From Mirror Reports
READING - The Curve's six-game winning streak was snapped, and Gerrit Cole lost his third straight start Wednesday night.
The R-Phils scored five runs - three of which were earned- against Cole, and they went on to down the Curve, 6-1, at FirstEnergy Stadium.
After surrendering two unearned runs in the second inning, Reading's Cody Asche hit a three-run homer off of Cole in the fifth, and with barely any run support, Cole was saddled with his fourth loss in six starts for the Curve. Asche had a great night as he also homered in the seventh inning and ended the game with four RBIs.
The two runs the R-Phils scored in the second inning came after centerfielder Quincy Latimore and first baseman Matt Curry each committed an error on the same play. The miscues came with two outs and allowed Reading to take a 2-0 lead.
Cole (2-4) gave up five hits, struck out five batters and walked two in five innings.
Pitch efficiency was something Cole said he wanted to improve on after his last start, when he used 87 pitches in 5 1/3 innings against Erie. But the No. 1 pick in last year's MLB draft was not very effective with his pitch count again Wednesday as it took him 95 pitches (64 strikes) to get through five frames.
Cole now has a 4.85 for the Curve and the prized prospect has recorded 26 strikeouts in 26 innings in Double-A.
Opposing Cole was Jonathan Pettibone, and the righty helped Reading with his arm as well as his bat.
In seven strong innings, Pettibone (9-7) gave up one run on three hits to go along with six strikeouts. Pettibone also went 1-for-2 at the plate with an RBI single in the second inning.
The three hits the Curve had off of Pettibone were the only hits the team had in the game. Brock Holt was 2-for-3 and Adalberto Santos had a single in the first inning, but the Curve really had no other offense.
This was Altoona's first game of the season without centerfielder Robbie Grossman.?He was traded to the Astros organization Tuesday night. Latimore was not only in Grossman's position on the field, but he hit leadoff as well, Grossman's usual spot in the lineup. Latimore, who is the team's leader in home runs with 12, was 0-for-4.
Key player: Reading 3B Cody Asche was 2-for-4 with two homers and four RBIs.
Key play: Asche hit a three-run homer in the fifth inning to put the R-Phils up 5-1.
Key stat: The Curve had a chance to go above .500 Wednesday, but came up short. They haven't been over the .500 mark since April 10, when they were 3-2.
How they scored
Bottom 2nd: Castro walked, scored on Latimore and Curry errors (0-1); Hanzawa singled, scored on Pettibone single (0-2).
Top 3rd: Maggi hit by pitch, scored on Holt single (1-2).
Bottom 5th: Pettibone walked, James singled, both scored on Asche two-run homer (1-5).
Bottom 7th: Asche solo homer (1-6).