Howard's 8th Inning Blast Helps Curve to 5-4 Win

- ALTOONA, BLAIR COUNTY - Justin Howard blasted the go-ahead home run in the bottom half of the eighth inning as the Altoona Curve defeated the Harrisburg Senators, 5-4 on Saturday night in front of a crowd of 6,895.  The home run was the fifth of the season for Howard. 

Altoona struck first in the bottom half of the first inning.  Alen Hanson worked a walk to start the frame.  Gregory Polanco then smacked a one-out RBI-double to give the Curve a 1-0 lead.  Mel Rojas Jr. made it a two-run game with a single that scored Polanco.

Harrisburg answered with two runs in the top of the second and one in the top of the third to take their first lead of the game at 3-2. 

The Senators lead was short-lived as the Curve took back control in the bottom half of the third inning.  Hanson again started things off with a single, then Polanco and Justin Howard each walked to load up the bases.  Jarek Cunningham ripped a two-run single to left field to push the Curve back in front 4-3. 

Both team’s pitching staffs took over from there putting up zeroes until the top half of the seventh inning.  The Senators (64-56) re-tied the game in that frame on an RBI-double by Carlos Rivero.

Ryan Perry (1-5) surrendered the home run to Howard to lead off the eighth inning and suffered the loss.  Jason Townsend (4-3) turned in another scoreless performance working 1.1 innings to earn the win.  

Luis Sanz worked a perfect ninth inning to preserve the win and earn his 15th save of the season.  Nate Baker worked through some early struggles to turn in his first quality start of the season.  The left-hander worked six innings allowing four hits and three runs, while walking six and striking out five. 
Cunningham and Polanco each turned in multi-hit efforts at the plate for the Curve in the victory. 

--Curve Media Relations--

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