CURVE, Pa. - Cam Vieaux stymied the Akron RubberDucks over a solid seven-inning start paired with an early go-ahead home run by Ke'Bryan Hayes to give the Altoona Curve a 4-1 win on Sunday at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
The Curve (59-50) took two of the three games this weekend and finish the regular-season series with the RubberDucks (66-47), 12-10. The win pulls Altoona to within five games of Akron in first place of the Eastern League Western Division.
Vieaux (Win, 7-3) held Akron scoreless for 6.2 innings before a solo homer by Mark Mathias broke up the bid for the Curve's ninth shutout of the season. He limited the RubberDucks to five hits, did not walk a batter and struck out six over his fourth start at Double-A to go seven frames. Connor Marabell was the only Akron baserunner to reach scoring position against the Curve starter with a fourth inning, two-out double. Between Akron's two extra-base hits, Vieaux retired nine straight hitters and finished his night on 88 pitches.
Hayes broke up a scoreless game in the third inning with a two-run blast to left, his seventh of the season, off Indians' top prospect Triston McKenzie (Loss, 6-3). Stephen Alemais got aboard for Hayes with a lead-off walk, the first of two walks issued by McKenzie over 5.1 innings.
The Curve lead grew to 3-0 on the 89th RBI of the season by Will Craig . After a lead-off triple by Bryan Reynolds , Craig reached on a fielding error by Akron shortstop Sam Haggerty as Reynolds came in to score. Craig continues to lead the Eastern League in RBIs with the third-most in a single season in Curve history.
Altoona added one in the eighth on an RBI single by Christian Kelley to score Craig, who started the frame with a single. The Curve had a chance to tack on another when they loaded the bases but Marabell, Akron's right fielder, turned a flyout by Alemais into an inning-ending double play when Logan Hill was thrown out at the plate attempting to tag up and score.
Matt Eckelman (Save, 5) worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning and Sean Keselica (Hold, 10) tossed a scoreless eighth inning in relief to secure the win for Vieaux and the Curve.
Altoona won all three home series over Akron this season and one July series at Canal Park. It marks the fourth time in team history that the Curve have had a winning record over Akron. The last two times the Curve were .500 or better against the Akron franchise (2010 and 2017), Altoona went on to win the Eastern League championship.
The Curve have Monday off and head to Trenton for a three-game set with the Thunder, the Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, beginning on Tuesday. Right-hander Scooter Hightower (0-1, 5.09) will start for Altoona to open the series against right-hander Adonis Rosa (Double-A debut) for Trenton. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday at Arm & Hammer Park.
After three games in Trenton, the Curve return for a four-game, three-day series with the Erie SeaWolves beginning on Friday, August 10. For tickets or more information, visit AltoonaCurve.com, call 877.99.CURVE or stop by the PNG Field box office.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.