Luis Munoz turned in seven scoreless innings as the Curve blanked the Reading Phillies, 3-0, in game one of a four-game series at Blair County Ballpark on Monday night.
Munoz (11-5) was in control throughout his 11th victory of the season, permitting just five hits and striking out two in his seven-inning outing. After allowing a leadoff single to Michael Spidale to start the ballgame, Munoz retired the next 13 batters he faced.
R-Phils' starter Chris Rojas was nearly as good, matching zeros with Munoz through five innings. But the Curve finally got to the right-hander in the sixth. Adam Boeve started the inning with a broken-bat, infield-single. Brad Corley, added to the Curve roster from Lynchburg earlier in the day, followed with a single to move Boeve to second. Jason Delaney walked to load the bases with nobody out, and Brian Peterson followed with a sacrifice fly to right field to break the scoreless-tie and give the Curve a 1-0 lead.
It was anything but an infield-single for Boeve as the Curve stretched their lead to 3-0 in the seventh. With Vic Buttler aboard, Boeve crushed a pitch from R-Phils' reliever Julio De La Cruz onto the hillside above the left field bleachers. Boeve's 16th home run of the year gave the Curve a three-run cushion.
That was more than enough for the Curve bullpen. Chris Hernandez pitched a scoreless eighth inning despite allowing back-to-back singles to start the frame. It was Hernandez's ninth consecutive scoreless outing (11.0 IP).
Curve closer Matt Peterson slammed the door in the ninth, picking up his 26th save of the year after turning in a scoreless inning that included two strike outs.
Rojas (6-4) was tagged with the loss despite allowing just one run on six hits over 5 1/3 innings. Rojas did issue five walks in the ballgame.
Jason Bowers enjoyed a three-hit night for Altoona, finishing the evening 3-for-5 including a double.
Game two of the series will be played at 7:05 PM at Blair County Ballpark. LHP Josh Shortslef (4-12, 4.33) will start for the Curve against a TBA starter for Reading.