A game that went scoreless into the fifth inning did so thanks to an outstanding effort from Curve spot starter Matt McSwain who pitched extremely well in his first start of the year. McSwain held the Aeros to one run in his last inning of work, the fifth, and pitched around five walks by inducing two double plays and generally keeping Akron hitters off-balance. When Adalberto Santos seemingly lost a fly ball off the bat of Roberto Perez in the lights in the fifth, it brought Kyle Bellows home from first and broke the scoreless draw.
The Curve rebounded quickly with Santos atoning for the fifth. In the top half of the sixth inning with two outs and Robbie Grossman at third, Santos squibbed an infield single past the pitcher's mound just enough to reach at first, plate Grossman, and even the score at 1-1.
That RBI knock came after the departure of Akron starter Giovanni Soto who was superb through 5.2 innings as well, charged with Altoona's lone run on five hits with four strikeouts and no walks.
It became a battle of the bullpens from there, and unfortunately for the Curve, theirs blinked first. In the bottom of the seventh, Kris Harvey (0-1), who had struck out the side an inning prior, allowed a leadoff double to Adam Abraham and a one-out two-bagger to Thomas Neal to bring home the eventual game-winning run.
Reliever Price (1-0), who entered in the sixth in relief of Soto and yielded Santos's RBI base hit, shut the Curve down in the eighth before turning the ball over to Guilmet (S, 1) for a spotless ninth. Altoona didn't have many opportunities to erase their razor-thin deficit, going 1-for-4 with runners in scoring position.
From Altoona Curve reports: