- High School
Late Lead Lost as Six-Game Streak Ended by Mets
A one-run lead slipped away in the bottom of the eighth inning as the Binghamton Mets scored twice to steal the final game of the series, 3-2, and halt the Curve win streak at five games. Binghamton scored twice on back-to-back fielder’s choices with no one down to take the lead.
Leading 2-1 entering the eighth, Altoona brought reliever Jeff Inman (1-2) into the game to try and hold on to the one-run lead. Inman walked Eric Campbell to start the inning and then Allan Dykstra singled to move Campbell to third and put the tying run 90 feet away. Jefry Marte drew the second walk of the inning to load the bases before Dustin Martin hit into a fielder’s choice that scored Campbell from third to tie the game at two.
With runners at the corners, catcher Francisco Pena also hit into a fielder’s choice that was hit too slowly to be turned into a double play and the go-ahead run scored in Dykstra and Binghamton had its first lead since Game 1 of the series.
Altoona tried to mount a comeback in the ninth as Robbie Grossman led off the inning with a single, his third of the day, and the tying run was at first. Jarek Cunningham followed and grounded into a fielder’s choice that saw Grossman retired at second but the Curve still had the tying run at first. Brock Holt battled, seeing upwards of 10 pitches in his at bat, before flying out to left for the second out of the ninth. Jeremy Farrell grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the game.
The Curve took the initial lead in the game in the fourth of B-Mets starter Darin Gorski on a very odd play with Farrell at the plate. Gorski had fallen behind Farrell 2-0 with runners at second and third and elected to walk the Curve cleanup hitter to load the bases. His intentional ball four was wide of the catcher Pena and went to the backstop, allowing Grossman to score from third and give the Curve the game’s first lead at 1-0.
Cunningham also moved up on the wild pitch and he came into score on a sac fly by Ramon Cabrera to make it 2-0. Those would be the only runs of the day as the offense fell silent the rest of the night. Binghamton countered with its own run in the bottom of the fourth but the game stayed in Altoona’s favor after a strong relay throw by Holt gunned down Pena trying to score on Wilfredo Tovar’s double to end the inning.
Brandon Cumpton battled through five innings on Tuesday night and left in line for the win but finished with a no decision. Cumpton finished five innings and allowed one run on four hits but walked four on the day. Logan Kensing worked two scoreless innings in his second appearance off the DL.
Back to two games below .500, Altoona (40-42) now returns home to open up a homestand on the Fourth of July as they welcome in the Reading Phillies (AA – Phillies) for a 7 p.m. game on Wednesday night. Altoona’s players will be donning special red, white, and blue, star-spangled hats for the evening, and those caps will be auctioned off to fans during the night’s affair. Also during the game, Nuts for You will also be doing a $1,000 Sheetz Gas Card Giveaway to one lucky fan who purchases a bag of nuts at the Nuts For You stand, and the winner will be announced after the seventh inning. After the contest, the Curve will blast off an extended Fourth of July Postgame Fireworks show thanks to Pennsylvania Lottery, and kids will be able to run the bases.
Taking the hill upon the return home will be RHP Phil Irwin (1-5, 4.56), who will look to make it two straight victories in a row after he notched his first Double-A win of 2012 last time out. He’ll be opposed on the mound by Reading’s Austin Hyatt (1-2, 6.16) in the lid lifter.
Gates for the game on Wednesday will open early due to the anticipated large crowd with season –ticket gates swinging open at 5:30 p.m. while gates for the general public will part ways at 5:45 p.m. Fans are encouraged to arrive early for the series-opening contest to avoid as much congestion as possible. Airtime on ESPN Radio 1430, WVAM and the Curve Radio Network is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
For tickets and more information on the upcoming homestand beginning Wednesday, call 877.99.CURVE, visit AltoonaCurve.com or stop by the box office windows at Peoples Natural Gas Field.