TRENTON, N.J. - Altoona Curve RHP Gerrit Cole tossed six scoreless innings but it wasn't enough for the Curve on Tuesday night as the Thunder scored two late runs to slide past the Curve, 2-1, at Waterfront Park. Cole struck out six and walked just one while scattering three hits in his seventh Double-A start.
Cole had his best and most efficient game since being promoted to Double-A. The Newport Beach, Calif. native had just one runner reach third base in his six innings of work and it came in the sixth. He fanned six and also induced nine groundball outs across his six frames. It's the sixth time in his career he's pitched six innings and the first time he completed six in Double-A.
Altoona took the early 1-0 lead in the second when Oscar Tejeda led off the inning with a solo homer to left and it looked like that would be enough as Cole mowed down the Thunder.
Hunter Strickland (2-1) followed Cole in the seventh and gave up a leadoff homer to Zoilo Almonte that tied the game at one. Melky Mesa followed with a ball hit to Brock Holt that came out of his glove on the backhand pick and Mesa was safe at first via the error. With Mesa at first, Luke Murton singled and moved him to second with no one down.
Strickland bounced back and got Kevin Mahoney to ground out to third but Altoona wasn't able to turn the double play, instead just getting one out which left Trenton with runners at the corners. J.R. Murphy was able to drive a pitch deep enough to center following Mahoney's fielder's choice to bring Mesa in on the sac fly and Trenton claimed the lead, 2-1.
The Curve threatened in the seventh, eighth and ninth but were unable to push a run across against Kelvin Perez (6-1) or Ryan Pope, who notched his first save of the season. Altoona finished the night 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left nine men on the bases.
--Curve Media Relations--