Binghamton, N.Y. - Stretches like this have become a rarity for the EL-leading Curve this season.
They have hit a rut recently, losing four out of five games for the first time since mid-May.
But even during that stretch, they were never really out of any of the games they played - until the third inning of Tuesday's matchup with Binghamton, that is.
Raul Reyes hit a grand slam as part of a six-run frame for the B-Mets, and the Curve wouldn't challenge after that, as Binghamton took its second-straight over Altoona, with a 9-5 victory.
Curve starter Jared Hughes was touched up for nine runs in his four innings of work, but only three of them were earned, as that six-run third was aided by a pair of very costly Altoona fielding blunders.
To start the frame shortstop Chase d'Arnaud couldn't handle a routine ground ball, and committed his 20th error. The B-Mets capitalized to load the bases, when right fielder Miles Durham overran a pop-up that dropped behind him, allowing the first run of the inning to score.
Tonight: Altoona at Binghamton, 6:35 p.m.
Pitchers: Curve LHP?Justin?Wilson (5-4, 2.87) vs. B-Mets LHP?Eric Niesen (5-5), 4.07
Instead of three outs, Hughes had only one and three batters later, Reyes made the typically sound Curve defense pay for its mistakes. Reyes took an 0-2 Hughes offering over the right field wall at NYSEG Stadium, and the game was never in doubt after that.
The homer sent the league wins leader, Hughes (10-4), headed for a rare defeat, as he allowed eight hits on the night.
The Curve gave Hughes a bit of early help. They opened the game with a run apiece in each of the first two innings, in an attempt to erase any sour taste that may have been lingering from blowing a five-run ninth-inning lead on Tuesday.
But Binghamton starter Eric Niesen (4-3) settled down after that. He lasted five innings and allowed only one more run, a meaningless fifth-inning homer by d'Arnaud.
Perhaps Niesen's biggest moment came in the top of the third, just minutes before Binghamton's offense exploded. The B-Mets had scored two runs in the second to erase Altoona's early lead, but Niesen put a pair of runners on base with walks.
He then got the Curve's No. 4 and 5 hitters, Matt Hague and Jordy Mercer, to hit weak fly balls to end the frame, and the B-Mets' bats took over from there.
Key player: B-Mets RF Raul Reyes was 2-for-5 with 5 RBIs and scored a run.
Key play: Reyes hit a grand slam as part of a six-run third inning that put Binghamton up for good.
Key stat: The Curve have lost four out of five games for the first time since May 13-19.
How they scored
Top 1st: Hernandez tripled, scored on Harrison sac fly (1-0).
Top 2nd: Mercer singled, scored on Durham single (2-0).
Bottom 2nd: Ratliff singled, scored on Reyes single (2-1); Nickeas singled, scored on Satin sac fly (2-2).
Bottom 3rd: Niewenhuis reached on d'Arnaud error, scored on Durham error (2-3); Hernandez singled, scored on Ratliff sac fly (2-4); Evans singled, Hubbard reached on Durham error, Nickeas walked, all scored on Reyes grand slam (2-8).
Bottom 4th: Niewenhuis doubled, scored on Hubbard sac fly (2-9).
Top 5th: d'Arnaud homered (3-9).
Top 7th: Durham hit by pitch, scored on d'Arnaud single (4-9); Norman walked, scored on Harrison single (5-9).