Liriano to pitch for Curve

HARRISBURG – The Curve’s pitching staff has been superb so far this season, and the team will get a major league addition Saturday when Pirates lefty Francisco Liriano makes a rehab start in Harrisburg.

Liriano is coming back from a broken right arm and is expected to throw four innings or 65 pitches. He threw three no-hit innings in his first rehab start Tuesday for Single-A Bradenton.

The Curve entered play Thursday at Harrisburg with the Eastern League’s best team ERA, boasting a 3.31 mark through 13 games. The starters have been solid all season, and that trend continued with Stolmy Pimentel allowing just one run in five innings.

The Senators took control of the game, however, with four runs against reliever Ethan Hollingsworth in the sixth inning and held off a Curve rally for a 5-4 win at Metro Bank Park.

Altoona has had trouble scoring runs for the past week, and that continued for eight innings as the club managed only one run. The Curve staged a comeback in their final at-bat, though, as Stefan Welch belted a two-out, three-run homer to pull his team within a run and make things interesting.

But Altoona’s hopes ended seconds later when Aaron Barrett retired Alex Dickerson to end the game and earn his second save.

Hollingsworth (0-1) took the loss, giving up four runs on six hits in three innings. Caleb Clay won for the Senators, allowing one run on only three hits in six innings with five strikeouts and no walks.

Pimentel had not allowed a run in his first 12 innings this season, but he surrendered one in the first Thursday. The Curve got that run back in the fourth as Jarek Cunningham tripled and scored on a single by Andrew Lambo.

Game recap

Key player: Senators RHP Caleb Clay held the Curve to one run on three hits in six innings.

Key play: PH Sean Nicol singled home two runs in the sixth for a 3-1 Harrisburg lead.

Key stat: The Curve entered the game leading the Eastern League with a 3.31 team ERA.

Game recap

Bottom 1st: Goodwin singled, scored on Hood groundout (0-1).

Top 4th: Cunningham tripled, scored on Lambo single (1-1).

Bottom 6th: Leon singled, Johnson doubled, both scored on Nicol single (1-3); Goodwin triple scored Nicol (1-4); Lozada sacrifice fly scored Goodwin (1-5).

Top 9th: Rojas walked, Cunningham reached on Rendon error, both scored on Welch three-run homer (4-5).