PEOPLES NATURAL GAS FIELD - Altoona's Brandon Cumpton and Richmond's Mike Kickham squared off on Thursday night for the second time in less than a week with Cumpton winning the rematch as the Curve downed the Flying Squirrels, 4-3, at Peoples Natural Gas Field. Cumpton (1-2), who was the tough-luck loser on Saturday in Richmond, earned his first Double-A win Thursday night with six innings of two-run ball.
Richmond opened the scoring in the first off Cumpton when Ryan Cavan singled with one away. Cumpton rebounded and got catcher Tommy Joseph to line out to right but Wes Hodges doubled into right center to bring in Cavan for the first run of the contest.
Altoona immediately answered with a run of its own in the bottom of the first when Jeremy Farrell grounded out to bring in Robbie Grossman with one away. Quincy Latimore put the Curve out in front for good in the second when he smacked a laser-line drive home run over the wall in left, his first of the year, and Altoona went up, 2-1.
The Georgia Tech-product Cumpton cruised through the second and avoided trouble in the third when he helped start a double play to clear two Squirrels runners off the basepaths. After he hit Joseph, he recovered to fan Hodges to end the threat and the inning.
He kept the Squirrels at bay until the sixth when Daniel Mayora hit a double to score Joseph to pull the Squirrels within two with no one out. The right hander zoned in after that to retire the next three men he faced to leave the tying run on the bases. This six-inning, two-run effort for Cumpton is his second quality start in a row after throwing seven innings of one-run ball last Saturday at The Diamond.
Vic Black pitched a scoreless seventh before turning it over to Duke Welker for the eighth inning. Welker allowed a run to come across in the eighth but escaped with the lead. The 6-foot-7 Welker also pitched the ninth and converted on the save opportunity, his first of the season.
Brock Holt and Adalberto Santos each went 3-for-4 at the plate as they combined for six of the Curve's nine hits on the night.
From Altoona Curve reports