CURVE, Pa. — The Altoona Curve and Portland Sea Dogs were scoreless through five innings, but the Sea Dogs pushed across six runs over the final four frames and defeated the Curve, 6-1, on Wednesday at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
The Sea Dogs (22-39) took a 2-1 lead into the eighth inning when they scored three times off Curve (31-31) reliever Vicente Campos to go up 5-1 and gain some breathing room in the late innings. Jeremy Rivera drove in two runs with a single to right and Bobby Dalbec capped the inning with a sac fly to right. Two of the three runs in the inning were unearned because of a throwing error on Curve third baseman Hunter Owen on a sacrifice bunt by Jarren Duran.
The Curve scored their only run of the night in the seventh. After Tanner Houck (Win, 6-4) cruised through six shutout innings, he allowed the first three batters to reach in the seventh before being removed from the game. Jordan Weems took over with the bases loaded and no outs and Jason Delay, the first batter to greet Weems, hit a sacrifice fly to right that scored Logan Hill from third. The run cut Portland’s lead to 2-1 at the time, but the Curve stranded the tying and go-ahead runs on base.
Altoona loaded the bases again in the eighth on three straight walks by Weems, but Adam Lau (Save, 3) worked out of the jam and held the Curve scoreless over the final two innings. After Hill struck out, Owen hit into a fielder’s choice in which the second out was recorded at the plate, followed by a Bligh Madris single, but the ball hit the runner at first, Owen, to end the inning.
Curve starter Sean Brady (Loss, 2-6) and Houck were locked in a scoreless pitcher’s duel through the first five innings. Brady held the Sea Dogs hitless through three frames and faced the minimum through five thanks to a pickoff and two double-play grounders. The ‘Dogs broke the scoreless tie on Rivera’s bases-loaded, RBI fielder’s choice in the sixth and added a run on Luke Tendler’s two-out, solo homer to right in the seventh.
Brady allowed two runs on three hits with five strikeouts, three walks and hit two batters in his fourth quality start since joining the Curve in early May. Houck, despite getting into trouble in the seventh, allowed just one run on six hits with six strikeouts and no walks in six innings.
Four Curve hitters finished with two hits, including Brett Pope and Mitchell Tolman, who each went 2-for-4 with two singles. Pope extended his hitting streak to five games and Tolman has now hit safely in four straight.
The Curve and Sea Dogs will wrap up their three-game series on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. The Curve will send right-hander James Marvel (5-5, 3.68) to the mound against Sea Dogs left-hander Matthew Kent (1-1, 3.13).
Gates for Thursday’s game will open to fans at 5:30 p.m. The action-packed series finale will be highlighted by an appearance from the online sitcom star, PITTSBURGH DAD, presented by Q94. It’s the third Yinzers night of the season, as the Curve will become the Allegheny Yinzers and wear special black and gold jerseys.