From Mirror reports
ERIE - There had been 152 games played in the Eastern League this season as of Thursday afternoon, and in only four of those did a pitcher throw a complete game.
All four have come against the Curve.
Whether that's coincidence, bad luck, bad offense, great pitching or a combination of all four doesn't matter. It's four losses no matter how you slice it, and in all four games, Altoona's hitters were unable to make the necessary adjustments to rattle the opposing pitcher.
Erie right-hander James Avery turned in the EL's best pitching performance of the season Thursday afternoon as he threw the league's first shutout against the Curve. Avery blanked Altoona on five hits in nine masterful innings, striking out eight with only one walk in the SeaWolves' 1-0 win at Jerry Uht Park.
The shutout loss came just half a day after the Curve scored 11 runs on 14 hits in their best offensive performance of the season Wednesday night.
Tonight: Richmond at Altoona, 6:30
Pitchers: Curve RHP Mike Colla (0-3, 4.01) vs. Flying Squirrels LHP Jason Stevenson (1-4, 6.92)
Altoona received a stellar performance from its own pitching staff Thursday as Kris Johnson threw five shutout innings before Jhonathan Ramos tacked on two more. The game was scoreless until the eighth, when Erie finally broke through for a run against reliever Vic Black.
Niuman Romero greeted Black (0-1) with a leadoff double in the eighth and took third on a single by Brandon Douglas. Ben Guez followed with a single to right to score the game's lone run.
The Curve avoided further damage later in the eighth when Douglas was thrown out at home on a grounder to third base. Altoona center fielder Robbie Grossman had kept the game scoreless in the seventh when he threw out Tony Plagman at the plate.
The Curve managed little offense against Avery for eight innings but gave themselves a chance in the ninth.
Brock Holt singled with one out, and Avery issued his lone walk with two outs to Matt Curry to put runners at first and second. Avery (4-1) completed his shutout by getting Ramon Cabrera to fly out to center.
Key player: Erie RHP James Avery threw the EL's first shutout of the season.
Key play: SeaWolves RF Ben Guez drove home the game's only run with an RBI single in the eighth, scoring Niuman Romero.
Key stat: There have been four complete games thrown in the EL, and all have been against the Curve.
How they scored
Bottom 8th: Romero doubled, scored on Guez single (0-1).