Harrisburg Senators 6, �Altoona Curve 4 (box)
As the world looked in on the baseball-happy town of Altoona, via ESPNews and MLB, Stephen Strasburg made his pro debut against the Curve. �Some people, maybe those who thought Strasburg didn't need to bother with the minors at all, �may have thought that Strasburg would breeze through this start. �The Curve were not among that group, though. �Yes, Strasburg got his first pro win in his first pro start. �Yes, he did strike out 8 batters. �But the Curve did not make it easy, as they scored 4 runs off Strasburg on 4 hits and 2 walks, and reminded Strasburg and anyone else that those guys with the bats in their hands are dangerous, no matter who's on the mound.
With Curve radio broadcaster Dan Zangrilli and former Pirate pitcher Stan Belinda doing the honors on national tv, Strasburg started off strong. �He got 2B Jim Negrych on a sky-high pop out to short, and got CF Gorkys Hernandez to ground out. �Then LF Alex Presley lined Strasburg's 2-0 pitch to the base of the wall in right field, and sped around to score when RF Miles Durham followed with a line drive into center field. �C Kris Watts worked a walk, even though the 4th ball came in at 98 mph. �3B Josh Harrison struck out to end the inning, but the Curve had scored a run off Strasburg.
Strasburg settled down to retire the Curve in order in the 2nd and 3rd innings, with 2 strikeouts in each. �He began the 4th inning with a fly out off Durham's bat, but then Kris Watts worked another walk. �Josh Harrison bounced a grounder to Harrisburg SS (and former Curve and Indy Indian) Pedro Lopez. �Lopez scooped up the ball as he was moving behind second base, and flipped it to his 2B Michael Martinez. �But Martinez missed the flip, and instead of an inning-ending double play, both runners were safe. �1B Shelby Ford struck out, then SS Jose De Los Santos slipped a single just under his counterpart Lopez's glove and into center field. �Watts scored easily, and when the throw in from CF Leonard Davis came in to the plate way up the line and got past the Harrisburg catcher, Harrison rounded third and slid into the plate just ahead of the tag. �Next up was Altoona pitcher Rudy Owens, who had told the Altoona Mirror's Cory Geiger that he was more concerned about his first professional plate appearance against Strasburg than about pitching against the big prospect. �(Below the AA level, designated hitters are always used and pitchers never hit.) �Owens needn't have worried. �He collected his first pro hit and his first RBI too, with a single up the middle, scoring De Los Santos from third base. �A strikeout ended the inning, with the Curve ahead 4-0.