MANCHESTER, N.H. - The Curve continue to enjoy their best series of the season, and while there were no records set Saturday, they put together a third straight impressive night at New Hampshire.
Altoona scored three times in the first inning and five more in the fourth to pound the Fisher Cats, 9-2, at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium. The Curve won their fourth in a row and are back within seven games of the .500 mark.
Thursday's game saw a combined no-hitter for Altoona, and Friday night Alex Dickerson tied the franchise record with eight RBIs. Everyone got in on the action Saturday as all nine Curve starters had at least one hit, many coming in clutch situations as the team finished with 17 hits.
All three runs in the first inning came with two outs, and the Curve blew it open for a 9-1 lead in the fourth by scoring five times with two outs.
Dickerson continued his torrid hitting by going 4-for-4 with three runs and raising his average to .296. Jarek Cunningham went 4-for-5 and delivered the game's biggest hit with a two-out, two-run single in the first inning that got Altoona off to a quick start with a 3-0 lead.
Curve starter Eliecer Navarro (3-4) picked up the win, giving up two runs in five innings. Fisher Cats starter Ryan Tepera (8-7) allowed all nine Curve runs in 3 2/3 innings.
Today: Altoona at New Hampshire, 1:35 p.m.
Pitchers: Curve RHP Casey Sadler (7-5, 3.38) vs. Fisher Cats RHP Deck McGuire (5-8, 5.43)
Covering the bases
LEADING OFF: RHP Jameson Taillon, who hasn't pitched since July 18 because of a stiff neck, was set to throw a bullpen session Saturday. If all went well, he will be scheduled to start Wednesday against Binghamton at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
SAFE AT FIRST: The Curve lost two of their best pitchers to Triple-A Indianapolis on Saturday as RHP David Bromberg and RHP Ethan Hollingsworth were promoted. Hollingsworth was an EL All-Star and went 6-4 with a 3.20 ERA in 23 games (eight starts). Bromberg was 5-8 but had a 3.71 ERA and was tied with Taillon for the team lead with 100 strikeouts.
STEALING SECOND: It's unclear which pitchers will take the spots in the rotation vacated by Bromberg and Hollingsworth.
ROUNDING THIRD: The Curve did receive RHP Zack Thornton back from Triple-A, along with C Ali Solis.
HEADING HOME: The Curve wrap up a week-long road trip today, are off Monday and are home the rest of the week against Binghamton and Akron.
- Cory Giger
Fisher Cats manager Gary Allenson was ejected near the end of the fourth inning after the Curve had built their big lead.
Key player: Curve 2B Jarek Cunningham went 4-for-5 with four RBIs.
Key play: Cunningham's two-out, two-run single gave Altoona control early with a 3-0 lead in the first inning.
Key stat: The Curve scored eight of their nine runs with two outs, and every starter had at least one hit.
How they scored
Top 1st: Polanco singled, scored on Howard double (1-0); Dickerson singled, scored along with Howard on Cunningham single (3-0).
Bottom 2nd: Jacobo solo homer (3-1).
Top 3rd: Dickerson singled, scored on Cunningham double (4-1).
Top 4th: Rojas singled, scored on Polanco double (5-1); Polanco scored on Murphy error (6-1); Dickerson hit by pitch, scored on Cunningham single (7-1); Howard walked, scored along with Cunningham on Paulino single (9-1).
Bottom 4th: Glenn singled, scored on Schimpf bases-loaded walk (9-2).