ALTOONA -The Altoona Curve dropped their homestand opener to the Bowie Bayxox, 4-1, at Peoples Natural Gas Field on Monday night. Alex Dickerson followed up his Eastern League Player of the Week performance with a 2-for-4 showing in the loss for Altoona.
Both sides' bats were quiet through three innings of strong pitching to start the game. Bowie's Trayvon Robinson led off the fourth inning with a deep homer over the right field fence for the one-run lead. It was the first hit that starter Ethan Hollingsworth allowed in the game.
Bowie extended their lead in the fifth inning. Ronny Paulino, who played in Altoona from 2003-05, walked to open the inning and advanced to second on a Seth Loman groundout. Garabez Rosa singled to a laying-out Adalberto Santos to put runners on first and third base. Josh Horton then hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Paulino and put the Baysox up 2-0.
The Curve responded in the sixth. Mel Rojas, Jr. cracked a low single into center. Santos followed with a double down the left field line to move Rojas to third. Gregory Polanco then hit a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Rojas and closing the gap to 2-1.
Rojas, Jr. finished 1-for-4 with the run scored. Justin Howard finished 2-for-4 on the day to join Dickerson as the only members of the Curve lineup to grab a multi-hit game. The Santos double in the sixth also extended his personal season-best hit streak to 11 games.
Sharp Bowie hitting and Altoona defensive miscues contributed to a big seventh inning for the Baysox. Loman led off the inning with a solo homer to right-center field. Rosa singled into center and reached second on an error by Polanco. After a Horton lineout to first, Hudson moved Rosa to third on a groundout. Robinson then reached first on a bobbled grounder by Jarek Cunningham at second base. Rosa scored on the play for the 4-1 lead.
Mike Wright (8-2) was strong in the start for Bowie. He scattered six hits over seven innings and allowed one run. He struck out two and walked one.
Hollingsworth (6-4) threw seven innings for Altoona, allowing four runs (three earned) on only five hits while striking out two and walking two. Nate Baker was solid in two innings of relief. He allowed three hits and no runs while striking out one.
Altoona (42-52) will look to even the series with Bowie (49-45) at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
Eliecer Navarro (2-2, 4.82) will take the mound for Altoona in Tuesday's game. Bowie has yet to determine a pitcher. Gates will swing open at 6 p.m. at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
--Altoona Curve Media Relations