Things started off well for Altoona with the Curve grabbing their first lead of the series in the first on a Charlie Cutler infield RBI single. Erie countered, as they have all series-long, in the bottom of the first when Niuman Romero hit a solo home run off Brandon Cumpton (4-3) to tie the game at one.
Altoona secured its second lead of the game in the very next inning when Grossman came to the plate after a two-out walk to Greg Picart and smashed his third home run of the season. The 3-1 lead was the biggest of the series for the Curve but it would only last half an inning as Plagman hit the first of his three home runs to pull Erie back within one.
It was Plagman again in the fourth, driving a two-run shot to right to give Erie a 4-3 lead it wouldn't give back. From there the SeaWolves scored two more runs in the fifth and then used a five-run sixth capped by Plagman's grand slam to open up an 11-3 advantage.
The Curve plated a run in the seventh thanks to an RBI single by Ramon Cabrera to cut the lead to 11-4. It was Cabrera again in the ninth inning as his two-out, two-run double pulled Altoona within five at 11-6. Cabrera finished the night 3-for-5 with three RBI and now has six RBI in the three games played in this series.
Cumpton failed to finish five innings for the first time since his Double-A debut back on April 7 and had his four-start win streak snapped in the process. The right hander allowed six runs (five earned) on seven hits in 4.2 innings.
Looking to avoid the sweep, Altoona (13-21) will search for a victory in the series finale with Erie (17-17) at 1:35 p.m. Sunday at Jerry Uht Park. LHP Kris Johnson (0-0, 2.08), who spun five shutout innings here just under two weeks ago, takes the ball for the Curve in the finale while LHP Kelvin de la Cruz (1-4, 4.50) makes the start for Erie.
FROM ALTOONA CURVE COMMUNICATIONS DEPARTMENT