From Mirror reports
HARRISBURG - Backup catcher is one of the Curve's biggest strengths for the second straight season.
Last year it was Eric Fryer hitting everything in sight as the backup, and he eventually made it up to the big leagues with the Pirates. This season, Ramon Cabrera is emerging as one of Altoona's top potential threats, and he delivered the biggest hit Monday night.
Cabrera ripped a three-run double in the third inning and went 3-for-4 to lead the Curve to a 5-2 win over Harrisburg at Metro Bank Park. Cabrera's hit scored the game's first three runs, and Altoona's pitching staff did its part to make the early lead hold up.
The three-run double gave Cabrera the team lead in RBIs so far with five. He's also hitting .333 (9-for-24), picking up right where he left off last year when he won the Florida State League batting title with a .343 average for high-A Bradenton.
The Curve have one of the Pirates' top prospects in starting catcher Tony Sanchez, who got the night off Monday. So just like with Fryer last year, Cabrera's playing time and at-bats will have to come in other ways, such as designated hitter.
Tonight: Altoona at Harrisburg, 7 p.m.
Pitching matchups: Curve RHP Mike Colla (0-1, 7.00) vs. Senators RHP Jeff Mandel (0-1, 1.54)
Fryer made it work in 2011 as he hit .345 in 37 games before getting promoted to Triple-A, and Cabrera will get his opportunities somewhere in the order as long as he keeps hitting.
Curve lefty Aaron Poreda (2-0) picked up his second win in as many starts with another solid outing. Poreda gave up two runs on five hits in six innings, striking out six and showing much better control with only one walk (he had five his last start).
Harrisburg scored both its runs in the fourth off Poreda to close within 3-2.
Robbie Grossman doubled home Matt Curry in the sixth for a 4-2 Curve lead, and Jarek Cunningham belted his first Double-A homer in the seventh for the final run.
Vic Black and Kris Harvey pitched one scoreless inning apiece, and Tim Alderson finished it off in the ninth for his first save.
Key player: C Ramon Cabrera went 3-for-4 with a three-run double for the Curve.
Key play: Cabrera's double made it 3-0 in the third inning.
Key stat: Poreda has allowed just two earned runs on eight hits in 11 innings in his 2-0 start.
How they scored
Top 3rd: Holt doubled, Cunningham walked, Farrell walked, all three scored on Cabrera double (3-0).
Bottom 4th: Kobernus doubled, scored on Rahl single (3-1); Leon double play groundout scored Rahl (3-2).
Top 6th: Curry walked, scored on Grossman double (4-2).
Top 7th: Cunningham solo homer (5-2).