CURVE, Pa. - Curve outfielder Adalberto Santos and pitcher Phil Irwin have swept the Eastern League's weekly awards for the period of July 23-30, having been named Player of the Week and Pitcher of the Week respectively, the league announced today.
Santos has been on fire since his return from a late-April knee injury that cost him the better part of three months on the disabled list. The Bronx, N.Y. native is batting an astonishing .415 in 17 games since his return, adding to a .396 average he recorded in 17 games to open his season in April. Over the last week, Santos played in all seven Curve contests and posted a blistering .500 average (12-for-24) with his first two Eastern League home runs, a double, two triples, five runs scored, and seven runs batted in. the former Oregon State Beaver capped off his monstrous week with a 10th-inning walk-off single in Altoona's Sunday night come-from-behind win over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
Irwin is on one of the best rolls of his professional career. Through his first 63 career starts, and his first 71 career appearances, Irwin had never recorded a complete game. Now, he's done it in three straight outings, the most recent of which came in a dominant victory over the Fisher Cats in Friday night's doubleheader opener. Irwin blanked New Hampshire for seven innings in the first game of the twinbill, not allowing a run on two hits while walking one and racking up a season-high nine strikeouts. The Ole Miss product's latest sparkling outing continues a strong run into the latter stages of 2012. Over his last six starts, Irwin has allowed just five earned runs in 42 innings, good for a 1.07 earned run average. During that span, the right-hander has tallied 36 strikeouts against just four walks and has dropped his season-long ERA from 5.05 to its current level at 3.16.
These rewards mark the first weekly honors for a Curve player since last season when eventual Eastern League Rookie of the Year and batting champion Starling Marte was tabbed Player of the Week for the period of August 8-15, 2011. They also come as recognition of a Curve team that has thrust itself into postseason contention in the Eastern League's Western Division. By virtue of nine wins in their last 11 games, the Curve have moved to within striking distance of the division's second playoff spot. Altoona enters Monday's league-wide off day one game back of the Bowie Baysox for second place.
The Curve hit the road on Tuesday to open a three-game series at Trenton and a six-game road trip that will also include a visit to New Britain. For tickets and more information on the next Curve homestand, call 877.99.CURVE, visit AltoonaCurve.com or stop by the box office windows at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
--Curve Media Relations--