Jerry Uht Park haunts Curve’s pitching
ERIE – The Curve pitching staff entered Tuesday with the Eastern League’s best ERA, but that was before playing any games at Erie, where runs often come in bunches.
Altoona’s first game at tiny Jerry Uht Park didn’t go well, and even though the wind was blowing out, that wasn’t the main culprit for the pitching problems. The Curve staff, including starter Nick Kingham, got hammered in an 11-5 loss to the SeaWolves.
The Curve, who have dropped three in a row, led 3-2 going into the bottom of the fourth, then Erie tagged Kingham for five more runs to take a 7-3 lead. Kingham came into the game ranked fifth in the EL with a 1.61 ERA, but he finished the night out of the top 10 as his ERA more than doubled to 3.46.
Kingham (1-2) allowed seven runs – six earned – in 3 2/3 innings. He gave up eight hits, struck out only one and walked two in his worst start of the young season.
Erie also scored two runs off both Jhonathan Ramos and Emmanuel De Leon in relief as the Curve staff gave up 11 runs – eight earned. That raised the team ERA 2.95, which still ranks second in the EL.
Andy Vasquez had a big night for the Curve, going 3-for-4 with a two-run homer, RBI double and two runs. He drove in three of the team’s five runs.
Stetson’s Allie’s RBI single in the first and Vasquez’s RBI double in the second got Altoona off to a good start, but Kingham couldn’t keep Erie at bay. The SeaWolves took charge with the five-run fourth inning, taking the lead for good on a run-scoring double by Brandon Loy.
There were only two home runs hit in the game, surprising given the wind and short dimensions at Jerry Uht Park. Vasquez hit his two-run shot in the ninth for the Curve, while Jason Krizan hit a two-run blast in the sixth that made it 9-3.
Warwick Saupold (2-2) won for the SeaWolves, giving up three runs on six hits in six innings.
Key player: LF Jason Krizan went 3-for-4 with a homer, three RBIs and three runs for Erie.
Key play: The SeaWolves scored five runs in the fourth off Curve starter Nick Kingham.
Key stat: The Curve have lost three in a row since moving one game above .500.
How they scored
Top 1st: Ngoepe doubled, scored on Allie single (1-0).
Top 2nd: Diaz walked, scored on Vasquez double (2-0).
Bottom 2nd: Cabrera singled, scored on Gaynor single (2-1); Moya reached on Ngoepe error, scored on Martinez single (2-2).
Top 4th: Vasquez singled, scored on Cunningham double (3-2).
Bottom 4th: Cabrera singled, scored on Martinez single (3-3); Moya singled, scored on Loy double (3-4); Martinez scored on Johnson sacrifice fly (3-4); Krizan walked, scored along with Loy on Suarez triple (3-7).
Bottom 6th: Johnson walked, scored on Krizan two-run homer (3-9).
Bottom 8th: Martinez reached on Hanson error, scored on Krizan double (3-10); Krizan scored on Westlake single (3-11).
Top 9th: Diaz reached on Martinez error, scored on Vasquez two-run homer (5-11).