Curve hurt by bad start
Nick Kingham hadn’t made it past the first inning since June 25. His last start on July was halted due to rain after six pitches and two outs.
When he finally made it out of the first inning on Saturday, he allowed two runs and after the second inning, another two.
Those four runs couldn’t be made up as the Curve fell to Erie, 6-0, snapping a three-game winning streak before 4,148 at PNG Field.
“The first two innings, we lost the game in those first two innings,” Curve manager Carlos Garcia said.
The SeaWolves mustered six hits and four runs off of Kingham in the first two innings. The six hits were the only hits Kingham allowed on the night.
“They just kind of put the ball in play before I had a chance to really do anything that I wanted to tonight,” Kingham said.
Kingham was able to settle in, getting five strikeouts – all after the first two innings. He walked just one, but got the loss.
While Kingham didn’t allow a hit, the Curve offense fell silent, getting just three hits off of Drew VerHagen.
VerHagen went the distance, getting the win, striking out six and allowing just three hits.
“For the most part, he kept our hitters in check,” Garcia said of VerHagen. “He moved the ball in and out very well We hit the ball in the dirt, and the defense did very well for him.”
Only Mel Rojas, Adalberto Santos and Justin Howard were able to get a hit off of VerHagen. Howard’s hit extended his hitting streak to 12 games, the longest from any player this season, surpassing Andrew Lambo.
While the bats were quiet, Garcia is hoping this doesn’t keep his team from repeating what happened the last time. A winning streak was snapped and the team lost four straight and nine of its next 10.
“We’ve just got to come back ready to play,” Garcia said. “We know we are going to continue to face this ball club for the next two days. We know what they are capable of doing. We know where their stronger points are, and we know we can play with any team in this league.”
A record four former Curve players have made the Major League Baseball All-Star game.
The Pirates’ Pedro Alvarez, Andrew McCutchen and Jeff Locke all made their way through Altoona before making it to the majors. On the American League team, Jose Bautista, now with Toronto, was also named to the game in New York.
Alvarez spent 60 games with the Curve in 2009, McCutchen played 118 games in 2007 and Locke spent parts of the 2010 and 2011 seasons in Altoona.
Bautista played 130 games in 2005 with the Curve.
Moving on up
Former Curve infielder Brock Holt was added to the Boston Red Sox roster Saturday, making it 108 Curve players to get the call to the majors.
Holt, who played in Altoona for most of the 2011 and 2012 season, hit .302 in his tenure with the Curve.
Key player: Erie’s Eugenio Suarez went 3-for-3.
Key play: Herman Perez’s hit an RBI triple in the first.
Key stat: The loss snapped a three-game winning streak.
How they scored
Top 1st: Suarez singled, scored on Perez triple (0-1); Perez tripled, scored on Cabrera ground out (0-2).
Top 2nd: McCann singled, scored on Castillo (0-3); Gaynor singled, scored on Suarez single (0-4).
Top 8th: Perez reached on a fielder’s choice, scored on Cabrera double (0-5); Cabrera doubled, scored on Robbins single (0-6).