ALTOONA – Brandon Mann was marvelous in an emergency start while the offense erupted for 10 runs on 14 hits in a, 10-1 win over the Harrisburg Senators on Monday night at Peoples Natural Gas Field. The 10 runs and 14 hits are both season highs for the Curve. Catcher Elias Diaz continued to hit well, grabbing four hits and three RBI to up his average to .474 through his first 11 Double-A games.
Mann (1-1) was called into active duty when scheduled starter Zack Dodson was scratched after he began warming up. Dodson felt a pain in his side while warming up and will be re-evaluated.
After Mann took care of the Senators in the first, the offense went to work off Senators starter Blake Schwartz (0-3). Alen Hanson led off the first with a single followed by a Gift Ngoepe double to put runners at second and third with no one out. Schwartz then walked Stetson Allie to load them up for Mel Rojas, Jr. Rojas followed with an RBI fielder’s choice and the Curve had a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Rojas then stole second base before Willy Garcia hit a deep fly to right. Right fielder Justin Bloxom dropped the ball and it allowed both Ngoepe and Rojas to score to open up a 3-0 lead. Diaz followed with an RBI single to up the lead to, 4-0.
It was all Mann and the Curve pitching staff from there as he combined with Joan Montero, Emmanuel de Leon and Ryan Beckman to allow one unearned run on five hits the rest of the way. Mann finished five innings, allowed just three hits and struck out six. Montero fanned three in two innings while de Leon and Beckman each tossed scoreless innings.
Altoona added more offense throughout the game, grabbing a pair of runs in the third with the RBIs going to Garcia and Diaz. In the eighth, the Curve batted around and scored four times with RBI knocks coming from Allie (a two-run double), Garcia (a run-scoring single) and Diaz (run-scoring single).
The Curve (6-9) and Senators (4-11) will mix it up in the second game of the four-game series at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday night from Peoples Natural Gas Field. It’ll be a Two-for-Tuesday at the ball yard with 2-for-1 offers on tickets, hot dogs and small popcorns thanks to Atlantic Broadband. On the bump for the Curve on Tuesday will be RHP Adrian Sampson (2-1, 1.59). He’ll be opposed by ‘Sens lefty Felipe Rivero (0-3, 4.15).
--Altoona Curve Media Relations