Things started well for the Curve with Robbie Grossman doubling to right to start the game but that was when Mandel took over as he retired the next 12 batters in a row before Farrell doubled to lead off the fifth. Curve starter Mike Colla (0-2) was up to the task as he struck out six through the first four innings and also retired nine in a row from the second through the fourth.
Farrell's double to lead off the fifth gave the Curve their second opportunity to score in the game as two batters later Quincy Latimore was intentionally walked to put runners at first and second for the pitcher Colla. With two away, Colla grounded out to third to end the inning and the threat.
An eerily similar situation occurred in the bottom of the fifth but had a different result as the Senators scored their first run. Destin Hood walked to start the inning and eventually stole second during Devin Ivany's at bat. Colla retired Ivany on a ball in the dirt but Hood was able to move up to third on the wild-pitch third strike. After a walk to Stephen King, Mandel came to the plate and singled into left to bring in Hood for the game's first run.
Colla finished five innings and allowed just one run on two hits while striking out a season-best seven, which also tied his career high. He turned it over to Matt McSwain, who pitched a clean sixth but ran into some trouble in the seventh.
It was once again the bottom of the order doing the damage for Harrisburg as Hood led off the inning with a double. After he was retired on a fielder's choice off the bat of Chris Rahl, Ivany singled to put two on. McSwain got King to ground out but the runners moved to second and third, setting up Mandel for his second two-out RBI hit. He drove in both runs and put the 'Sens out in front, 3-0.
Mandel finished seven innings and struck out four in his first win of the year for Harrisburg. Altoona had the first two men reach via walks off Hector Nelo in the eighth but neither came into score. The Curve stranded eight on the bases Tuesday night and went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
From Altoona Curve reports: