The Aeros won Game One 6-1 before dropping the second seven-inning game 2-1 in a doubleheader split with visiting Altoona Thursday at Canal Park. The two teams remained tied atop the Eastern League Western Division, a half game ahead of Bowie.
The Aeros (20-20) won the first game behind a solid outing from RHP Joe Gardner, who earned the win. Gardner limited the Curve to a run on four hits, while walking just one batter and striking out five in six innings.
In another rough outing by the Altoona pitching staff. LHP Aaron Thompson suffered the loss in lasting just two thirds of an inning when he dished up five runs (four earned) on five hits. As Thompson struggled, the Aeros took advantage with a five-run first inning.
With one out, OF Tim Fedroff and SS Juan Diaz smacked back-to-back doubles to put the Aeros on the board, 1-0. Later with the bases full and two outs, OF Donnie Webb walked to force home another run. INF Karexon Sanchez followed with a RBI single that made it 3-0 before C Juan Apodaca capped the offesnsive display with a two-run single.
The Curve (19-19) avoided the shutout with a run in the top of the fifth inning. But the Aeros added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth via a solo home run by Sanchez.
In game two, the Curve scored first with single runs in the top of the second and third innings, which proved enough to earn the win.
Aeros RHP Marty Popham took the ot the loss, giving up two earned runs on six hits while walking two and striking out two in 5 1/3 innings.
RHP Jared Hughes picked up the win for Altoona, logging 5 2/3 scoreless innings. He scattered four hits, walking two and striking out two before Michael Dubee picked up the save for the Curve. The Aeros posted a run in the seventh inning to break up the shutout bid, but that was all the offense the host mustered as the Curve avoided the three-game series sweep.
NEXT UP - The Aeros and Curve both hit he road to Altoona to begin a four-game series that starts Friday. The Aeros are scheduled to send RHP Austin Adams (4-2, 2.36 ERA) in 2011. The Curve have yet to announce a starter for Friday’s game. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. The game can be heard on Fox Sports 1350 AM or online at sportsradio1350.com. Coverage begins at 6:15 p.m.