Curve deliver in 8th
AKRON, Ohio — The Curve’s resiliency continues to show up in key late-game situations, and several players always seem to be in the middle of the action when the offense gets going.
Bligh Madris drilled a two-run homer in the eighth inning to snap a tie and cap off a four-run frame as Altoona rallied for a 6-4 win over Akron on Wednesday night at Canal Park.
The Curve trailed 4-2 entering the eighth, then Chris Sharpe ignited the rally with a solo homer. Sharpe, a recent call-up from high-A Bradenton, has delivered time and again in the clutch over the past week.
Jared Oliva followed with a single, then Robbie Glendinning smacked an RBI double to tie the game at 4-4, setting up Madris’ go-ahead homer.
It’s uncanny how frequent Glendinning and Sharpe have been part of huge scoring situations since arriving in Double-A, becoming the centerpieces of the offense despite being newcomers.
Oliva and Madris also have come up big in numerous situations of late, as they continue to get more and more comfortable at this level as the season moves on.
Glendinning and Sharpe drove in the Curve’s first two runs, each hitting a sacrifice fly in the first and fifth innings, respectively.
Joel Cesar (2-2) picked up the win in relief for Altoona, while Matt Eckelman converted his 15th consecutive save with a scoreless ninth.
Jordan Stephens (1-1) took the loss and a blown save in relief for Akron, allowing the Madris homer in the eighth.
The Curve return home tonight for a four-game series against Erie and will hold their annual postgame fireworks extravaganza for the Fourth of July.
The Curve and SeaWolves will play eight consecutive games against one another in an Eastern League scheduling quirk. The first four games will be at home, then the teams will be off for the all-star break before meeting up for four more games in Erie.
It does give Altoona a great opportunity to make up ground on first-place Erie in the Western Division. The SeaWolves are 12-2 in the second half, are 1 1/2 games up on Bowie and 3 1/2 up on the Curve.
SUBHD: Game recap
Key player: RF Bligh Madris went 2-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs for the Curve.?Key play: Madris’ two-run blast in the eighth inning broke up a 4-4 and won it for Altoona.
Key stat: The Curve will now play eight consecutive games against Erie coming up, with two four-game series separated by the all-star break.
How they scored
Top 1st: Tolman singled, scored on Glendinning sacrifice fly (1-0).
Bottom 2nd: Marabell doubled, scored on Pantoja single (1-1).
Bottom 3rd: Clement singled, scored on Call double (1-2).
Top 5th: Reyes singled, scored on Sharpe sacrifice fly (2-2).
Bottom 6th: Brooks singled, scored on Rodriguez two-run homer (2-4).
Top 8th: Sharpe solo homer (3-4); Oliva singled, scored on Glendinning double (4-4); Madris two-run homer scored Glendinning (6-4).