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4 Curve team for no-hitter

July 26, 2013
The Altoona Mirror

From Mirror reports

MANCHESTER, N.H. -Once in every 1,040 games. Twice in 2,081 games.

For the second time in franchise history in game No. 2,081, Curve pitchers combined for a no-hitter.

Utilizing the arms of Ethan Hollingsworth, Jason Townsend, Jhonathan Ramos and Ryan Beckman, Altoona pitchers didn't allow a hit as the Curve beat New Hampshire, 5-0, at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium in front of 5,322.

"I just told them, 'You know what I've been in a lot of clubhouses," Curve manager Carlos Garcia said. "'I've been with all-stars, playing with Hall-of-Famers, and I've played with guys who have been in the big leagues for over 20 years, and they never have the opportunity to enjoy something so remarkable that we just did tonight.'"

The first no-hitter in Curve history came on April 23, 2002 when Adrian Burnside, Neal McDade and Chris Spurling beat Akron, 2-0. Burnside allowed six walks in that game.

Fact Box

Next stop

Tonight: Altoona at New Hampshire

Pitchers: Curve LHP Nate Baker (2-1, 7.15) vs. Fisher Cats RHP Marcus Walden (6-10, 3.36)

Record: 47-56

Covering the bases

LEADING OFF: Amidst the no-hitter, Curve CF Gregory Polanco was a triple shy of the hitting for the cycle in Thursday's game. Polanco homered in the first, doubled in the third and singled in the sixth. His last time up, he flew out. He finished the game 3-for-4.

SAFE AT FIRST: On the same day the Curve threw a no-hitter, Triple-A Indianapolis was no-hit in the first game of a doubleheader by Charlotte Knights RHP Andre Rienzo. He struck out 11 and walked four in the seven inning game.

STEALING SECOND: Fisher Cats LHP Sean Nolin was credited with the loss, giving up four runs on eight hits in five innings.

ROUNDING THIRD: The Curve have been on the receiving end of a no-hitter several times despite only throwing two in franchise history. The Curve were most recently no-hit by then Akron LHP Giovanni Soto on July 15 of last season. The Curve were also no-hit in 2010 in a seven inning game and once in a nine inning game in 2004 - both times facing three pitchers.

HEADING HOME: Curve RHP Tyler Waldron was activated off of the disabled list on Thursday. He was sent for assignment in Single-A Bradenton. He is recovering from a right shoulder injury.

- Darian Somers

On Thursday, Hollingsworth hit former major leaguer Adam Loewen in the fourth, and Townsend walked Brian Van Kirk in the sixth inning. Those were the only two baserunners that the Curve allowed.

Hollingsworth pitched the first four innings, Townsend pitched through the seventh, Ramos the eighth and Beckman in ninth. The quartet only struck four batters, anf Hollingsworth recorded two of those.

The game ended when Andy Burns grounded out to third baseman Adalberto Santos.

Garcia said he knew his team could do it after Jarek Cunningham made a leaping catch in the seventh inning that kept the no-hitter going.

"At that point, winning the game was a priority, but giving up the base hit, it was even a bigger priority," he said.

Gregory Polanco, who was a triple shy of the cycle, homered in the first inning, and the Curve added three runs in the fourth inning.

Other than the play by Cunningham, the Curve didn't have any other close calls in the field. Several Fisher Cats missed putting the ball fair a few times.

"It was pure enjoyment," Garcia said. "There was a lot of a lot of congratulations with each other, defense, offense and pitchers. The pen was absolute outstanding today. It was like we had won the World Series."

The bullpen pitched five of the innings for the Curve. Since the All-Star break, it has allowed just five earned runs in 45 2/3 innings.

"I was thinking about leaving Ramos in there, but when I saw all the right-handers coming, I said 'You know what, I'm going to try to get this for them,'" Garcia said. "That was it. I brought in Beckman. He did the job. I just sat back and watched him get the three outs. That was awesome. That was exciting to see those kids being happy, jumping around. "

Garcia had come close to seeing one before - once as player and once when he was in Seattle as a third base coach. He had even broken one up in 1994 for against the Expos. But Thursday's was the first one he had seen.

"I've never seen one. Today is my first one. Thank God."

Game recap

Key player: RHP Ryan Beckman got the final three outs in the ninth.

Key play: Andy Burns grounded out for the final out of the game.

Key stat: It was the first no-hitter since April 23, 2002 and the second in Curve history.

How they scored

Top 1st: Polanco homered (1-0).

Top 4th: Cunningham doubled, scored on Maggi single (2-0); Tejeda singled, Maggi singled, scored on Santos single (4-0).

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