August Fagerstrom

Cody Anderson pitched well enough to keep the RubberDucks in the game, which is more than he can say about his last three starts, and Akron won 2-1 over Altoona on Saturday at Canal Park.

Anderson, ranked as the No. 3 prospect in the Indians organization by prospect analyst Marc Hulet, was lights out in High-A ball last year but has struggled to transition to the Double-A level.

He turned in one of his better starts on Saturday, not allowing an earned run in five innings of work. He struck out three Curve (10-10) batters and walked three, allowing four hits.

His only run allowed came in the first inning, the fourth time in five starts he has allowed a first-inning run, but it wasn’t entirely his fault.

He gave up back-to-back hits to lead off the game, but would have gotten out of the inning scoreless if shortstop Francisco Lindor had not made a throwing error that brought a run home.

“It’s tough to put a finger on it,” Ducks manager David Wallace said of Anderson’s first-inning struggles. “He does everything he needs to do to prepare himself. Maybe there could be an adjustment here or there. That’s not a major concern, it’s definitely a concern, but he should have gotten out of that inning unscathed.”

The error was already the fourth of the season by Lindor, all coming on throws. Lindor is appropriately lauded as an elite defensive shortstop with great range and plus arm strength. However, if there were to be an area of concern about the top prospect’s game right now, it would be his accuracy.

“It’s not a major concern,” Wallace said. “It’s something that needs to be addressed, though. We believe it’s more of a focus thing. A lot of it comes very easy to him, but he needs to just complete the full play. A lot of the times when guys are having throwing problems it starts with their footwork. Francisco will tell you he needs to clean that up, but it doesn’t change how we feel about him as a defensive shortstop.”

The play immediately following the error, Tony Wolters made the early favorite for play of the year to end the inning and make it easy to forget Lindor’s mistake.

On a slow chopper to second base, Wolters charged and, knowing he wouldn’t have time to transfer the ball to his throwing hand, made a diving, back-handed glove flip to first, which was met with a roar of applause. More impressive is that Wolters is in the transition of becoming a catcher and hasn’t been playing much infield.

The Ducks (11-11) scored both of their runs in the seventh inning on back-to-back RBI singles by Jordan Smith and Alex Lavisky, scoring Joe Wendle and Bryson Myles.

Kyle Crockett pitched a 1-2-3 scoreless eighth inning, needing only eight pitches, which he threw all for strikes.

Crockett now has a scoreless innings streak of 18.2, dating back to last season when he was promoted to Double-A.

“He’s doing everything right,” Wallace said. “He’s got some deception, he’s got life on his fastball, he locates it, he’s got a nice change-up and a nice breaking ball, and guys just don’t see it well. He’s very under control out there in any situation. In the tough innings he’s had, the game doesn’t speed up on him.”

Shawn Armstrong struck out two batters in the ninth to pick up his second save of the season.

Jordan Cooper earned his first pitcher win of the season in relief.

Myles led the Ducks at the plate with two singles. Tyler Naquin reached twice on a single and a walk.

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