Senators top Curve in close one


Two early runs by the Harrisburg Senators were all they needed to outlast the Altoona Curve, 2-1, on Wednesday and conclude the first homestand of the season at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
The Curve (4-2) offense sputtered with an 0-for-7 showing with runners in scoring position against the Senators (3-3) pitching staff.
Curve starting pitcher J.T. Brubaker (Loss, 0-1) allowed two runs, walked two and struck out five over his five innings of work, but he was short on run support when he exited the game with the Curve trailing 2-0.
Senators starter Brady Dragmire (Win, 1-0) handcuffed the Curve over six scoreless innings. He worked around five hits and one walk and did not let an Altoona baserunner beyond second base.
Harrisburg tacked on the first run of the night in the first with back-to-back two-out hits from Justin Wilson and Taylor Gushue, who added the RBI double.
The Senators connected on two singles against Brubaker to lead off the second frame that put runners at first and third, and the Curve traded Harrisburg’s second run for two outs on a 5-4-3 double play.
Altoona’s bullpen blanked Harrisburg with two scoreless innings from Bret Helton and one hitless inning from each Jake Brentz and Sam Street to close out the game.
Altoona broke into the run column during the eighth against Harrisburg reliever Philips Valdez when Cole Tucker plugged the gap in right-center to bring around Wyatt Mathisen, but Tucker was thrown out trying to stretch his double into a triple.
The Curve had an opportunity to answer Harrisburg’s first run of the game when Tucker and Stephan Alemais each got aboard to start the first inning, but Dragmire induced an infield fly and a double play to escape the jam. In the fourth inning, Will Craig connected on a leadoff double to left, but he was doubled off at second by a lineout to second base by Logan Hill. Ke’Bryan Hayes hit a one-out triple in the seventh inning and couldn’t score when Pablo Reyes grounded out softly to third base.
Hayes singled twice in addition to his triple and became the first Curve player to record a three-hit game during the young season. Tucker’s RBI double extended his on-base streak to 22 games going back to last season. Alemais (1-for-3) and Reyes (1-for-4) also extended their team-best hitting streaks to six games.
After a day off on Thursday, the Curve will embark on their first road trip of the season to Erie and Akron. Right-handed pitcher Dario Agrazal (0-0, 0.00) will make his second start of the season on Friday for Altoona after six no-hit frames last Friday, and Erie will go with right-hander Spencer Turnbull (0-0, 1.93). First pitch at UPMC Park in Erie is scheduled for 6 p.m.
The Curve return home on Friday, April 20 for a six-game homestand against the Richmond Flying Squirrels and the Erie SeaWolves. Featured promotions during that six-game stretch include the Andrew McCutchen 20th Season Fans’ Choice All-Time Curve Team bobblehead, presented by Nuts for You, to the first 1,000 fans on Saturday, April 21 and the 2017 Championship Team Poster giveaway for the first 500 fans, presented by Air Force Reserve, on Tuesday, April 24.

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