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Fit for a split: Pitching allows Curve to come back, take second game of twinbill

June 25, 2013
By Darian Somers (sports@altoonamirror.com) , The Altoona Mirror

Ethan Hollingsworth had never started the second game of a doubleheader before Monday night.

It's safe to say he will start game two of an upcoming doubleheader on Friday.

Hollingsworth allowed one hit through six innings, helping the Curve win the second game against New Britain, 2-0, before 4,117 at Peoples Natural Gas Field. The Rock Cats won game one, 6-4.

Article Photos

Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski
The Curve’s Adalberto Santos scores on Charles Cutler’s double in the fifth inning of the first game on Monday.

"I was walking all over the place in the clubhouse," Hollingsworth, who had to wait after through the 2 hours, 22 minute until the first game ended, said. "I was getting antsy. Usually with a start, you show up about two hours before, do a routine. Watching the first game, I was getting kind of antsy, getting pretty pumped up watching the game."

Hollingsworth, who has appeared in 18 games this season, started for just the third time on Monday. He faced the minimum through six innings, earning his fourth win this year.

Hollingsworth was pulled before the start of the seventh inning after throwing just 61 pitches. While Curve manager Carlos Garcia may have let another starter finish the game, he said he pulled Hollingsworth to save him for an upcoming doubleheader on Friday in Akron.

Fact Box

Game recap

Key players: 2B Eddie Rosario went 2-for-4 with three RBIs in game one. RHP Ethan Hollingsworth faced the minimum through six innings in game two.

Key plays: Rosario's triple in the second inning of game one. SS Gift Ngoepe homered to break a 0-0 tie in game two

Key stat: The Curve have won seven of the last eight games at home.

How they scored

Game 1

Bottom 1st: Maggi doubled, scored on Santos single (1-0).

Top 2nd: Pinto singled, scored on Ortiz ground out (1-1); Rodriguez doubled, scored on Santana single (1-2); Smith walked, Morales walked, Santana singled, all scored on Rosario triple (1-5); Rosario tripled, scored on Hanson double (1-6).

Bottom 5th: Santos singled, scored on Cutler double (2-6); Dickerson singled, scored on Paulino single (3-6); Cutler doubled, scored on Vasquez single (4-6).

Game 2

Bottom 3rd: Ngoepe homered (1-0).

Bottom 4th: Brown singled, scored on Maggi sacrifice fly (2-0).

Covering the bases

LEADING OFF: OF Mel Rojas Jr. was placed on the seven-day disabled list with a left oblique injury, retroactive June 21. Rojas, who was recently moved to left field when Gregory Polanco was called up, was hitting .262 in 65 games this year. He has three homers and 24 RBIs.

SAFE AT FIRST: The Pirates demoted Oscar Tejeda to replace Rojas. While with Triple-A Indianapolis, Tejeda hit just .108 in 17 games. He also played nine games with the Curve before Monday night. He hit .167 in those nine games.

STEALING SECOND: CF Gregory Polanco will be day-to-day with a sore shoulder, Curve manager Carlos Garcia said. The manager expects Polanco to be back on Thursday. Polanco, who was recently called up, is hitting .313 after eight games with the Curve.

ROUNDING THIRD: The White Sox released former Curve LHP Daniel Moskos on Monday. Moskos, who was with Triple-A Charlotte, was 2-1 with one save and a 4.97 ERA this year. Moskos played in Altoona for two seasons in 2009 and 2010. He was 14-11 and was the closer on the 2010 Eastern League title team. He had 21 saves in 2010.

HEADING HOME: Former Curve INF Josh Harrison tripled twice in Triple-A Indianapolis' 10-5 win over Charlotte. Harrison finished with six RBIs and is the first Indians player finish with six since Brandon Moss on July 23, 2010.

- Darian Somers

"He is going to go in on three days rest [to Friday]," Garcia said of why he pulled Hollingsworth. "If I give him one more up and down, I probably have to use another reliever to start that game. Then, I'm going to lose at least two relievers for at least that week. That's going to be very difficult to swallow."

Luis Sanz came on to replace Hollingsworth as Sanz got his seventh save this year. New Britain pitcher B.J. Hermsen (1-6) got the loss in game two after he gave up a solo homer to Gift Ngoepe in the third, breaking a 0-0 tie.

"Everybody was important," Garcia said. "[Ngoepe] with the home run, [Kelson Brown] came up with some good base running when he scored with a fly ball. Ethan, he did an outstanding job in six innings for somebody who starts once and awhile. He gave exactly what we need."

In game one, Curve starter Eliecer Navarro allowed six runs in the second inning. Navarro, who made his second start in Double-A, struck out five, and he walked three while getting the loss.

A.J. Achter (2-0) earned the win that snapped a six-game home winning streak. Edgar Ibarra got his first save this season.

The Curve are 5-3 in doubleheaders this season, splitting all but one. While Garcia said it doesn't make any difference, the Curve enter Tuesday with a win under their belts, instead of a fifth-straight loss.

"We are kind of short in the bullpen right now," Garcia said of Hollingsworth's start. "We are kind of short with the starters right now. That was huge."

 
 

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