PORTLAND, Maine - Gerrit Cole was dominant for five innings and struck out a career-high nine batters, but he struggled in the sixth and received little support from his offense Thursday night.
Cole's effort was wasted as the Curve lost their 10th consecutive road game, 2-1, to Portland at Hadlock Field. The Sea Dogs swept the three-game series, and Altoona still has six games left on what is turning out to be a hopes-dashing road trip.
The Curve are now 21-40 away from home. The worst mark in franchise history is 25-45 (in 2001), so the club has to go 5-5 on the road the rest of the way to avoid breaking that record.
Cole took a no-hitter into the fifth inning before allowing a two-out double to Xander Bogaerts. The right-hander was working with a 1-0 lead, courtesy of Christian Marrero's homer in the second.
The Sea Dogs finally got to Cole in the sixth. Christian Vazquez led off with a single and moved to third on a one-out single by Jackie Bradley, who took second when shortstop Oscar Tejeda missed the throw from the outfield.
Marquez Smith tied the game on a groundout to second that scored Vazquez. Cole then threw a wild pitch that allowed Bradley to score from third with the go-ahead run.
Tonight: Altoona at New Hampshire, 7:05 p.m.
Pitching matchups: Curve TBD (Phil Irwin was scheduled to start but has been promoted to Triple-A) vs. Fisher Cats RHP Ryan Tepera (6-2, 4.58)
Cole (3-5) allowed two runs - one earned - on three hits in six innings and struck out nine with no walks.
Portland reliever Jason Urquidez (3-2) tossed 3 shutout innings and had seven strikeouts to earn the win.
The Curve put the tying run on third base with two outs in the ninth as Jarek Cunningham doubled and moved over on a groundout. But Stefan Welch flew out to center field to end the game.
Altoona missed a chance to score a run in the fifth when Charlie Cutler was thrown out at the plate on a single to left by Ramon Cabrera.
Key player: Sea Dogs reliever Jason Urquidez struck out seven of his 11 outs in pitching 3 scoreless innings for the win.
Key play: RHP Gerrit Cole's wild pitch allowed the go-ahead run to score from third in the sixth.
Key stat: Cole had a career-high nine strikeouts, but it wasn't enough to stop the Curve from losing their 10th straight road game.
How they scored
Top 2nd: Marrero solo homer (1-0).
Bottom 6th: Vazquez singled, scored on Smith groundout (1-1); Bradley singled, scored on Cole wild pitch (1-2).