Photo: David Monseur/Accent Images/Courtesy Akron RubberDucks

Altoona Curve 6, Akron RubberDucks 4

Despite a comeback attempt in the bottom of the ninth, the RubberDucks lost to the Altoona Curve 6-4 on a chilly Tuesday night at Canal Park. What hurt the ‘Ducks in the loss was failing to get big hits when they needed them. They left two runners on base in each of the first and sixth innings and while they scored four in the ninth, none of the runs were knocked in by base hits. Manager Rouglas Odor believes patience will help the offense find success as the season progresses. 

“It’s a matter of being more consistent in the strike zone. We try to do too much and that’s when we go out of the zone instead of being more patient and looking for pitches where we can do damage,” he said.

Akron Manager Rouglas Odor

Although the ‘Ducks have only scored five or more runs five times in 16 games this season, Odor is not quick to overreact at this point in the year. 

“They’re learning, they’re young. It’s still early and we’re gonna be fine,” he said.

Manager Rouglas Odor

Starting pitching has been solid for Akron this year but it was not LHP Joey Cantillo’s game. His night started off rough as he threw 30 pitches — 12 for strikes — during the first inning in which he walked in a run. He gave up four more runs in the second and third innings including a home run to Altoona DH Andres Alvarez. He was pulled after tossing just 2.1 innings. 

Joey Cantillo final line: 2.1 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 5 BB, 4 K, 63 pitches (31 strikes/32 balls)

Velo: 91-94

After Cantillo’s rough start, Hunter Gaddis’ piggyback appearance kept Akron alive as the game went on. Coming in after a brief two out appearance by reliever Kyle Marman, Gaddis pitched five innings of one run baseball striking out seven. His best work came in the fifth when he struck out the side. 

Hunter Gaddis final line: 5 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 78 pitches (53 strikes/25 balls)

Velo: 91-94

Odor emphasized the impact of being able to get six different starters a significant amount of action by scheduling piggyback appearances like we saw on Tuesday night. 

“It’s huge. Any time we have guys that can give us a lot of innings it’s only going to help us out. When that happens we obviously don’t use a lot of relievers and we have the rest of the week to get them work,” he said. “It’s something a lot of organizations are doing now and we’re one of them.”

Manager Rouglas Odor

Although the ‘Ducks as a team failed to get much going offensively, aside from RBI walks and a sac fly in the ninth, George Valera continues to be an extra base hit threat each time he comes to the plate. He hit a double in the sixth but was also walked twice as Altoona pitchers smartly avoided throwing him anything near the middle of the plate.

Valera was also close to hitting an opposite field home run down the left field line on a ball that sliced just foul in the third.

Akron will look to bounce back during the second game of their six game home set with Altoona Wednesday at 6:35 PM. #8 GBI prospect Logan Allen is slated to get the start.

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