PEOPLES NATURAL GAS FIELD - Curve starter Brandon Cumpton pitched into the eighth inning and got his own offense jumpstarted with a third-inning double at the plate as Altoona salvaged the series of three with the Harrisburg Senators with a 6-4 win Thursday night at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
Before running out of gas in his final inning of work, Cumpton (2-2) was a groundball machine on the mound, following the lead of Harrisburg starter Danny Rosenbaum one night earlier. Altoona's right-hander recorded only one out in the air all night against 14 on the ground and three via strikeout.
In the third, Cumpton sparked a struggling Curve offense that had plated just one run in the first two games of this series and hadn't scored in its last 14 innings at the dish. The former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket's leadoff double against his counterpart Rob Gilliam (1-3) got the ball rolling in a three-run, four-hit inning for the Curve. Brock Holt drove in a run, and Anthony Norman added the other two as Altoona scored first in a game for just the fifth time this year and improved to 4-1 in such contests.
Altoona added another run in the fourth on an RBI double from Robbie Grossman, who reached base in four of his five trips today, and two more in the seventh to make their margin 6-1 en route to the victory. Grossman walked twice and added two hits and two runs scored to pace the Curve at the plate. Matt Curry extended his team-best hitting streak to eight games with a seventh-inning RBI single.
Behind Cumpton, Duke Welker worked a tense final inning and a third. The right-hander retired the only man he faced in the eighth inning before allowing two runs and putting the tying run aboard in the ninth. The Curve wrapped up their six-game homestand, which included a Saturday rainout and a one-hour, 16-minute delay for Thursday's finale with the Senators, at 3-3
From Altoona Curve reports: