CURVE, Pa. - The Curve split a Saturday night doubleheader with the Richmond Flying Squirrels, losing the first game 1-0 but bouncing back to win the second, 3-1, in front of 4,637 fans at Peoples Natural Gas Field. Both Curve starters were dynamite on Saturday night as they combined to throw 12 scoreless innings.
Game one was an ultimate pitcher's duel between Curve starter Nathan Baker and Squirrels hurler Chris Heston. Baker out-dueled Heston, tossing seven innings of shutout ball while giving up just a pair of hits and striking out six. Unfortunately for Baker, the Curve offense was unable to get much going behind him as the game needed extra innings to be decided. Baker has now faced the Squirrels twice in 2012 and has combined to go 1-0 without allowing a run in either of his two starts (13.0 IP).
Kyle Cofield (0-1) came in to pitch the extra frame and surrendered a one-out double to Jose Flores to put the go-ahead run on for the Squirrels. After Cofield disposed of the pitcher Brett Bochy (2-0) with a strikeout, Gary Brown singled through the right side to bring in Flores for what turned out to be the game's only run.
Things went much differently for the Curve in the night's second game as they were able to jump out to the early lead. After Shairon Martis (1-0) pitched two scoreless frames to begin his first outing at home, the Curve offense went to work. Matt Curry, who has now hit safely in eight straight games with hits in both games today, doubled to start the second. Jeremy Farrell then walked to place two on with no one down.
Curry moved to third on a wild pitch by Squirrels starter Andy Reichard (0-1) and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Anthony Norman to place Altoona in front, 1-0. The throw from right field on the sac fly came into the middle of the infield instead of being cutoff and it allowed Farrell to tag and move to second. That proved costly as on the very next play Quincy Latimore doubled into left field to bring Farrell in from second and Altoona was in front, 2-0.
Two runs were plenty for Martis, who finished five innings and did not allow a run while fanning four. Altoona added its third and final run of the second game in the third when Robbie Grossman lined a home run over the wall in right field on the first pitch he saw from Reichard. It was Grossman's second home run of the year and his first since Opening Night on April 5th.
Duke Welker was tasked to pitch the final two innings and ended up converting on his third save of the season. Welker did permit a Squirrels run in the sixth but avoided further damage when he induced an inning-ending double play ball off the bat of Ehire Adrianza. The Kirkland, Wash. native followed his sixth with a perfect seventh to seal the victory.
Tony Sanchez did not have a hit in the first game of the twinbill on Saturday but did reach base with a walk to extend his consecutive games-on-base streak to 16 games. Farrell and Brock Holt both had hits in the first game to extend their season-best hit streaks to seven and six games, respectively, but both did not have a hit in the second game.
--Curve Media Relations--