HARRISBURG – The Altoona Curve earned a split of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Harrisburg Senators, routing the ‘Sens in game one 9-1 but dropped game two 3-2. The loss in game two ended Altoona’s streak of ten consecutive wins over Harrisburg.
Altoona got on the board in game one thanks to a three-run first inning. After a pair of one-out walks by Drew Maggiand Elias Diaz, Curve right fielder Andy Vasquez brought home the former with a single to right. Both Diaz and Vasquez advanced another bag because of a throw home. With the two Curve runners in scoring position, Keon Broxton hit a two-run double off the wall in right that gave Altoona a 3-0 lead. The hit by Broxton extended his on-base streak to a Curve season-best 14 games, tied with Mel Rojas Jr.
The Curve put up another three-spot in the fourth. After Broxton drew a leadoff walk, Jarek Cunningham followed with a double to put runners on second and third. Altoona starting pitcher then came up with one out and chopped a grounder that allowed Broxton to score from third. With two outs and a 2-2 count, Hanson belted a two-run home run to right field and gave Altoona a 6-0 lead.
The Curve tacked another run in the fifth and capped their scoring in the seventh. Broxton collected an RBI sacrifice fly that scored Diaz. In the seventh, after Stetson Allie led off the frame with a walk, Vasquez followed suit with a base on balls of his own, and Broxton brought home Allie with a single to make it 8-1. Vasquez scored on a double play ground out that rounded Altoona’s scoring.
Sampson (7-5) picked up the win after he tossed the first complete game of his Double-A career. The right hander allowed one run on four hits with three walks and six strikeouts. John Simms (2-1) suffered the loss after he allowed seven runs over four innings.
Game two saw both starters dealing early on. Harrisburg starter Paolo Espino was perfect through the first three innings and Joely Rodriguez faced just two over the minimum through his first three frames.
Both teams broke the scoreless game in the fourth. Altoona struck for a run when Maggi was hit by a pitch and he later scored on a single by Dan Gamache. However, Harrisburg responded by plating three runs including a two-run home run by Matt Skole that gave Harrisburg the lead. A sac fly later in the frame by Adrian Sanchez made it a 3-1 lead for the ‘Sens.
Altoona threatened in the ninth inning. With one out, Gamache hit a double to left center field and, after a pitching change, scored when Broxton hit a fly ball down the right field line that stayed fair and made it a 3-2 game. In the process, Broxton extended his on-base streak to a Curve season-high 15 games. With the tying run in scoring position and one out, the Curve failed to bring home the run.
Rodriguez (4-8) suffered the loss in game two despite his second complete game of the season. Espino (4-3) earned the win after 6.1 innings of work. Harrisburg All-Star Colin Bates earned his first save of the year by retiring the final two outs of the game.
In Sunday’s game, the Curve will use LHP Zack Dodson (2-5, 5.14) and he will be opposed by Harrisburg RHP James Simmons (1-0, 4.99).
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