Curve 5 RubberDucks 1
WP: Brandon Waddell (1-0) LP: Michael Peoples (0-1) Save: none
Altoona's Will Craig socked a decisive, three-run home run in the bottom of the 6th inning Saturday afternoon, lifting the Curve to an eventual 5-1 victory over the Akron RubberDucks on a frigid day at PNG Field in Altoona, Pa.
Craig launched a timely homer with two teammates aboard with one out in the sixth off Akron starter Michael Peoples (0-1). A feared slugger while playing college baseball at Wake Forest, Craig cleared the left-field bleachers and gave the Curve (2-1) a 3-1 lead. It was his first homer of the season.
Peoples made his first appearance since last July when he was shut down with a tear in his right rotator cuff. The 6-foot-5 right-hander was terrific in his return to the mound. He threw shutout ball through the first five innings, holding the Curve to just two hits. He faltered in the sixth when he allowed a walk and a single prior to the Craig homer. Peoples walked one and struck out five.
The RubberDucks (1-2) didn't have much luck against Altoona starter Brandon Waddell. Like Peoples, Waddell held the Ducks scoreless through the first five innings. In the top of the sixth, Sam Haggerty clubbed his second double of the game, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and scored when Dorssys Paulino lifted a shallow fly ball that landed inches fair along the right-field line for a brief, 1-0 Akron lead.
Bret Helton (1-0) relieved Waddell in the sixth and picked up the win in relief for the Curve…Altoona added insurance runs in the seventh against right-hander Jordan Milbrath and in the eighth against lefty Matt Whitehouse, both of whom were making their season debuts…Haggerty was 2-3, with a pair of doubles. He's now 4-11 in the series, with three doubles…Game time temperature was 35 defrees…Time of game: 2:26…Attendance: 3,331.
On the Pond
The RubberDucks and Curve will conclude the series on Sunday afternoon at 2:00. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1350 AM, the WARF iHeart channel, and the TuneIn Radio App.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.