August 15, 2013 - Eastern League (EL) - Altoona Curve
ABOUT YESTERDAY: Altoona carried a, 4-3, lead into the ninth inning before the Portland Sea Dogs tied the game to force extras. It was no matter for the Curve though as they grabbed a walk-off, broken-bat single from Mel Rojas, Jr. in the bottom of the 12th to win the ballgame and level the series. Rojas' single drove home Alex Dickerson, who collected his third hit of the night to start the 12th inning. This came an inning after the Curve had their backs against the wall down 5-4 in the bottom of the 11th inning before Alen Hanson clubbed his first Double-A home run to tie the game at five. Dickerson and Justin Howard led the way with three hits apiece while Gregory Polanco con- tinued a hot trend, going 2-for-6 with a solo homer and a pair of RBI. On the mound, starter Nick Kingham lasted three innings after a prolonged third inning and the bullpen covered the final nine innings of action. Jason Townsend (5-3) notched the win with a scoreless top of the 12th.
CURVE/SEA DOGS SERIES: Altoona and Portland meet up for the final time in 2013 for this Tuesday-Thursday series this week in Curve, Pa. Altoona won the final two games of a three-game series in Portland in early June.
FOR ALTOONA: To the mound in the series finale with Portland will be RHP David Bromberg, who is coming off one of his more efficient outings of the season last time out in Binghamton on August 8. The Santa Monica, Calif. native pitched seven innings and gave up just one run on three hits while striking out seven in a tough-luck loss with the Curve falling, 1-0. It was his first start back in Double-A after a pair of starts up with Triple-A Indianapolis where he went 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA (10.2 IP, 4 R, 8 K). In his only previous start of the season versus Portland up at Hadlock Field, Bromberg permitted two runs on three hits with three walks in four innings. For more on Bromberg, see page two.
FOR PORTLAND: The 'Dogs counter with RHP Terry Doyle, who started the season with Triple-A Pawtucket and went 5-6 with a 5.60 ERA in 18 games (11 starts). Doyle, 27, was originally drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 21st round of the 2007 draft out of Boston College but elected to return to school. The Chicago White Sox took him a year later in the 37th round out of BC and he began his MiLB career with Chicago. Doyle then left the White Sox system last season and went on to pitch for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks of the Japan Pacific League where he was 1-1 with a 3.55 ERA in 12.2 innings). He found his way to Boston's organization after the Japanese club he was with declined his team option for 2013. He's started all seven games for the Sea Dogs since coming back down and has lasted at least six innings in all but one start.
FACTOIDS: The extra-inning win for the Curve on Wednesday improved the team to 6-1 in extra-inning games this season (4-1 at home)...It also was the 14th win of the season for the team when playing on Wednesday, by far their best day of the week...They're 14-4 on Wednesdays (6-3 at home and 8-1 on the road).
WELCOME BACK: RHP Tyler Waldron has been added back to the Curve roster today with IF Kelson Brown going on the disabled list. Waldron began the season in the Curve starting rotation but only made three starts (0-2, 5.40) be- fore landing on the disabled list with a right shoulder issue on April 23. He was activated off the DL and assigned to Bradenton on July 25. With the Marauders this year, Waldron was 1-0 with two saves and a 7.88 ERA In five games (11 strikeouts and four walks).
RAMMER JAMMER YELLOW HAMMER: University of Alabama alum Jason Townsend worked another scoreless inning on Wednesday and earned the win while continuing to throw the ball extremely well after enduring some mid-season struggles. Since the All-Star Break, Townsend has made 11 appearances and not allowed a run (16.0 IP) while surrendering just eight hits to six walks and 10 strikeouts. The right-handed reliever had given up just two runs since July 1 in 19.0 innings and opponents have hit below .200 off him in both July and here in August. He'll jump into the rotation on Saturday and make the spot start in Game 2 versus Erie.
STREAK SANDWICHES: All-Star third baseman Adalberto Santos had a pair of hits in the win on Wednesday to extend his on-base streak to 19 games dating back to July 24. During the on-base streak, Santos is hitting .319 (23-for-72) with eight doubles, seven RBI, 11 runs scored and 10 walks. He's batted .302 since the break (106 at bats) and .326 in 13 games this month.
JUUUUSSTIN: Curve 1B Justin Howard has been on fire since the calendar read June 1. Howard has hit .370 (67- for-181) since the calendar flipped to June 1, which is the best average in all of Double-A for that time period. Not only is that average the best in Double-A, it's actually the best in all of full-season affiliated baseball (A-AAA) as he's three points ahead of Devon Travis of High-A Lakeland in the Florida State League. For the season, Howard is hitting .339 with 11 doubles, a career-high tying six homers and 32 RBI in 79 games played.
ALEXANDER THE REALLY REALLY GREAT: Alex Dickerson has been on a torrid pace since June 1, going 82-for- 235 (.349) with 21 doubles, 12 home runs and 48 RBI in 62 games. That streak has been one of the best in all of Double-A, going well enough for the third-best average in Double-A behind teammate Justin Howard (.370). His 15 home runs total are tied with Jarek Cunningham's 15 for the team lead while his 63 RBI lead the team. After picking up a pair of Eastern League Player of the Week awards in July, Dickerson was named the league's Player of the Month for July after batting .413 with 10 doubles, six home runs 27 RBI and 23 runs scored in 26 games during the month. In this series with Portland, Dickerson is 5-for-10 with two doubles, a run scored and an RBI.
HATS FOR BATS, KEEP BATS WARM: The Curve bats have really taken off as a team since June 1 came around. On June 1, the Curve were hitting .229 as a team, which was last in the Eastern League. Entering play today, the Curve as a team are hitting .254 and are tied for fifth in the circuit in terms of team batting average. Since June, the Curve have hit .273 (585- for-2139).
SITTING THIS ONE OUT: Curve IF Drew Maggi and RHP Luis Sanz are
both serving three-game suspensions resulting from Friday night's benches-
clearing incident with Harrisburg here at PNG Field. They'll be able to
return to the active roster on Friday night in Erie.
Mel Rojas, Jr. will also
serve a suspension of three games that will cover the first three games of
the series in Erie.