Curve Fall in 9th Inning

Curve Fall in 9th Inning

After grabbing the lead in the 7th inning, the Altoona Curve drop their first game of August in the 9th after a two-run home run by Akron.
ALTOONA - Altoona was stunned in the top of the ninth inning when Akron’s Giovanny Urshela hit a two-run homer that put the Aeros to an eventual, 6-5, win in front of 5,069 on Saturday night at Peoples Natural Gas Field.  The Curve put together a great chance to tie it or win it in the bottom of the ninth only to have the rally dissipate in defeat.  
 
Closer Luis Sanz (2-5) entered for the ninth inning having converted on all 13 of his previous save chances in 2013 but permitted a leadoff single to Akron’s Tyler Holt.  He recovered to strikeout Ronny Rodriguez but then surrendered the two-run homer to Urshela that put Akron in front.  He evaded further damage to keep the deficit at one moving to the bottom of the ninth.  
 
Adalberto Santos started off the ninth with a single off Trey Haley back through the middle that put the tying run on and also extended his hit streak to nine games.  Gregory Polanco followed and drew a walk to put the winning run at first and move Santos to second.  Alex Dickerson, who had homered to put the Curve in front in the seventh, strolled to the plate and put a ball on the ground towards second that Akron tried to start a double play on.  
 
The Aeros were able to get the force out of Polanco at second but not the backend of the play with Dickerson reaching first without a throw.  Dickerson only stood at first for a moment as it was then ruled that Polanco interfered with a possible throw to first base with his slide at second.  Both he and Dickerson were ruled out and Santos was forced to return to second base.  
 
Now with two outs, Justin Howard, who was 2-for-4 entering the at-bat, came to the plate and he wound up being intentionally walked to once again put a winning run on at first.  Jarek Cunningham was the last hope for the Curve on Saturday night and he grounded into a force play to end the game. 
 
Altoona had to climb back from an early four-run deficit and started when Carlos Paulino scored on an error in the fifth inning.  Oscar Tejeda led off the seventh with his second homer with Altoona this season before Polanco doubled in Santos later in the frame to put the game at 4-3.  

Dickerson’s go-ahead home run was his 15th overall homer this year, which is now tied for the team lead with Cunningham.  
 
With the series now even at a game apiece, the Curve (53-58) will search for a series win in the 6 p.m. finale with Akron (54-59) on Sunday.  Postgame Fireworks thanks to Conemaugh Health System will follow the game on Sunday on what is also Cambria County Night.  For those children that already have purchased tickets for the Sheetz/Children’s Miracle Network Princess & Pirate Party, that will begin 4 p.m.  Fans can play catch on the field before the game from 5-5:20 p.m. while after the game kids can run around the bases.
 
On the mound for the Curve in the series finale will be Nick Kingham (3-3, 2.96), who started off this homestand versus Binghamton on Tuesday.  He’ll be opposed by RHP Toru Murata (4-5, 3.84) of Akron.  
 
--Altoona Curve Media Relations

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