Aeros 6, Curve 5
Key Situation: With the Aeros clinging to a one-run lead in the ninth inning after a back-and-forth game, closer Cory Burns and his Hideo Nomo-like pitching motion recorded his third save in as many opportunities despite allowing a lead-off double.
"His wind up adds a little deception as does his follow through," Aeros manager Chris Tremie said. "It helps him and is a part of who he is. It's effective because he's throwing the ball well."
Quick Hits: In his first start of the season, LHP Matt Packer mowed through the Altoona lineup for the first five innings before hitting a snag in a four-run sixth inning that briefly gave the Curve a 4-3 advantage.
"He pitched well, he really did for a first outing," Aeros manager Chris Tremie said of Packer, who finished the game having allowed the four runs on five hits in 5 2/3 innings. "He mixed his pitches well, he kept the ball down and got a bunch of ground balls. He ran into a little bit of trouble, but that happens."
Aeros SS Juan Diaz opened the night's scoring with a one-out home run in the fourth inning and Indians rehabbing CF Grady Sizemore added to the lead with a two-run double in the fifth inning but was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a triple
After the Curve got to Aeros starting LHP Matt Packer for four runs in the sixth inning, the Aeros re-took the lead as RF Jordan Henry scored on an error and C Chun Chen doubled in a pair of runs as Akron took the lead for good.
THREE INDIANS - All three Indians players who are rehabbing with Akron played, as Sizemore went 2-for-4, Jason Donald went 0-for-4 as the DH and RHP Joe Smith pitched 2/3 of an inning in allowing a run on a hit and two walks.
It was especially a good game for Sizemore to test his surgically repaired left knee, with trying to leg out the triple in the fifth and then rounding the bases in the seventh when he scored on Chen's double.
"He played the game the way Grady plays it - he plays it hard," Tremie said. "The play at third base he knew he was out because the ball beat him so he pulled up. But I don't think it had anything to do with the knee at all. But he was testing it throughout the game."
Assuming Sizemore feels good Tuesday and has no setbacks, he is scheduled to play again in his first back-to-back action.
"He's continuing his program where he's at and I think he's in a good spot," Tremie said. "He's playing and everything looks good right now."
Monday was Donald's first back-to-back games on his rehab, Sunday having played at third base.
"It's a day-to-day basis with him," Tremie said. "We'll see with him."
Smith's appearance was his third overall with the Aeros, but he faced just five batters. After getting the first two outs of the eighth inning, he walked LF Quincy Latimore, allowed an RBI-double to 3B Jeremy Farrell that scored Latimore then walked another batter in Curve DH Eric Fryer before being replaced by RHP Ryan Langwell.
DID YOU KNOW? - Farrell is the 24-year old son of former Aeros farm director John Farrell, who is currently the manager of the Toronto Blue Jays. At 6-foot-3, 229-pounds, the younger Farrell was the Pirates eighth-round pick in 2008 out of the University of Virginia. After going 2-for-4 with a double, triple and three RBI, he's batting a red-hot .350.
Langwell walked the first batter he faced in the ninth hitter, RF Brad Chalk, to load the bases before getting out of the jam thanks to a bouncer to second base.
The ninth inning for the Aeros has quickly become known as "Cory Time" as Burns gave up a sharp double down the third base line to speedy CF Starling Marte before recovering to sit down the next three batters - two via strikeout.
Next Game: Aeros LHP Kelvin De La Cruz (0-1, 1.80 ERA) will make his second start of the season against Curve RHP Bryan Morris (0-1, 4.15 ERA) Tuesday at Canal Park at 7:05 p.m.