From Mirror reports
READING - Sixteen innings and no runs - that's what the Curve's starting pitchers have combined to do in their last two games.
Shairon Martis threw eight scoreless innings in Altoona's 1-0 win over Reading on Tuesday night at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Martis (4-1) allowed seven hits and a walk, struck out five and lowered his ERA to 2.84 in a winning effort. His outing came on the heels of a strong performance from Brandon Cumpton, who had a similar effort in the Curve's last game, going eight scoreless innings in a win over Portland on Sunday.
Reading threatened in both the second and the seventh innings with leadoff doubles - one each from Leandro Castro and Sebastian Valle - but Martis worked his way out of both jams, including getting an inning-ending double play to close out the seventh. Tuesday's shutout was capped off by a perfect ninth from Jeff Inman, who picked up his first save.
It was the second straight game, and fourth of the season, in which the Curve's pitching staff blanked their opponent. The Curve have not allowed a run since the fifth inning of the second game in Saturday's doubleheader against Portland, and their pitching staff has rattled off 20 straight scoreless innings.
Tonight: Altoona at Reading, 7:05 p.m.
Pitchers: Curve RHP Tim Alderson (3-1, 2.33) vs. Phillies RHP Jonathan Pettibone (4-5, 3.92)
Covering the bases
LEADING OFF: C Tony Sanchez made his debut Tuesday for Triple-A Indianapolis. He was in the starting lineup against Pawtucket, batted eighth and went 1-for-4. Daisuke Matsuzaka started for Pawtucket on a rehab assignment and allowed one run in 1 1/3 innings.
SAFE AT FIRST: The Curve notched their first 1-0 victory of the season Tuesday, and it was their first such win since Sept. 4, 2011 against Richmond.
STEALING SECOND: Altoona is still last in the Eastern League in home runs with 21, but the team is 13-6 when it hits a homer.
ROUNDING THIRD: The Curve have won three straight games and five of seven. They are also within two games of .500 for the first time since May 25, when they were 22-24.
HEADING HOME: Altoona was errorless for the fourth straight game and has not committed an error in the month of June. The team is 12-10 when it is errorless.
- Stephen Pianovich
The game's lone run came on one swing from Miles Durham, who hit a solo homer to left field in the second inning. Durham was 1-for-3, and the home run was his second of the year.
Half of Altoona's eight hits came from Elevys Gonzalez, who raised his batting average 26 points to .208 with a 4-for-4 night.
Aside from Durham and Gonzalez, Altoona's offense was quiet against Reading starter Julio Rodriguez (3-1). The right-hander matched Martis' eight innings and gave up one run on five hits while striking out six.
Tuesday marked the first time this season the Curve were without catcher Tony Sanchez, who was promoted to Triple-A Indianapolis on Sunday. Ramon Cabrera, who now has the role of everyday catcher, was batting in the third spot and went 0-for-4.
Key player: RHP Shairon Martis pitched eight scoreless innings and struck out five.
Key play: CF Miles Durham hit a solo home run in the second inning for the game's only run.
Key stat: The Curve pitching staff has not allowed a run in 20 innings.
How they scored
Top 2nd: Durham solo homer (1-0).