ALTOONA- Kip Bouknight allowed only one run over a season-high 8 1/3 innings to earn his tenth win of the season and help the Altoona Curve earn a series split against the Reading Phillies with a 5-1 win Thursday night at Blair County Ballpark.
Bouknight (10-3) became just the second Altoona starter this season to work into the ninth inning and went on to earn his third consecutive win since returning to the Curve from Triple-A Indianapolis on July 21. Luis Munoz's 8 2/3 inning effort against Bowie on April 25th is the only longer outing turned in by a Curve starter this season.
The 28-year old Bouknight gave up a run in the top of the first inning before settling in the rest of the night. He scattered seven hits and gave up his only two walks in the ninth before leaving the game in favor of closer Matt Peterson. Peterson earned his 21st save of the season after enducing Hector Made into a game-ending double play.
Offensively, a three-run bottom of the first provided plenty of early run support for Bouknight. With the bases loaded and two outs against Reading starter Gary Knotts, Alex Fernandez delivered a two-run single to left to give Altoona a 2-1 lead. Brian Peterson followed with an RBI single to make it a 3-1 game.
Peterson later added his second RBI of the night and capped the Curve scoring with a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth -- his second longball of the season.
Knotts (0-1) took the loss in his debut with the Phillies, allowing four unearned runs over six innings. Knotts was making his return to affiliated baseball after opening the season with Newark of the independent Atlantic League.
In addition to a two-hit game from Peterson, Fernandez, Taber Lee and Brandon Chaves also added a pair of hits for Altoona. Andrew McCutchen went hitless in four plate appearances to end his season-high seven-game hitting streak.
With the win, Altoona (57-52) remains six games behind E.L. South co-leaders Erie and Akron, who each won their games Thursday.
The Curve will continue their
homestand Friday night with the opener of a three-game series against the New
Hampshire Fisher Cats (Toronto Blue Jays). Friday's first pitch is set for
7:05 p.m. The
pitching matchup for the series opener will feature Altoona
right-hander Dewon Brazelton (3-3,
3.83) against New Hampshire
Iriki (1-3, 5.45).