Craig Drives in Five, Bats Come Alive as Curve Top Ponies
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. - Behind a five-RBI game by Will Craig, the Altoona Curve ran away from the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, 12-3, in the series opener on Tuesday night.
The Curve (30-28) scored 11 runs over the middle three innings to pull away from the Rumble Ponies (34-29).
Craig finished the night 3-for-5 with a double and his seventh homer of the season.
Trailing 2-0 in the fourth, Ke'Bryan Hayes led off the frame with a triple and Jason Martin followed with a two-run homer, his ninth of the year, to even the score.
Later in the inning with two outs, Logan Hill walked, Christian Kelley singled and Logan Ratledge followed with a three-run homer to left, the first of his Double-A career, to put the Curve ahead, 5-2, capping a five-run fourth.
In the fifth, Craig drove an RBI single for his first hit of the night and Bryan Reynolds followed with a double to bring home Martin. Kelley plated Craig with a groundout to later in the inning to open an 8-2 lead.
The Curve chased Binghamton starter Joseph Shaw (Loss, 1-4) after five innings with eight earned runs allowed on six hits and five walks.
In the sixth with two outs, Hayes and Martin reached on back-to-back singles to set up a three-run homer by Will Craig, pushing the Altoona lead to 11-2.
The Rumble Ponies responded with a run in the bottom of the sixth, the last run allowed on the night for Curve starter Eduardo Vera (Win, 1-0). Vera worked through seven innings for the third straight start, spanning all three outings with the Curve so far, and allowed three runs on six hits with no walks and five strikeouts.
Craig punctuated his performance with a run-scoring double in the top of the eighth inning, driving his team-leading RBI total to 43, which is tied for the fifth-most in the Eastern League and leads the Pirates organization.
The Curve totaled 13 hits on the night, including six extra-base knocks, and added six walks.
Hayes went 3-for-3 with a walk, a triple and two runs scored. Martin was 2-for-5 with a homer, two RBIs and three runs scored.
Bret Helton and Montana DuRapau each pitched a 1-2-3 inning in relief with one strikeout.
The Curve and Rumble Ponies play the second of the three-game series on Wednesday night. Right-hander Mitch Keller (5-2, 3.27) is scheduled to start for Altoona, opposed by Binghamton right-hander Scott Copeland (4-0, 3.18). First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. at NYSEG Stadium.
Altoona returns to Peoples Natural Gas Field to begin a three-game series this weekend, 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.
For tickets and more information, visit AltoonaCurve.com, call 877.99.CURVE or stop by the PNG Field box office.
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