Curve drop to new 2013 low

HARRISBURG – The Curve are now at their lowest point of the season at 14 games below .500 (61-75), and they’re getting dangerously close to the worst record in franchise history.

Harrisburg, which is battling for a division title, downed the Curve, 6-3, Tuesday night at Metro Bank Park. Altoona has six games remaining – two at Harrisburg and four at home against Akron – and must win at least two of those to avoid tying the club record of 80 losses.

The 2009 Curve squad finished 62-80 for the worst record in team history. That club started 0-8 and had the worst record in all of professional baseball for much of the season, before Pedro Alvarez joined the team and led a mini-resurgence in the second half.

This year’s Curve team has been much more competitive than that 2009 club, but wild inconsistency has plagued the team to the point where 80 losses is now a possibility.

The top of Harrisburg’s batting order once again destroyed Curve pitching Tuesday. Leadoff man Billy Burns went 4-for-5 with three runs, Brian Goodwin went 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI and Steven Souza went 4-for-5 with three RBIs.

The Senators ripped 15 hits, and Altoona also committed three errors.

Eliecer Navarro (4-7) gave up four runs – two earned – on 10 hits in 5 innings for the loss. Harrisburg reliever Matt Grace (6-2) picked up the win.

Gregory Polanco hit a two-run homer for the Curve in the fourth inning, his sixth.

AFL picks

Four Curve players and one former player were selected to take part in the Arizona Fall League: OF Alex Dickerson, SS Alen Hanson, RHP Tyler Waldron and RHP Zack Thornton will take part in the prestigious league, along with SS Gift Ngoepe, who spent much of the season with the Curve but is now at high-A Bradenton.

Altoona pitching coach Stan Kyles will be a coach in the league.

Game recap

Key player: RF Justin Souza went 4-for-5 with three RBIs for Harrisburg.

Key play: Souza singled home two runs in the sixth to break up a 2-2 tie.

Key stat: The Curve are now a season-worst 14 games below .500.

How they scored

Bottom 1st: Burns doubled, scored on Solis error (0-1); Goodwin singled, scored on Nicol bases-loaded walk (0-2).

Top 4th: Santos singled, scored on Polanco two-run homer (2-2).

Bottom 6th: Martinson reached on Santos error, Burns singled, both scored on Souza single (2-4).

Top 8th: Hanson singled, scored on Santos double (3-4).

Bottom 8th: Burns singled, scored on Goodwin double (3-5); Souza single scored Goodwin (3-6).