August 20, 2013 - Eastern League (EL) - Altoona Curve
CURVE, Pa. - Starter David Bromberg was once again excellent for the Curve, allowing just one unearned run over 5.2 innings, but a lack of run support ended up sinking the Curve in a, 2-0, loss to the Reading Fightin Phils in front of 5,297 on Tuesday night at Peoples Natural Gas Field. Bromberg (6-10) has only allowed one earned run in his last three starts spanning 20.2 innings pitched. Pirates RF Travis Snider played six innings on Tuesday night and was 1-for-3.
The Curve righty and Fightins' starter Ryan Demmin (1-0) battled one another through the first five innings with neither starter budging to allow his opponent to score. Maikel Franco led off the sixth for Reading with a ball out towards third that was too hot to handle for Adalberto Santos, which resulted in Franco reaching first base and Santos being assessed his 27th error of the season. Jim Murphy followed and bounced a ball back to the third-base side of the mound that went for an infield, swinging bunt single.
With two on, Kelly Dugan laid down a sac bunt to move up the runners and put the Curve in a tough spot. Bromberg then walked Matt Tolbert to load up the bases and set up a force at any base with one out. Sebastian Valle followed and drove a ball out to left-center that Gregory Polanco was able to get under. Franco tagged from third and broke for the plate while Polanco's throw went into third and appeared to have Murphy out by two steps. At first look it appeared that Murphy was out and that the out might have been recorded before the runner Franco touched home.
It was then ruled that Murphy was safe at third so the run scored and the Curve went down, 1-0. Bromberg left after the run scored and gave way to Jhonathan Ramos, who got the final out of the inning. The Curve righty struck out four and allowed just the one unearned run on five hits. With his first five scoreless innings tonight, Bromberg grabbed ahold of the team's longest scoreless-innings streak at 19.2 innings.
In his last three starts since coming back down from Triple-A, Bromberg has given up one earned run (two runs total) in 20.2 innings pitched but the Curve offense has scored just two runs in those three starts combined and been shut out twice.
Altoona managed seven hits and no player had a multi-hit game in the loss to Reading as they were stymied by Demmin, who tossed seven scoreless innings in his Double-A debut. Mike Nesseth earned his ninth save by pitching the final two scoreless innings. It was the 11th time this season that the Curve have been shutout.
Looking to secure a series split, the Curve (59-70) will host the Fightins (54-74) at 7 p.m. Wednesday night from Peoples Natural Gas Field. It is a WALY 4-Pack Wednesday where fans can get four tickets, four hot dogs and four regular 22oz. sodas for $35 thanks to WALY 103.9. It's also UPMC Health Plan Member Appreciation Night. Select UPMC Health Plan customers who received a postcard in the mail for a free pair of UPMC Health Plan Home Run Junction seats to Wednesday night's game can redeem those postcards for their tickets at the box office on Wednesday.
Aiming to lead the Curve to the series split will be LHP Nate Baker (3-2, 6.11), who took the loss his last time out versus Erie. He'll be opposed by LHP Bobby Bramhall (0-3, 3.70) in the finale.
Airtime on ESPN Radio 1430, WVAM and the Curve Radio Network is slated for 6:30 p.m. For tickets and more information on the homestand beginning Monday night in Curve, Pa., call 877.99.CURVE, visit AltoonaCurve.com or stop by the ticket windows at Peoples Natural Gas Field.