From Mirror reports
HARRISBURG - The Curve won their final road game of the year Thursday night, and now they head home to wrap up the season with a four-game series beginning tonight and running through Monday.
Altoona snapped a four-game losing streak and got some outstanding pitching Thursday in a 4-1 win over Harrisburg at Metro Bank Park. The Curve took a one-hit shutout into the ninth, then the Senators rallied with a run on three hits in their final at-bat before coming up short.
At 62-76, the Curve just need to win one of their final four games to avoid matching the franchise record for losses in a season (80 in 2009). Akron visits Peoples Natural Gas Field for the final series starting tonight.
Casey Sadler was scheduled to start for the Curve, but he was promoted to Triple-A Indianapolis on Thursday. That forced reliever Zack Thornton (2-1) into a spot start, and he turned in a gem, giving up just one hit over five shutout innings.
Mel Rojas Jr. homered in the third inning for a 1-0 lead, and Jarek Cunningham hit his team-leading 18th in the seventh to make it 3-0. Alen Hanson tripled and scored for Altoona, and Justin Howard drove in the other run on an RBI groundout.
Tonight: Akron at Altoona, 7 p.m.
Pitchers: Curve RHP Nick Kingham (3-3, 2.98) vs. Aeros RHP Cody Anderson (0-0, 5.68)
Ryan Beckman pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Thornton, and Luis Sanz came on for the eighth. Sanz made it through that inning to keep the one-hit shutout intact, but Harrisburg got to him in the ninth, so Kenn Kasparek had to come on and finish it out for his second save.
Senators starter Taylor Hill (2-7) took the loss.
Curve outfielder Alex Dickerson was named to the Eastern League postseason All-Star team Thursday, an honor he earned after blistering the baseball since the start of June.
Dickerson struggled the first two months of the season but has been one of the best hitters in all of Double-A since June. He's hitting .287 with 16 homers, a team-high 65 RBIs and team-best 36 doubles.
Sadler was rewarded for his fine season with a call-up to Triple-A. He went 11-7 with a 3.31 ERA in 23 starts, leading the Curve and tying for second in the league in wins. He's also fifth in the league in ERA.
Key player: Curve RHP Zack Thornton pitched five shutout innings, allowing one hit.
Key play: CF Mel Rojas Jr. and 2B Jarek Cunningham hit solo homers in the third and seventh innings, respectively.
Key stat: The Curve finished 30-41 on the road and will play their final four games at home this weekend. They're 32-35 at PNG Field.
How they scored
Top 3rd: Rojas Jr. solo homer (1-0).
Top 6th: Hanson tripled, scored on Santos sacrifice fly (2-0).
Top 7th: Cunningham solo homer (3-0).
Top 8th: Santos walked, scored on Howard groundout (4-0).
Bottom 9th: Goodwin singled, scored on Bloxom single (4-1).