Hightower's Six Scoreless Innings Leads Curve Past Erie
CURVE, Pa. - Scooter Hightower fired six shutout innings before the bullpen finished the job as the Altoona Curve defeated the Erie SeaWolves, 2-1, on Saturday at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
Hightower (Win, 2-3) turned in his best start of the season for the Curve (18-16) as he held the SeaWolves (16-15) to three hits in six shutout innings. Hightower, who completed six frames for the third straight outing and earned his second quality start, out-dueled SeaWolves starter Matt Manning (Loss, 3-2) for the second time in two weeks.
Jerrick Suiter broke the scoreless tie in the fourth with a sacrifice fly to center. Suiter knocked in the second run of the game in the sixth on an RBI single, which was set up on a two-out double by Hunter Owen.
Manning walked Mitchell Tolman after the Suiter single and was lifted from the game after 5.2 innings, six hits, five strikeouts and two runs for Altoona. It was the first time since his season debut that Manning struck out less than eight batters and broke his streak of three straight starts of at least six innings.
The SeaWolves scored their only run of the game on a Kody Eaves solo homer to right in the seventh off Curve reliever Joel Cesar, who was making his Double-A debut. Cesar limited the damage to one run and followed with a scoreless eighth, using a 5-4-3 double play started with a nice pick from Owen at third base to end the frame.
Tate Scioneaux (Save, 1) came on for the ninth and gave up a leadoff double to Jose Azocar, putting the tying run at second with no outs, but retired the next three batters to preserve the one-run win. The outing resulted in Scioneaux's 22nd save in a Curve uniform and ties him four fourth all-time on the franchise's career saves list.
The Curve go for the three-game sweep of the SeaWolves tomorrow at 2 p.m. RHP James Marvel (3-3, 3.07) will go for the Curve, while the SeaWolves' starter is to-be-determined.
The weekend of giveaways wraps up on Sunday for Mother's Day. All moms can receive a free ticket the game and the first 500 moms will score an Al Tuna Wine Glass Holder, presented by Sheetz. It's also another Ritchey's Dairy Kids' Club Game and the final day of Altoona Area School District Weekend at the ballpark. Gates will open for fans at 1 p.m.
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