From Mirror reports
MANCHESTER, N.H. - The motto for the Pirates and all their minor league affiliates this season has been "finish," and their Double-A club has failed in that respect because of its inability to compete on the road.
The Curve's late-season collapse continued Sunday with their 13th consecutive loss away from home, far and away the longest skid in franchise history. The previous record of eight was set at the beginning of the 2009 season.
The head-scratching reversal of fortune home versus away gets more and more staggering by the day, with Altoona now limping toward the finish line with a 21-43 road record (compared to 38-24 at home).
The latest loss, a 4-2 defeat to New Hampshire at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, gave the Curve an 0-6 record on this current trip. They've still got three more games left at Trenton before returning home Thursday.
The Curve lost all six games on their last road trip - to Trenton and New Britain - and the road losing streak began with a defeat at Reading on July 25.
Tonight: Altoona at Trenton, 7:05 p.m.
Pitching matchups: Curve LHP Kris Johnson (1-2, 2.66) vs. Thunder LHP Shaeffer Hall (9-8, 3.56)
If this was just a bad team overall, the streak would be easier to understand. But it's not a bad team - just bad on the road.
During the time they've lost 13 in a row away from home, the Curve have gone 8-3 at Peoples Natural Gas Field, including winning their last five games on the most recent homestand. Those five wins came against two of the best teams in the Eastern League in Western Division wild-card frontrunner Bowie and Eastern Division leader Trenton.
After his team was swept in a three-game series at PNG Field, Thunder manager Tony Franklin said of the Curve, "They're doing all the right things."
Teams playing well often don't like taking a day off, and Curve manager P.J. Forbes hinted that could be a problem last Monday.
"I hate to have a day off right now because they're playing well and there's good flow," Forbes said.
Sure enough, the Curve lost the next day at Portland, and they've dropped five more since then.
The Curve took a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning Sunday as Charlie Cutler singled home Andrew Lambo and Matt Curry came home on a sacrifice fly by Jarek Cunningham.
New Hampshire came right back in its half of the fourth, however, to tie the game off Curve starter Mike Colla. The Fisher Cats then grabbed a 3-2 lead in the fifth as Colla (4-6) gave up a leadoff single and walk before departing.
Reliever Nathan Baker later walked Ryan Schimpf with the bases loaded to force in the go-ahead run, and New Hampshire added an insurance run in the sixth off Baker.
Former Curve pitcher Ronald Uviedo (5-2) won in relief for New Hampshire, and Sam Dyson pitched the ninth for his eighth save.
Key player: DH Koby Clemens, son of former MLB star Roger Clemens, homered and went 2-for-2 with two RBIs and two runs for New Hampshire.
Key play: A bases-loaded walk by reliever Nathan Baker forced in the go-ahead run for the Fisher Cats in the fifth.
Key stat: The Curve have lost 13 straight on the road, extending the franchise record that stood at eight before this stretch.
How they scored
Bottom 3rd: Clemens solo homer (0-1).
Top 4th: Lambo singled, scored on Cutler single (1-1); Curry singled, scored on Cunningham sacrifice fly (2-1).
Bottom 4th: Tolisano solo homer (2-2).
Bottom 5th: Clemens walked, scored on Schimpf bases-loaded walk (2-3).
Bottom 6th: Van Kirk doubled, scored on Clemens double (2-4).