CURVE, Pa. - After not being able to record a doubleheader sweep all season, the Curve were able to record two on back-to-back days with another coming Sunday night with wins of 11-2 and 2-1 over the visiting Erie SeaWolves. Altoona has now won four straight and finds itself two games below the .500 mark heading to Reading to open a three-game series on Monday.
Robbie Grossman was the story of Game 1 for the Curve as he went 4-for-5 with 5 RBI, which tied a career-high. Altoona actually trailed after half an inning as the 'Wolves plated a run off starter Brandon Cumpton (9-8). That deficit was short-lived as Matt Curry doubled in Adalberto Santos in the bottom of the inning to draw the Curve even.
The Curve proceeded to take a lead they wouldn't relinquish in the second when Grossman tripled for his first hit of the game and his first pair of RBI. After two frames, the Curve led 3-1.
From there Altoona proceeded to score two in the fourth, one on a Jarek Cunningham solo home run, and then five more in the fifth as they sent nine men to the plate. Grossman, Brock Holt, Santos and Curry all had RBI in the fifth to place the Curve comfortably in front, 10-2. The Cypress, Texas native Grossman found his fifth and final RBI in the sixth when he singled in Cunningham for Altoona's 11th and final run.
The All-Star Cumpton completed five innings and gave up two runs (one earned) on five hits while Kris Harvey tossed the final two innings to seal down the Game 1 win.
In the second game, pitching was once again the story as it was a night ago. Curve spot starter Nathan Baker dealt through the first three innings, setting down all nine batters he faced. The Memphis, Tenn. native didn't allow a hit until there was one down in the fourth and had faced one over the minimum heading to the fifth.
Altoona staked Baker to an early 1-0 lead in the second when Quincy Latimore singled home Curry from second base.
The one-run lead continued to hold for the Curve but it was challenged on a few different occasions by the Erie offense. The 'Wolves worked back-to-back walks off Baker to leadoff the fifth and end his day. Hunter Strickland (2-0) was called in to hold the line and did so successfully with back-to-back strikeouts of Tony Plagman and Michael Rockett. Avisail Garcia, who was on at second base, broke for third on the strike three to Rockett and Charlie Cutler cut him down for the final out of the inning to get the Curve back to the dugout.
In the sixth it was Latimore and Cutler saving the game as Latimore's throw from left field nailed Niuman Romero at the plate trying to score on a single by Nick Castellanos to tie the game. Still leading by just one run, Altoona received a huge insurance run courtesy of Stefan Welch in the bottom of the sixth as he tripled inside the bag at first to bring Latimore home. That run proved to be the game-winner as Erie was able to plate a run in the seventh off Strickland but he flexed no further.
Curry led the team in Game 2 with a pair of hits while Latimore and Welch had the team's only RBI. Strickland finished the final three innings and allowed one unearned run on four hits while fanning three.
Winners of four straight, the Curve (49-51) now travel to Reading, Pa. to take on the Reading Phillies in the first of three beginning at 7:05 p.m. Monday night at FirstEnergy Stadium. RHP Kyle McPherson (2-4, 4.54) will take to the slab trying to win in back-to-back starts for the Curve while Phillies prospect Trevor May (7-7, 5.15) gets the nod for Reading.
--Curve Media Relations--