The Curve gave the rehabbing Pimentel some run support in the third and never looked back. Andy Vasquez doubled to start the inning and moved to third before Ngoepe bunted his way on for a hit. With runners at the corners, Drew Maggi grabbed a sac fly to score Vasquez and the Curve held a lead they didn’t give back, 1-0.
Jarek Cunningham drove home a run in the fourth before a big four-run explosion from the offense in the fifth. All told the Curve sent eight to the plate and scored four times off Graham Stoneburner (2-3). Hanson had a two-run double before Elias Diaz also added a two-run double later in the inning.
Trenton grabbed its only runs of the game off reliever Matt Benedict in the sixth but the Curve had many late answers to erase the pair of runs. They added two more runs in the eighth thanks to RBI from Hanson (his third) and Keon Broxton (his first). In the ninth, Ngoepe brought home two with a bases-loaded double off reliever Fred Lewis. Maggi grounded out following Ngoepe’s double to score the game’s final run and drive home his second RBI of the season.
Ngoepe led the team with four hits while Broxton (three hits) and Hanson (two) had the other multi-hit games. Each member of the starting lineup recorded at least one hit in the win.
Emmanuel de Leon (1-1) tossed 1.1 innings of scoreless relief to earn his first Double-A victory. Ryan Beckman also chipped in with a pair of scoreless innings to close the game.
Winners of three straight, the Curve (23-37) will look to make it four in a row with a win in the 7 p.m. game with the Thunder (32-30) on Saturday night at Arm & Hammer Park. RHP Nick Kingham (1-6, 2.95), who was supposed to start Game 1 of the series, now starts in Game 2 on Saturday night in Trenton. He’ll be opposed by Thunder LHP Matt Tracy (6-2, 4.28).
---Altoona Curve Media Relations
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