BOWIE, Md. - The Curve did something Tuesday night they had not done in more than a week, while Tim Alderson did something he had not done in nearly two years.
Behind a solid five-inning start from Alderson, the Curve snapped a six-game losing streak with a 7-3 victory over Bowie at Prince George's Stadium.
Alderson allowed three runs on six hits and struck out three to earn the win, his first as a starting pitcher since July 1, 2010. Making his first start of the season and first as a full-time member of the Curve rotation since midway through the 2010 season, Alderson threw 84 pitches (54 strikes) and maintained his velocity in the 91-92 mph range into his final inning of work.
Alderson (2-1), who had not thrown more than 58 pitches in a game this season prior to Tuesday, gave up a run in the second and two in the fourth but got some help from his offense to earn the victory.
The win was another step in a 2012 campaign that has been kind to Alderson so far. The former first-round selection made 10 appearances (eight for Altoona and two for Triple-A Indianapolis) in relief this season before Tuesday's start, and he strung together 13 straight scoreless innings in Double-A to start the season.
Though the scoreless streak ended in Alderson's last outing, in which he gave up three runs in three innings in a loss to Bowie, the right-hander is still the owner of a 2.57 ERA.
Tonight: Altoona at Bowie, 7:05 p.m.
Pitching matchups: Curve LHP Nathan Baker (2-4, 5.35) vs. Baysox LHP Cole McCurry (0-6, 6.48)
Covering the bases
LEADING OFF: Miles Durham was demoted from Triple-A Indianapolis to the Curve on Tuesday and made the start in left field against Bowie. Durham was part of the 2010 Curve team that won the Eastern League championship and hit .259 for the club that year.
SAFE AT FIRST: Durham was batting only .167 in Triple-A, but he did make his presence felt on Tuesday, going 2-for-4 with two runs.
STEALING SECOND: With a single in the fifth inning, IF Kelson Brown extended his hitting streak to seven games. 1B Matt Curry has the Curve's longest hitting streak of the season, a 10-gamer that lasted from April 29 to May 8.
ROUNDING THIRD: The Curve are now 13-1 when leading after seven innings. However, they are still winless (0-17) when trailing after the seventh.
HEADING HOME: The Curve and Baysox have now played 234 games against each other all-time. Each team has won exactly 117 of those contests.
- Stephen Pianovich
While Alderson made his first start of the year, the Curve's opening-day starter, Mike Colla, came out of the bullpen for the first time. Colla, who had a 5.15 ERA and a 0-4 record in seven starts, struck out five in four shutout innings to earn a save.
With Alderson moving to a starting role and Phil Irwin back with the club after missing time with an injury, it appears Colla will be pitching out of the bullpen for the time being.
The Curve's offense - which was averaging 3.3 runs per game during the six-game losing streak - woke up with two big innings. Robbie Grossman, Matt Curry and Elevys Gonzalez each had two RBIs, and a three-run third and four-run fifth gave Alderson and the bullpen some breathing room.
All seven of Altoona's runs came off of Baysox starter Bobby Bundy (2-6), who was chased after 4 2/3 innings.
Key player: 2B Elevys Gonzalez went 2-for-4 out of the No. 9 hole and had a two-run triple in the third for the Curve.
Key play: 1B Matt Curry smacked a two-run, two-out triple in the fifth to give the Curve a four-run advantage.
Key stat: The Curve were 4-for-7 with runners in scoring position, an area the team has struggled in all season.
How they scored
Bottom 2nd: Machado walked, scored on Joseph sac fly (0-1).
Top 3rd: Durham doubled, Norman hit by pitch, both scored on Gonzalez triple (2-1); Grossman groundout scored Gonzalez (3-1).
Bottom 4th: Hoes tripled, scored on Waring double (3-2); Joseph singled scored Waring (3-3).
Top 5th: Durham singled, scored on Grossman single (4-3); Brown singled scored Grossman (5-3); Sanchez walked, scored along with Brown on Curry triple (7-3).