By Darian Somers
Monday night was the first time Bowie visited Altoona and just the fourth meeting between the teams this year,so looking in the Bowie dugout, there may have been some fresh faces.
For Curve fans, one face was quiet familiar.
Former Curve catcher Ronny Paulino returned to Peoples Natural Gas Field, but this time with Bowie as Paulino is trying to make his way back to the major leagues.
Paulino scored the run that proved to be enough as the Baysox beat the Curve, 4-1, before 3,337 fans at PNG Field.
Tonight: Bowie at Altoona, 7 p.m.
Pitchers: Curve LHP Eliecer Navarro (2-2, 4.82) vs. TBD
Covering the bases
LEADING OFF: DH Charlie Cutler's high school baseball team was at Monday's Curve game as the team was on its way to play games in Cooperstown. Cutler, who went to Lowell High School in California, set the state record, driving in 71 RBIs in his junior season. He also is the career leader with 203 RBIs, 197 runs, 219 hits and 32 triples. "He is one of the best baseball players to play at Lowell High School," Cutler's coach John Donohue said. "We are so proud of him and we couldn't wait to come and watch him play today."
SAFE AT FIRST: Cutler went 1-for-4 in Monday's game. He said it was surreal that his former team was in the stands. Nineteen players and five coaches made the trip to see Cutler. "It's just weird," Cutler said. "It's just not something that you are used to but I just feel blessed that they are willing to make some time out of their tournament to come and see me play."
STEALING SECOND: RF Alex Dickerson was named the Eastern League's Player of the Week for July 8 to July 14. Dickerson hit .524 in the week, blasting two homers and driving in five runs. He was a triple shy of the cycle on Sunday and had a 3-for-4 day earlier in the week.
ROUNDING THIRD: 3B Adalberto Santos extended his hitting streak to 11 games and is now one game away from tying the season-long streak of 12 set by Justin Howard. Santos has hit .333 in his last 10 games, driving in five runs.
HEADING HOME: Penguins winger Pascal Dupuis will make an appearance at Peoples Natural Gas Field on Aug. 30. It will be the second time Dupuis, who recently signed a four-year deal with Pittsburgh, has visited Altoona.
- Darian Somers
"Altoona is a great city," Paulino said. "It's a nice stadium. It's even better than when I was here. Best part of being in Altoona is the stadium. This is where you have fun and from what I could see tonight, it was a lot people enjoying the game."
Paulino began the season out of baseball and signed late with his team from last year - Baltimore. Paulino, who weighs 250 pounds, played just his seventh game in professional baseball this year on Monday. He went 0-for-3 and scored on run. In his first few games this season, Paulino has hit .333 and only played in the field twice.
"It's a feeling that there is no way to explain it," he said of being back in baseball. "It's good. You feel great that you are back in action, helping your team win and knowing that you have the chance to get back to the major leagues."
Paulino is eight years removed from playing in a Curve jersey and four years removed from playing in the Pirates organization. While with the Curve, he played three seasons with the Curve in 188 games. He tallied 27 homers and drove in 99 runs.
With the Pirates, he hit .279, drove in 128 runs and hit 19 homers in four years.
"Change, new people, new managing, new front office," Paulino said of why the Pirates traded him away. "They wanted a good team. That year they traded a lot of the guys. I think it was more of new era. "
After being traded by the Pirates in the offseason in 2009, he bounced around the majors, playing two years with the Marlins, a season with the Mets and played 20 games with the Orioles last year.
He signed with the Mariners as a free agent but was cut at the end of spring training and signed with the Orioles on May 15.
Paulino said he plans on spending time with his kids who are in Altoona and is glad to see some familiar faces in the stands.
"I had my host family come and say hi to me, and a couple fans that are still here supporting the team," he said. "It's something that is really impressive that they can say hi to me early.
"It makes me feel great because it was a long time without seeing those people."
Key player: Bowie RHP Mike Wright got the win, going seven innings, allowing six hits and striking out two.
Key play: Bowie CF Trayvon Robinson homered in the fourth inning.
Key stat: RHP Ethan Hollingsworth suffered his first loss since May 18.
How they scored
Top 4th: Robinson homered (1-0).
Top 5th: Paulino walked, scored on Horton sacrifice fly (2-0).
Top 6th: Rojas Jr. singled, scored on Polanco sacrifice fly (2-1).
Top 7th: Loman homered (3-1); Rosa singled, scored on error by Cunningham (4-1).