A week filled with one-run affairs doesn’t go the RubberDucks’ way

Four of the six games played this week by the Cleveland Indians AA affiliate were decided by just one run, and all six games in the series were close enough to have a save opportunity available. Games one and two were won by the Altoona Curve, including a wild back-and-forth 14-13 game on Wednesday night. The lead changed hands seven times in nine innings as the ‘Ducks pounded out 17 hits and drove in 11, but ultimately was not enough. Akron tied the series with a pair of wins in games three and four, but Altoona took the final two of the six game set.

The RubberDucks dropped all the way to fourth in the Double-A Northeast – Southwest Division standings with a record of 20-14. They are five games off of the first place Bowie Baysox, who have 25 wins compared to only nine losses. Akron has a chance to cut into that deficit at Bowie this week.


6/8: L 6-7 @ Altoona; W: O’Reilly (1-1) L: Pinto (2-1) S: Melendez (1)

6/9: L 13-14 @ Altoona; W: Murray (1-0) L: Mikolajchak (0-2)

6/10: PPD to 6/12

6/11: W 7-5 @ Altoona; W: Mota (2-0) L: Vieaux (1-1) S: Pinto (3)

6/12: W 4-3 (F/7) @ Altoona; Hillman (4-1) L: McGough (0-2) S: Perez (1) | L 2-3 (F/7) @ Altoona; W: Bido (2-0) L: Tully (1-3) S: Melendez (2)

6/13: L 0-3 @ Altoona; W: Passantino (1-2) L: Royalty (1-2) S: Stratton (3)

Player of the Week:

CF Alex Call: 11-21 (.524), 7 runs, 1 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBIs, 5 BBs, 5 SBs, 1.330 OPS

It is the second consecutive week that Alex Call has been named Player of the Week in Akron, but you simply can’t overlook the production that the former third round pick put up this week. Call recorded a hit in all six games and reached base at least twice in five of the six. Call came around to score four times in Wednesday’s 14-13 loss to the Curve. The Ball State alum came into the series batting .310 on the season, but has since upped his batting average to a team-high .352, and .486 in the month of June alone. On the basepaths, Call has acquired the team lead with nine bags swiped this year.

Who’s Hot:

2B Richard Palacios: 8-22 (.364), 6 runs, 4 2Bs, 1 3B, 2 RBIs, 2 BBs, 3 SBs, 1.053 OPS

Palacios is riding the organization’s longest hitting streak at eight consecutive games. The former Towson Tiger hit safely in all five games played against Altoona last week and went 4-for-6 with three doubles in game number two this week. Palacios was one of only three players to have four or more doubles in the Double-A Northeast and sits seventh in the league in most doubles with 12 in 2021.

RF Oscar Gonzalez: 8-21 (.381), 4 runs, 1 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBIs, 1 SB, .952 OPS

Gonzalez drove in a team-high seven runs in the Altoona series and leads the RubberDucks with 24 runs batted in this season. The power threat added on to his team-high in homeruns with a three-run bomb in the top of the eighth inning on Friday to secure the 7-5 victory. Gonzalez went 3-for-4 with five RBIs in the game to get Akron back in the win column after three losses in a row.

LHP Zach Draper: ND, 2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 runs, 0 BB, 1 K

Draper was assigned to the RubberDucks from Columbus on June 11 and came out of the bullpen in relief of Shane McCarthy later that same day. He threw 2.1 innings of relief work in Friday’s win, holding the Curve hitless. Draper induced a double play to wrap up the fifth inning, threw a 7-pitch 1-2-3 sixth, and got two more outs in the seventh before exiting the game with a possible injury. As of now, Draper is still active on Akron’s roster.

RHP Alex Royalty: 0-1, 2 GS, 11.1 IP, 7 H, 5 runs, 4 ER, 2 BBs, 6 Ks, 0.79 WHIP, .175 opp. BA

Royalty was the only Akron pitcher to make two starts in Altoona last week, and despite picking up the loss on Sunday, looked excellent toeing the rubber. In six innings, he allowed just one unearned run on two hits and one walk, but the offense failed to plate a run in defeat.

Who’s Not:

LHP Skylar Arias: 2 G, 1.0 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 4 ER

Arias failed to record an out in the four hitters he faced on Wednesday night and all of them came around to score in the fifth inning of a 14-13 loss. The left hander bounced back in Sunday’s game with an inning of work, surrendering a harmless two-out walk.

RHP Kyle Marman: 2 G, 1.1 IP, BS, 3 H, 2 BB, 4 ER, 1 K

The Ohio native Marman surrendered the lead in the series opening game after letting an inherited run come across to score in the sixth and allowing a two run homerun in the seventh to tie the game at 6. Marman’s second outing of the series did not go as planned either. He allowed a walk and double, with both runners coming around to score.

Coming Up:

The Akron RubberDucks continue their road trip this week with a six-game set at Bowie to face the AA affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles. The league-leading Baysox are 10-1 when playing at Prince George’s Stadium.

6/15: @ Bowie (6:35 pm)

6/16: @ Bowie (6:35 pm)

6/17: @ Bowie (6:35 pm)

6/18: @ Bowie (7:05 pm)

6/19: @ Bowie (6:35 pm)

6/20: @ Bowie (1:35 pm)

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