The Altoona Curve topped the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, 9-2, capping a dominant three-game sweep at NYSEG Stadium. Taylor Hearn struck out ten batters and Will Craig homered for the third straight day.
The Curve (32-28) have won six of their last seven games and outscored the Rumble Ponies (34-31) by a combined score of 28-7 in the series.
Hearn (Win, 2-4) allowed two runs, both in the sixth, over his six innings on six hits and two walks. It was the 27th all-time double-digit strikeout performance by a Curve pitcher and the first since Mitch Keller fanned 11 in a start last September.
The Curve opened a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Bralin Jackson, the first of his season-high four hits in the game, and he later scored on a double by Craig.
In the fourth, Craig clubbed a solo homer off of Marcos Molina (Loss, 1-7), his ninth of the season, to extend the lead to 2-0. It marked the second time this season Craig has homered in three consecutive games.
Jason Martin drove an RBI single in the top of the fifth inning to extend his current hitting streak to ten games. Later in the inning, Jordan George brought in two runs with a single to pad the Altoona lead to 5-0.
Binghamton plated a pair of runs in the sixth to pull within three, but the Curve answered in the seventh with a two-run single from Christian Kelley and an RBI infield single by Tyler Gaffney to open the lead to 8-2.
Jackson scored on a wild pitch in the eighth to extend the lead to seven runs.
Tate Scioneaux struck out two over two scoreless innings and Logan Sendelbach worked a 1-2-3 ninth to close out the win.
Hearn matched his career high and set a new season high in strikeouts with ten. Over his last seven starts since May 10, Hearn is 2-1 with a 1.96 ERA, totaling 42 strikeouts in 36.2 innings.
Craig finished the day 3-for-4 with a homer, two RBIs and three runs scored. Over his last seven games, Craig has driven in 12 runs, extending his team RBI lead to 46 on the year.
Jackson went 4-for-5 with two doubles and scored three times. Kelley was 2-for-5 with a double and two RBIs.
The Curve open a three-game home series against the Fisher Cats on Friday night. Lefty Cam Vieaux (1-0, 1.29) will start on the mound for Altoona, opposed by New Hampshire right-hander Josh DeGraaf (1-3, 5.30). First pitch at Peoples Natural Gas Field is scheduled for 7 p.m.
The three-game homestand is highlighted by a spectacular fireworks show on Friday night, an appearance by Curve legend Adam Hyzdu and the Adam Hyzdu Fans’ Choice All-Time Curve Team bobblehead giveaway presented by US Foods on Saturday and a Ritchey’s Dairy Kids’ Club Game with post-game fireworks on Sunday.