
Marvel had a tough battle against Ka’ai Tom before walking him on a 3-2 pitch that just missed inside. Ryan made the call to the bullpen for Blake Weiman, and the reliever came on and struck out Garcia to end the night.
Marvel (5-5) allowed one run on nine hits over 6ª innings, striking out five and overcoming four walks. Weiman earned his second save.
Robles (1-1) didn’t need anyone to save the opener as he was masterful, retiring 15 batters in a row at one point. He gave up four hits, struck out three and didn’t walk a batter in his shutout.
“Robles set the pace for us,” Ryan said. “I thought the first inning of the first game is what set the tone. Attack with the fastball, got them to chase late in some counts. Played really good defense in the first game behind him, and Marvel carried suit and got out of some tough situations.”
Logan Hill’s three-run triple in the third off Akron starter Evan Mitchell (0-1) ignited the Curve offense in game one. Altoona added three more runs in the fourth, including Hill picking up his fourth RBI with a bases-loaded walk.
Key player: LHP Domingo Robles pitched a shutout and DH Logan Hill had four RBIs in the opener for the Curve, and RHP James Marvel gave up one run in 6 2/3 innings to win game two.
Key play: Hill had a three-run triple for the Curve in the third inning of game one for a 3-0 lead, and Altoona broke up a no-hitter by scoring two runs in the sixth inning to win game two,
Key stat: Curve pitchers gave up just one run in 14 innings to complete the sweep.
How they scored
Bottom 3rd: Peurifoy walked, Oliva reached on fielder’s choice, Suiter intentionally walked, all scored on Hill triple (3-0).
Bottom 4th: Pope singled, scored on Tolman sacrifice fly (4-0); Peurifoy walked, scored on Hill bases-loaded walk (5-0); Oliva singled, scored on Kaminsky wild pitch (6-0).
Top 3rd: Pantoja singled, scored on Longo single (0-1).
Bottom 6th: Jackson singled, scored on Oliva double (1-1); Tolman single scored Oliva (2-1).