Altoona Curve �2, �Erie SeaWolves �1 (box)
The Curve extended their winning streak to 5 games with a win over Erie on Sunday afternoon. �That gives them a sweep of the 4-game series in Erie, and puts them 11 games over .500 with a 27-16 record. �They are in first place in the Eastern League Western Division, 3 games ahead of the Richmond Flying Squirrels.
Justin Wilson made the start for the Curve and allowed only one unearned run in his 6 innings of work for his 2nd win of the season. �Wilson allowed only 2 hit and 3 walks, while striking out 10 Erie batters. �He worked around two walks in the 1st inning, then retired the side in the 2nd. �The unearned run came in the 3rd inning. �A single into center field plus a fielding error by CF Gorkys Hernandez put a runner on second base, and a second single put runners on the corners. �A double steal (home and second) brought in the run for Erie, unearned because of the error. �Wilson gave up another walk in the 4th, but C Hector Gimenez threw that runner out trying to steal second base. �After that steal attempt, Wilson retired the next 7 batters in order.
Dustin Molleken pitched 2 innings and allowed just one hit, while striking out 4 batters. �Danny Moskos pitched the 9th inning, working around a walk to keep the SeaWolves at bay and earn his 10th save.
The Curve were not doing much hitting either, and they were making it look like Wilson was going to suffer from lack of run support again. �Erie starter Andy Oliver also pitched well, allowing only 4 hits, while striking out 9 Curve batters. �The Curve put up a lot of donuts for the first 6 innings. �DH Jim Negrych singled in the 1st, and 1B Matt Hague reached on a throwing error, but both were left on base. �C Hector Gimenez walked to lead off the 2nd, and reached third base, but was left there. �RF Miles Durham singled in the 4th, with the same result.
Finally in the 7th, the Curve made Wilson happy. �With one out, Gimenez singled, then after a strikeout, 2B Shelby Ford crushed his third home run of the season over the left field wall, giving the Curve a 2-1 lead.
The Curve worked two more walks (Hernandez and Gimenez again) over the last two innings, but did not score again.
Now for a treat: Fellow Pirates’ fan Mike Davenport, who lives in Erie, was at the game, and he sent along some notes he made at this game, along with permission to share them here: �(after the jump)
Altoona Curve �9, � Richmond Flying Squirrels �2 (box)
Jared Hughes earned his 7th win, the most of any pitcher in the Eastern League, as the Curve beat the Flying Squirrels in Richmond on Saturday evening. �Hughes allowed two runs (one earned) on 4 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 4 batters. �He breezed through the first two innings, then gave up the earned run in the 3rd, on a hit batter, a single up the middle, and an RBI ground out. �Hughes then retired 9 more Squirrels in order, before giving up a double in the 6th. �A ground out moved the runner to third base, and a throwing error by 3B Josh Harrison let the runner score. �Hughes allowed two singles and a walk in the 7th inning, but a double play got him out of that jam.
1B Shelby Ford provided the big part of the Curve’s offensive attack. �He went 3-for-5 for the night, with a single and two home runs, accounting for 5 RBI. �Ford homered from both sides of the plate — from the right side in the 4th and from the left side in the 7th. �Ford also singled in the 2nd inning, but was left stranded. �He put the Curve onto the scoreboard for the first time in the 4th inning, when he homered over the left field wall after a walk by RF Miles Durham. C Hector Gimenez also knocked a 2-run homer in the 5th inning, following 2B Jim Negrych’s single.
The Curve went into the 7th inning with a 4-2 lead, and that was when they exploded for 5 more runs. �SS Chase d’Arnaud led off with a walk, and moved to third base when CF Alex Presley singled up the middle. �Negrych plated d’Arnaud with a ground out to first base. �Gimenez singled to put runners on the corners, and Harrison’s ground out brought in Presley. �Durham was hit by a pitch, then Ford blasted his second home run, also bringing in Gimenez and Durham.
Relievers Mike Dubee and Danny Moskos each pitched a scoreless inning to finish the game for the Curve. �Gimenez and Durham each had two hits for the Curve. �D’Arnaud and Presley both singled and walked twice, with a stolen base for d’Arnaud.
Who was the last Curve batter to have 5 RBI in one game? �It was Ford, on August 8th of last season.
Altoona Curve 4, �Richmond Flying Squirrels 2 (box)
The Curve beat the Flying Squirrels tonight to earn a sweep of the 3-game series against Richmond. �Starter Jared Hughes earned his second win of the season (in two starts), going 5.2 innings and allowing 2 runs on 7 hits and one walk, while striking out 7 batters. �The two runs against him were both solo home runs — one came in the 4th inning and one in the 5th. �Hughes had little trouble until the 3rd inning, when a lead-off single, a double, and a hit batter loaded the bases with one out. �But Hughes left all three where they stood when he struck out the next two batters. �Besides the homers, Hughes gave up a walk in the 4th, then a single in the 5th. �The top of the 6th began with two outs, then Hughes gave up a single, and that was the end of his evening.
Reliever Michael Dubee came in for Hughes. �He loaded the bases with a walk and a single before getting a grounder for a force out to end the inning. �Dubee gave up a double to lead off the 7th, then retired the next three batters, including two strikeouts. �Jeff Sues earned his second save with 2 scoreless innings of work. �He gave up three hits and struck out two batters.
The Curve batters got onto the scoreboard first, when C Hector Gimenez led off the 2nd inning with a solo homer. �2B Josh Harrison followed the homer with a double. �He moved to third base on 1B Matt Hague’s ground out, then a squeeze bunt by LF Jose De Los Santos brought in Harrison with the second run of the inning. �Harrison scored again in the 4th inning. �With two outs, he beat out a single to short, then scored on Hague’s RBI double.