KEY STATS: Aeros starter Chuck Lofgren saw his no-hit bid end after six innings. No, he didn’t give up a hit. He was pulled because his pitch count began to get too high.
Lofgren, who threw 85 pitches, struck out seven, walked one and hit one batter with a pitch. The walk and hit batter came back-to-back in the first inning. Lofgren retired the next 16 batters he faced.
After Lofgren’s departure, Altoona’s Jim Negrych and Jose Tabata started the seventh inning with back-to-back singles off reliever Carlton Smith.
Three batters later the score was tied at three.
Center fielder Jose Constanza just missed hitting for the cycle. The speedy center fielder singled to start the game and slapped a ball down the third base line and hustled his way to a triple in the fourth inning.
In the sixth inning, Constanza sent a liner over the second basemen and hustled his way to second base for a double. He walked in his final at bat.
``He has done a great job in the lead off spot,’’ Aeros manager Mike Sarbaugh said.
Right fielder Jerad Head hit his second home run of the season and plated the game-winning run in the seventh inning with a bloop single to centerfield. Carlos Santana hit his fifth home run of the season in the fourth.
KEY MOMENTS: Constanza led off the bottom of the fourth inning by slapping a ball past third base and then legged out a triple.
After a Carlos Rivero groundout, Beau Mills sent a screaming liner to right field, deep enough to score Constanza on the sacrifice. The next batter, Santana, lined a 3-1 Daniel Moskos pitch over the left field fence for his fifth home run of the season.
-- Head lead off the bottom of the sixth inning by sending the first pitch he saw over the left-centerfield fence.
-- After Lofgren’s departure the Curve tied the score at three in the seventh. Altoona’s Negrych and Tabata started the seventh inning with back-to-back singles off Smith.
Jason Delaney followed with a walk. After Tabata was caught stealing, Brad Corley doubled to score Negrych and Delaney. Steve Lerud then singled in Corley.
The Aeros responded in the bottom of the inning when Head hit a blooper to center that scored Nick Welgarz.
TEMPER, TEMPER: With two outs in the first inning Curve starting pitcher Daniel Moskos put his first pitch in tight on the hands of Aeros first basemen Beau Mills. His next pitch sailed behind Mills leaving the slugger fired up.
The benches, and the bullpen, quickly cleared.
The pitches could have been retaliation for the first-inning beaning of Altoona designated hitter Jose Tabata. It also may have stemmed from Thursday night when the Aeros were still stealing bases with a five-run lead. Or maybe the two teams were just tired and cranky from being at the ball park literally all day Friday for a doubleheader.
The second game ended just after midnight Friday. The two teams were back on the field at 1:35 p.m. Saturday.
STAR OF THE GAME: Aeros left-hander Chuck Lofgren through six innings of no-hit baseball before being removed due to a high pitch count. Lofgren struck out seven.
His only two blemishes came in the first inning when, with two outs, he walked Jim Negrych and then hit the next batter, Jose Tabata, with a pitch. Lofgren responded by striking out the next batter, Jason Delaney.
UP NEXT: The Aeros and Curve will conclude their five-game series today at 1:35 p.m. Akron Right hander Frank Hermann (1-1, 2.12 ERA) and Altoona left-hander Tony Watson (0-2,11.57 ERA) are the scheduled pitchers.