It took until 11:30 p.m., but Curve fans who stuck around all night were treated to a funny sequence Saturday at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
Curve pitching coach Jeff Johnson was ejected for arguing balls and strikes in the top of the ninth inning. Johnson, however, wasn't happy just giving home plate umpire Jeff Morrow a piece of his mind.
Johnson walked up to home plate after getting tossed and kicked dirt over the plate, much to the delight of about 1,500 fans who were still on hand. It's not all that uncommon for managers to kick dirt on the plate after getting ejected, but it's rare when a pitching coach does it.
Johnson said he's never done that in his career.
"He threw me out, and I didn't really say anything to him," Johnson said of the umpire. "And then he walked off, and I'm like, 'Oh, really, you're going to throw me out?' And he just walked off, so I figured since I was gone, I might as well give him something to do after I left."
Asked if he regretted the dirt-kicking antics, Johnson said, "No. No. I might have some regrets after I get the fine."
The comical sequence of events was pretty much all the home crowd had to cheer about as Binghamton pounded the Curve, 8-2, before an announced crowd of 3,687.
The two teams waited out a 1 hour, 42-minute delay because of a power outage. Play finally got under way shortly before 9 p.m., and both teams looked lackluster offensively in the early going.
Binghamton didn't manage a hit for the first four innings off Curve starter Kyle McPherson, then got two big hits over the next two frames to take control.
Sean Kazmar ripped a two-run double off McPherson to highlight a three-run fifth inning for the B-Mets, which was aided by a costly error by shortstop Brock Holt. McPherson departed after getting into trouble in the sixth, and Francisco Pena drilled a three-run homer off reliever Mike Colla to make it 6-0.
The Curve threatened in the eighth as Jeremy Farrell singled in a run, and they had the bases loaded with no outs. They managed just one more run, however, on a sacrifice fly by Oscar Tejeda before Matt Curry struck out and Ramon Cabrera popped out.
Binghamton came right back with two runs in the ninth, albeit after a questionable call by Morrow. Curve reliever Jeff Inman had two strikes on Eric Campbell and appeared to have thrown strike three, but the plate umpire called it a ball.
Campbell then smacked a two-run single to make it 8-2. Johnson came out to the mound to speak to his pitcher, and he clearly intended to have a word with Morrow as he stayed on the mound for an extended period and waited for the umpire to come out so he could argue the questionable pitch.
McPherson looked sharp early, but the Pirates' 2011 minor league pitcher of the year ran into trouble when he began elevating pitches in the fifth and sixth innings. He allowed four runs -- two earned -- on four hits with seven strikeouts and one walk.
McPherson (1-3), who allowed eight earned runs in 12 innings over his past two starts, has a 4.37 ERA through four starts after missing the first two months with a shoulder injury.
Binghamton starter Cory Mazzoni (2-2) pitched six shutout innings and allowed just two hits while striking out five with two walks. Robert Carson earned his eighth save for the B-Mets.
The Curve missed a chance to get back to .500 once again Saturday, so they'll have to win their final two games of the first half if they want to be even at the All-Star break.
The Curve and Binghamton play tonight at 6, then again Monday at noon in the final game before the Eastern League All-Star break.
SUBHD: Game recap
Key player: RHP Cory Mazzoni pitched six scoreless innings, giving up just two hits, for Binghamton.
Key play: C Francisco Pena's three-run homer in the sixth gave the B-Mets a 6-0 lead.
Key stat: The Curve again missed a chance to get back to .500, where they haven't been since they were 5-5 on April 16.
SUBHD: How they scored
Top 5th: Marte reached on Holt error, Martin doubled, both scored on Kazmar double (0-2); Lagares double scored Kazmar (0-3).
Top 6th: Dykstra singled, Martin singled, both scored on Pena three-run homer (0-6).
Bottom 8th: Latimore doubled, scored on Farrell single (1-6); Tejeda sacrifice fly scored Farrell (2-6).
Top 9th: Pena walked, Lagares reached on fielder's choice, both scored on Campbell single (2-8).