Hentges Strong, RubberDucks Leave Road with a Loss
The Akron RubberDucks fell just short in their final road game of the season, losing 3-2 to the Altoona Curve on Thursday night at Peoples Natural Gas Field despite a very solid start from pitcher Sam Hentges.
Altoona tacked on two critical runs in the bottom of the eighth inning off Jake Paulson when the first three Curve batters of the inning reached base safely. Oniel Cruz and Logan Hill both singled before Bligh Madris drove in Cruz on a double over the head of left fielder Oscar Gonzalez. Two batters later, Jerrick Suiter added the third run of the game with a sacrifice fly to score Bligh Madris, and extend the lead to 3-0.
Akron RubberDucks starter Sam Hentges battled all night long against a very formidable Altoona Curve offense, surrendering only an Oniel Cruz RBI single in the bottom of the first inning. That would be the only damage Hentges would allow in his six innings of work, where he allowed one earned run on a total of six hits and one walk but struck out four Altoona Curve batters. Jake Paulson would take over in the seventh inning and retired the Curve, but then in the eighth Altoona struck for two insurance runs behind a Bligh Madris RBI double and a Jerrick Suiter sacrifice fly to make the score, 3-0.
The RubberDucks offense could not muster any substantive rallies against LHP Cam Vieaux all night as the lefthander stifled the Akron attack to the tune of just two hits and three walks through 7.1 innings. The RubberDucks would come alive in the top of the ninth inning, however, when Jesus liranzo walked Nellie Rodriguez, then Alex Call singled to center, and Andruw Monasterio drew a six-pitch walk to load the bases with one out. Oscar Gonzalez was able to drop in a single into left field, allowing Nellie Rodriguez and Alex Call to score, pulling Akron closer at 3-2. However, the Ducks couldn't get the game-tying run across as they stranded eight runners on the bases.
With his 13th loss of the season tonight, Sam Hentges is now in second in Akron RubberDucks franchise losses among pitchers behind Alan Embree who went 9-16 in the 1994 season for the Canton-Akron Indians ... Altoona's starter Cam Vieaux has dominated the RubberDucks all season, posting his third scoreless start against Akron of the season, totaling 18 innings pitched and only five hits and eight walks in that span ... Oscar Gonzalez picked up his eighth and ninth RBI in the month of August where he has collected 17 hits over his first 25 games at the double-A level ... Time of Game: 2:32... Attendance: 7,038
On the Pond
The RubberDucks now head home for their final four-game series at Canal Park of the 2019 season, as they take on the Erie SeaWolves beginning Friday night at 7:05 p.m. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1350 AM, the WARF iHeart channel, and the TuneIn Radio App.
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