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RubberDucks win 6-4, take series against Altoona

The RubberDucks outlasted the Altoona Curve on Sunday to take the three-game series 2-1.

RubberDucks win 6-4, take series against Altoona
Akron third baseman Giovanny Urshela (41) continued his hot start to the 2014 season, raising his batting average to .304 after batting 3-for-5 with three doubles, 2 RBI and one run on Sunday. (Photo credit: Brittany Chay)
April 27, 2014
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AKRON, OH – A two-run second inning, followed by another third-inning run gave the Akron RubberDucks an early lead, which they hung on to defeat the Altoona Curve 6-4 on Sunday afternoon at Canal Park.

Bryson Myles singled to right field with no outs in the bottom of the second to send Joe Wendle, who reached on a walk, to third. A RBI single from Jordan Smith brought Wendle home before Ronny Rodriguez clubbed a sacrifice fly to center field, allowing Myles to score, and putting Akron ahead 2-0. Myles appeared to not be tagging up on the play, fooling Altoona centerfielder Mel Rojas, Jr., who was caught off-guard by his sudden sprint home for the run.

Francisco Lindor and Giovanny Urshela led off the third inning with consecutive doubles, plating another run for a 3-0 advantage. In the next frame, Akron starter RHP Joe Colon walked Justin Howard, setting him up to score a run on a double from Elias Diaz. Diaz would score later in the inning putting the Curve within one run of Akron at 3-2.

With the RubberDucks looking for an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth, an Altoona error by shortstop Alen Hanson helped the cause by allowing Urshela to score after reaching base on his second double of the game.Bryan LaHair scored later on a RBI single from Tony Walters. The RubberDucks led 5-2 heading into the sixth inning.

A solo homer from Altoona's Gift Ngoepe put up a run for the Curve in the eighth. Akron answered in the bottom of the inning when Tyler Naquin reached on an error, and eventually scored after Urshela hit his third double of the game. Altoona posted another run in the top of the ninth, but RHP Tyler Sturdevant struck out two to end the game.

Colon (1-2) picked up the win after six innings of work (2 ER, 4 BB). While on the mound, Colon tied his season-high for strikeouts this season with five, while allowing three hits, his fewest in a game so far this year. Sturdevant walked away with his first save since 2011 after pitching the final 1 1/3 inning where the Curve registered two hits and one earned run.

Altoona starter RHP Adrian Sampson (3-2) took the loss (1.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB). The Curve sent Matt Benedict to the mound in the bottom of the second as he went on to pitch 2 1/3 inning in which Akron managed five hits and three runs, two earned. 

In what was the longest nine inning game of the 2014 season, so far, at three hours and six minutes, the RubberDucks posted 11 hits, falling one hit shy of tying their season-high for most hits in a game. Urshela, the Indians' Minor League Player of the Week posted a 3-for-5 effort at the plate with two RBI. Despite the strong offense, Akron stranded 12 runners on base, the most in any game this season.

The RubberDucks continue the homestand at Canal Park with a three-game series against Binghamton set to begin Monday at 6:35 PM. Akron will send RHP Will Roberts (2-2, 5.48) to the mound, while RHP Tyler Pill (0-3, 9.64) will start for Binghamton.

The Akron RubberDucks are the Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. The 2014 season is its 18th since moving to Canal Park and its first since becoming the RubberDucks. For more information and merchandise featuring the Akron RubberDucks, go to www.AkronRubberDucks.com or call 330-253-5151. The Akron RubberDucks are on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AkronRubberDucks and Twitter at @AkronRubberDuck. 

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