Coley helps Curve down Harrisburg

HARRISBURG — Austin Coley had a pretty miserable time at Triple-A Indianapolis this season, but the pitcher’s return to the Curve produced good results Sunday.

Coley pitched six innings and held Harrisburg to two runs, then the bullpen came through late in Altoona’s 4-2 win at FNB Field.

The Curve finished their week-long road trip with a 2-5 record and now return to Peoples Natural Gas Field tonight to begin a brief three-game homestand against Akron.

Altoona broke away from a 1-1 tie with three runs in the sixth inning. Ke’Bryan Hayes singled and later scored the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly by Will Craig. Logan Hill then drilled a two-run homer to make it 4-1, raising his team-high total to eight long balls.

Craig, who has six homers, and Hill also have been the team’s biggest run producers, with 32 and 28 RBIs, respectively.

Coley had a solid season with the Curve in 2017 to help the club win an Eastern League title, going 6-4 with a 3.01 ERA in 29 games (23 starts). He struck out 114 with only 31 walks in 143 2/3 innings and had a good WHIP of 1.218.

Coley earned a promotion to Indianapolis this year, but his season there was disastrous as he went 1-3 with a 9.64 ERA and WHIP of 2.107 over nine games (seven starts). He allowed 46 hits in just 28 innings and had 13 walks to only 15 strikeouts.

The Pirates sent Coley back to Double-A a few days ago, and while he struggled with his control Sunday, he was still good enough to limit the Senators to two runs in a ballpark where it’s usually pretty easy to score.

Coley (1-0) gave up five hits, struck out five and walked four in his six innings to earn the win. He blanked the Senators for the first four innings before giving up a triple that led to a run in the fifth, then a solo homer in the sixth.

Sean Keselica relieved Coley in the seventh and worked two perfect innings. Geoff Hartlieb came on in the ninth and finished it off for his fourth save.

Luis Reyes (4-5) took the loss for Harrisburg, giving up four runs on eight hits in six innings.

Hayes, Hill, Cole Tucker and Stephen Alemais had two hits apiece for the Curve.

Game recap

Key player: LF Logan Hill went 2-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs for the Curve.

Key play: Hill’s two-run homer capped a three-run sixth inning for a 4-1 lead.

Key stat: RHP Austin Coley gave up two runs in six innings for the win in his first game back with the Curve, after going 1-3 with a 9.64 ERA at Triple-A Indianapolis.

How they scored

Top 4th: Martin reached on fielder’s choice, scored on Kelley single (1-0).

Bottom 5th: Johnson tripled, scored on Gamache single (1-1).

Top 6th: Hayes singled, scored on Craig sacrifice fly (2-1); Martin singled, scored on Hill two-run homer (4-1).

Bottom 6th: Davidson solo homer (4-2).

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