ALTOONA – The Altoona Curve swept the four-game series against the Harrisburg Senators on Thursday 6-1 to wrap up the homestand at Peoples Natural Gas Field. Stetson Allie crushed his fourth home run in the last three days to back Tyler Sample, who tossed six strong innings while striking out a season-high eight batters in the victory.
Altoona patiently drew three walks in the first inning that led to scoring plays. After Alen Hanson and Gift Ngoepe began the bottom of the frame with a pair of walks, Allie hit his Eastern League-leading sixth home run over the left field wall to give the Curve a 3-0 lead. Mel Rojas, Jr. followed with a walk and scored one batter later when Willy Garcia hit his second triple of the season that gave Altoona the 4-0 advantage.
In the fifth the Curve scored another run to take a 5-0 lead. With two outs in the inning, Rojas and Garcia hit back-to-back doubles to score Rojas. Garcia finished the game 3-for-4 and was a home run shy of the cycle.
After Harrisburg cut the lead to four with a run in the eighth, Altoona responded in the home half. Elias Diaz drew a one-out walk and scored two batters later when Jarek Cunningham hit a triple over the head of the Harrisburg center field that gave the Curve their final run of the ballgame and a 6-1 lead.
Sample (2-0) earned the victory with his first quality start of the season. Sample allowed only two hits for his second consecutive start and walked only two batters in the game. Matt Purke (0-4) took the loss for the Senators.
Altoona (9-9) outscored Harrisburg (4-13) in the series 33-11 and swept an opponent for the first time this season. The Curve hold a 5-1 record against the Nationals’ Double-A affiliate this season.
The Curve will embark on a seven-game road trip beginning Friday with a three-game series against the Akron RubberDucks, Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, then a four-game set against the Erie SeaWolves. Friday’s game will begin at 6:35 at Canal Park in Ohio while airtime on ESPN Radio 1430, WVAM and the Curve Radio Network is scheduled for 6:05 p.m.
LHP Joely Rodriguez (0-2, 6.75) will start for the Curve and will be opposed by RHP Gabriel Arias. In his only start against the ‘Ducks this season on April 8, Rodriguez allowed two runs over six innings in a game Altoona went on to win 4-3.
--Altoona Curve Media Relations
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