AKRON, OH – Omar Cruz struck out a season-high eight batters in 3.2 innings of relief for Altoona on Friday night as the Curve scored four unearned runs in the eighth inning to defeat the RubberDucks, 4-0, at Canal Park. It was the tenth shutout victory for Altoona on the
AKRON, OH – Omar Cruz struck out a season-high eight batters in 3.2 innings of relief for Altoona on Friday night as the Curve scored four unearned runs in the eighth inning to defeat the RubberDucks, 4-0, at Canal Park. It was the tenth shutout victory for Altoona on the season.
Cruz, who entered the contest in the fourth inning, tossed three perfect innings to begin his outing, including a stretch where he struck out five consecutive batters. He allowed a lead-off double in the bottom of the seventh with the game tied 0-0 before striking out two of the next three batters he faced to end his relief appearance. The eight strikeouts were the most for Cruz since July 17, 2021 when he struck out eight against Binghamton and the most by a Curve reliever this season.
Altoona’s offense finally broke through in the eighth inning, scoring four runs on three hits and three errors. Lolo Sanchez opened the frame with a single and advanced to second on a fielding error by the second baseman on a Jackson Glenn fielders’ choice. Tsung-Che Cheng then dropped a sacrifice bunt down and reached first on a throwing error by the pitcher Franco Aleman. With the bases loaded and still no outs, Jase Bowen hit a ground ball back to Aleman, who attempted to throw home but threw it away on a second throwing error to score two runs. Jacob Gonzalez followed with a two-run single to cap off the big frame.
Grant Ford entered and got the final out of the seventh inning before tossing a scoreless eighth. Geronimo Franzua needed just five pitches to get three outs in the ninth inning for Altoona. Aaron Shortridge was the Curve starter, who threw three scoreless innings to open the game in his final start of the season. Shortridge struck out three batters with two walks. As of September 15, Shortridge is tied for first in the Eastern League in wins (11), games started (27), complete games (2), and is second in innings pitched (138.1).
Carter Bins finished the night with three hits for Altoona in the win. The Curve win their third game of the series and move to 32-33, 66-67 on the season with two games remaining.
The Curve continue their series with the Akron RubberDucks on Saturday night. Altoona sends LHP Jackson Wolf to the mound for the 7:05 p.m. first pitch, with Akron slated to start RHP Jack Leftwich.
The Curve is proud to celebrate 25 years of memories in Curve, PA throughout the 2023 season. For tickets or more information, visit AltoonaCurve.com, call 877.99. CURVE or stop by the PNG Field box office. Additionally, the Stockyard Team Store is open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during every home game and online 24/7/365.