CURVE, Pa. – Alfredo Reyes led a five-run fourth inning with a grand slam to back a scoreless start by Cam Vieaux in the fifth straight win, 6-3, for the Altoona Curve and a two-game sweep over the Harrisburg Senators on Thursday at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
The Curve (71-55) loaded the bases in the fourth off Senators (63-63) starter Sterling Sharp (Loss, 5-3) with an RBI double from Jordan George, Logan Hill reached on a fielding error and Christian Kelley was hit by a pitch. With a 1-0 count, Reyes pulled a bases-clearing homer over the left field seats and boosted Altoona to a 6-0 lead.
Vieaux (Win, 9-4) tossed five scoreless innings to lower his ERA at PNG Field to 2.15 and improve to 7-0 in seven home starts. Vieaux threw 89 pitches and matched his Double-A high of seven strikeouts and did not walk a batter.
The left-hander preserved the shutout in the second inning and recorded an out between third base and home. Vieaux fielded weak ground ball back to the mound by Osvaldo and threw home to Kelley to hang up Drew Ward for the second out of the inning. Ward reached on a passed ball after a swinging third strike and moved up to third on a single by Zach Collier. Vieaux then struck out opposing pitcher Sterling Sharp looking to strand two runners on the bases.
The Senators broke up the shutout against Bret Helton in the sixth with a two-run homer by Alec Keller. Helton walked the first hitter he faced and recorded a pop up out before Keller tucked his homer inside the right field foul pole.
After two perfect innings of relief by Logan Sendelbach, Geoff Hartlieb locked down the final three outs in the ninth despite allowing an unearned run.
Back-to-back extra-base hits in the first inning led to the first run of the game when Bryan Reynolds doubled in Stephen Alemais, who hit a one-out triple to center. Reynolds started the five-run fourth with a single and scored on George’s double all the way from first.
The grand slam by Reyes was his first Double-A home run and the second slam for the Curve this season, joining Reynolds from June 13 at Binghamton. Reyes also extended his hitting streak to 12 games. The Senators bullpen tossed 4.1 hitless innings after the homer by Reyes while Ronald Pena issued three walks over two scoreless innings.
Altoona clinched the Route 22 Trophy from Harrisburg with Wednesday’s win and finished the year 11-8 against their cross-state rivals.
Now 16 games over .500, the Curve are the most games over the .500 mark since the 2010 season.
The Curve open a four-game, three-day series on Friday in Altoona against the Richmond Flying Squirrels, Double-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. Right-hander Dario Agrazal (5-3, 2.58) will start for Altoona with left-hander Conner Menez (6-4, 4.68) taking the hill for Richmond.