Hanson, Diaz lead charge
The Curve entered Wednesday night tied for the second-longest franchise losing streak at 10 games.
Thanks to a pair of two-run hits by Alen Hanson and Elias Diaz in the fifth inning, the Curve beat Binghamton, 6-5, before 4,020 fans at rain-soaked Peoples Natural Gas Field.
The victory stopped the bleeding just one game shy of the dubious franchise mark of 11 straight losses back in 2000.
“It took them a lot of work to win this one,” said Curve manager Carlos Garcia, whose team stranded the tying run at second base in the ninth to hold on for the win.
Diaz has been one of the most reliable hitters for the Curve this season, hitting .311 with three home runs and 23 RBIs.
“We know Diaz has been consistent throughout the year no matter what spot he is hitting,” Garcia said. “He is using the whole field, and he came up huge for us.”
Diaz has had to help carry a lineup that just lost Mel Rojas Jr. following his promotion to Triple-A Indianapolis last week.
Hanson has also become more consistent in the last month, hitting .269 in May, with all six of his home runs and 22 RBIs.
“Both of them have just settled in a little bit,” Curve hitting coach Ryan Long said. “One of the things we talked about is just start to make adjustments and figure out how teams are pitching to you.”
Curve lefty Joely Rodriguez (3-4) picked up the win, going six innings and striking out four with one walk.
The win also marked the first save by a member of the bullpen since May 24 in game one of the doubleheader with Erie before the slide started. As a whole, the unit has blown 10 saves in 19 opportunities.
Binghamton right-hander Hansel Robles (3-3) took the loss, allowing five runs in 4 2/3 innings with six strikeouts and two walks.
The B-Mets opened up the scoring in the second when Jayce Boyd singled and scored on Dustin Lawley’s double to go up 2-0.
Altoona scored four runs in the fifth and put the game away in the eighth on Willy Garcia’s sacrifice fly scoring Diaz for the game’s deciding run.
Binghamton didn’t go away quietly. Matt Clark led off the top of the ninth with a walk and scored on Matt Reynold’s single to make it a one run game, but thanks to reliever Quinton Miller, the Curve stopped the rally.
This is the first time the Curve won a one-run game since May 19 when they defeated Akron, and they are 6-18 in that situation, six of the losses coming on this recent streak.
The last two nights the offense has amassed 12 runs after having gone a franchise record 33 1/3 scoreless, and scoring just one before getting swept by New Hampshire.
“You go through your struggles sometimes offensively, and we went through ours,” Long said. “I like how we’ve responded recently, the offense is capable. Hopefully we get passed that and grow from it and continue to stay positive and move forward.”
Key Player: C Elias Diaz went 3-for-4 a run scored and two RBIs to power the way for the offense.
Key Play: SS Alen Hanson’s two-run double in the bottom of the fifth started a four-run rally for the Curve.
Key Stat: The Curve snapped a 10-game losing streak.
How They Scored
Top 2nd: Boyd singled, scored on Lawley double (0-1); Lawley scored on Curry error (0-2).
Bot 2nd: Howard singled, scored on Curry double (1-2).
Bot 5th: Curry doubled, Maggi reached on fielder’s choice, both score on Hanson triple (3-2); .Broxton walked, both runners score on Diaz double (5-2).
Top 7th: Zapta doubled, scored on Johnson single (5-3); scored on Pawlecki hit-by-pitch with bases loaded (5-4).
Bot 8th: Diaz singled, scored on Garica sacrifice fly (6-4).
Top 9th: Clark walked, scored on Reynolds single (6-5).