After their 4-run 3rd inning, the Curve were quiet for awhile.� Norman walked again to lead off the 5th, stole second, and advanced to third on a balk, but was left stranded there.� 1B Matt Hague and Lambo led off the 6th with two singles, but a double play and a strikeout ended that threat.

In the bottom of the 8th, with the Thunder on the Curve’s heels, Mercer gave the Curve a little breathing room.� He rocketed his second home run of the game over the left field wall, to give the Curve a 6-4 lead.� Mercer had hit just 3 homers in all of the regular season.

Moskos came back out to pitch the 9th.� He gave up a lead-off single, but retired the next three batters, finishing with a strikeout, to end the game.� Moskos earned the save, and Locke earned the win.� Jordy Mercer was the only Curve batter with more than one hit — both home runs.

The series will continue on Thursday in Trenton.� The next two, and possibly three, games of the best-of-5 series will all be played in Trenton.

In the International League playoffs, the Columbus Clippers took a 2-game lead in the best-of-5 series with a 4-0 win over the Durham Bulls.� The Bulls posted 8 hits but could not bring any of those baserunners around to score.� The Clippers scored their first three runs on solo homers, including back-to-back blasts in the 4th inning.� THey added another run in the 5th when Jose Constanza singled, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, on to third on a wild pitch, and then stole home.� Former Indy Indian C Luke Carlin went 0-for-2 with a walk.

John Bowker made another start in right field for the Pirates tonight.� He had an RBI double and came around to score in the Pirates’ 4-run 4th inning, and he singled to lead off the 6th, but was later forced out at third base.� Brandon Moss pinch hit in the 6th, but flied out.� Chris Leroux, the newest addition to the Pirates’ bullpen, pitched a scoreless 8th inning, allowing only a walk.

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