Akron's Danny Salazar pitched six solid innings in game one of a doubleheader at Altoona Monday night, as the Aeros claimed a 4-1 victory. The Curve stormed back in game two, however, winning 7-1, to gain the split.
The Aeros (78-57) lowered the magic number for clinching the EL West crown to four with seven games to play. Any combination of Akron wins and Bowie losses equaling four will result in a division title for Akron. Bowie defeated Erie, 6-0, on Monday.
In game one, Salazar (4-0) was masterful, working six innings and holding the Curve to one run on three hits. He walked tow and struck out five. He lowered his ERA to 2.25. Salazar left the game with a 1-1 tie after six, but Akron rallied with three unearned runs in the seventh, to put him in the win column.
Closer Preston Guilmet worked the seventh to pick up his 23rd save of the season. Jordan Henry led the Akron offense in game one with two hits.
In game two, the Curve (66-69) jumped on Akron starter Mike Rayl (0-1) with two runs in the first inning, and four more in the second inning on Andrew Lambo's grand slam to take an early 6-1 lead. They added another in the third to put the game on ice.
Rayl, called up from Class-A Carolina for a spot start, left after three innings. He gave up seven runs, but only five earned. In a departure from character, the Aeros committed three errors in the game.
Matt Lawson led the way in the nightcap, going 2-3. Ryan Rohlinger drove in the only Akron run with a sacrifice fly in the second inning.