Curve Bludgeoned, 11-3, in Bowie
BOWIE, Md. - An early lead for the Altoona Curve was wiped out during a seven-run fifth by the Bowie Baysox, who claimed an 11-3 victory behind Zac Lowther's league-best 11th win of the season, at Prince George's Stadium on Friday.
With the Curve (50-44, 15-12) leading 3-1 at the halfway point in the ballgame, the Baysox (52-44, 22-6) put up 10 runs between the fifth and sixth innings to roll to victory.
Bowie sent 11 batters to the plate and scored seven times in the fifth on five hits. They started by loading the bases on the first six pitches of the inning from Altoona starter Domingo Robles (Loss, 2-3). Jesmuel Valentine, T.J. Nichting and Preston Palmeiro all connected for singles before the first out, a sacrifice fly by Mason McCoy scored the first run of the frame. Cedric Mullins and Ryan McKenna hit back-to-back RBI singles to tie the game and take the lead. Yusniel Diaz hit the second sacrifice fly of the inning moments before the fifth run of the game scored on a fielding error by second baseman Mitchell Tolman. Robles hit the next batter and then committed a balk to move runners to second and third when manager Michael Ryan pulled the plug on his starter. The left-hander was charged with eight runs, five earned.
Yeudy Garcia took over for Robles and one inherited runner scored on a passed ball by catcher Jason Delay. In the sixth, the Baysox scored three more times on four more singles. Shortstop Gift Ngoepe turned a comebacker to the mound into a double play when he fielded the smash up the middle off the bat of Rylan Bannon near second base, stepped on the bag and threw to first in one motion to end the inning.
Bowie had 12 hits total, including 11 singles. Their lone extra-base hit was Bannon's solo homer to center in the second inning.
The Curve got to Lowther (Win, 11-5) for two in the first when Jared Oliva hammered an RBI double to left-center and made the left-hander pay for a one-out walk to Chris Sharpe. Logan Hill singled home Oliva three pitches later, but he was thrown out rounding first base too far.
Lowther sat down nine in a row until Bligh Madris swatted his sixth home run of the year over the right field wall. The Eastern League wins leader went right back to work, retiring the next eight in order before Madris connected on a single in the seventh. Lowther totaled seven innings of work and held the Curve to three runs on four hits, two by Madris, while he stuck out six and walked two.
Altoona did not strand a runner on base until they left two on in the seventh and left the sacks loaded in the eighth.
Austin Coley tossed a perfect eighth before Alfredo Reyes made his first professional pitching appearance in the ninth. The Curve infielder induced a ground out, line out, walk and fly out sequence during the scoreless inning.
Baysox relievers Pedro Araujo and Zack Muckenhirn each pitched scoreless innings behind Lowther.
The series continues on Saturday with the Curve turning to right-hander Beau Sulser (7-1, 1.54) in the start against left-hander Alex Wells (8-1, 1.95) pitching for Bowie.
The Curve will be in Altoona for a week when they return on Monday to play the Erie SeaWolves and Richmond Flying Squirrels in a pair of four-game series. Promotional highlights include three firework displays, two giveaways and two appearances for the Allegheny Yinzers. For tickets or more information about upcoming promotions, visit AltoonaCurve.com, call 877.99.CURVE or stop by the PNG Field box office. Additionally, the Stockyard Team Store is open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., during every home game and online 24/7/365.
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