Fit for a split: Pitching allows Curve to come back, take second game of twinbill

Ethan Hollingsworth had never started the second game of a doubleheader before Monday night.

It’s safe to say he will start game two of an upcoming doubleheader on Friday.

Hollingsworth allowed one hit through six innings, helping the Curve win the second game against New Britain, 2-0, before 4,117 at Peoples Natural Gas Field. The Rock Cats won game one, 6-4.

“I was walking all over the place in the clubhouse,” Hollingsworth, who had to wait after through the 2 hours, 22 minute until the first game ended, said. “I was getting antsy. Usually with a start, you show up about two hours before, do a routine. Watching the first game, I was getting kind of antsy, getting pretty pumped up watching the game.”

Hollingsworth, who has appeared in 18 games this season, started for just the third time on Monday. He faced the minimum through six innings, earning his fourth win this year.

Hollingsworth was pulled before the start of the seventh inning after throwing just 61 pitches. While Curve manager Carlos Garcia may have let another starter finish the game, he said he pulled Hollingsworth to save him for an upcoming doubleheader on Friday in Akron.

“He is going to go in on three days rest [to Friday],” Garcia said of why he pulled Hollingsworth. “If I give him one more up and down, I probably have to use another reliever to start that game. Then, I’m going to lose at least two relievers for at least that week. That’s going to be very difficult to swallow.”

Luis Sanz came on to replace Hollingsworth as Sanz got his seventh save this year. New Britain pitcher B.J. Hermsen (1-6) got the loss in game two after he gave up a solo homer to Gift Ngoepe in the third, breaking a 0-0 tie.

“Everybody was important,” Garcia said. “[Ngoepe] with the home run, [Kelson Brown] came up with some good base running when he scored with a fly ball. Ethan, he did an outstanding job in six innings for somebody who starts once and awhile. He gave exactly what we need.”

In game one, Curve starter Eliecer Navarro allowed six runs in the second inning. Navarro, who made his second start in Double-A, struck out five, and he walked three while getting the loss.

A.J. Achter (2-0) earned the win that snapped a six-game home winning streak. Edgar Ibarra got his first save this season.

The Curve are 5-3 in doubleheaders this season, splitting all but one. While Garcia said it doesn’t make any difference, the Curve enter Tuesday with a win under their belts, instead of a fifth-straight loss.

“We are kind of short in the bullpen right now,” Garcia said of Hollingsworth’s start. “We are kind of short with the starters right now. That was huge.”