Reynolds, Craig homer twice in Curve split
READING — The Curve had another bullpen collapse Friday night, but they bounced back when they needed to as Bryan Reynolds and Will Craig saved the day.
Reynolds and Craig each homered twice, including in back-to-back fashion in the seventh and final inning, to lead Altoona to a 10-8 win over Reading in the first game of a doubleheader at FirstEnergy Stadium.
The Fightin Phils held off a late comeback to win the second game, 7-4, and snap the Curve’s three-game winning streak.
Altoona appeared to be cruising in the opener, up 8-2, but no lead has been safe for the team this season because of a shaky bullpen. Starting pitcher Austin Coley gave up four runs in four innings, then reliever Bret Helton allowed four runs in two innings as Reading battled back to tie.
The Fightin Phils scored three runs on a pair of homers off Helton in the fifth inning to pull within 8-7, then tied it in the seventh on an RBI single by Adam Haseley.
Reynolds, though, led off the seventh inning with a homer to put the Curve back on top. Craig followed with his team-leading 16th homer for an insurance run.
Craig hit his first homer of the night in the third inning and Reynolds in the fourth. Craig finished with four RBIs, giving him a league-leading 76, and Reynolds had three RBIs.
The Curve turned a 10-8 lead over to Tate Scioneaux in the seventh, and he finished things off for his fifth save and second in as many chances over three days.
Helton (5-5) wound up getting the win despite a rough outing, while Luis Garcia (0-1) took the loss for Reading.
The Fightin Phils scored five runs in the third inning off Curve starter Scooter Hightower (0-1) to take control of the second game. All five runs scored after Hightower had retired the first two batters in the inning, with Damek Tomscha hitting a three-run triple and Deivi Grullon a two-run homer.
Reading scored twice off reliever Sean Keselica in the fourth to make it 7-1.
The Curve offense was held to just one hit over the first six innings but came to life in the seventh. They had three hits and took advantage of an error to score three runs, and they had the tying run at the plate but could get no closer.
Ranfi Casimiro (4-2) won for Reading, holding Altoona to one run on one hit for five innings.
Tempers flared in the second game after Curve second baseman Stephen Alemais was hit by a pitch. He had been thrown at in his previous at-bat, which came after Hightower had hit a pair of Reading batters earlier in the game.
When Alemais got hit, plate umpire John Mang issued a warning to both teams. That infuriated Curve manager Michael Ryan, who came out to argue but kept his composure enough to avoid getting ejected.
SUBHD: Doubleheader recap
Key players: 1B Will Craig and LF Bryan Reynolds each homered twice for the Curve in the opener, while 3B Damek Tomscha had three RBIs in game two for Reading.
Key plays: Reynolds and Craig went back-to-back in the seventh to break up a tie game in the opener, and Reading scored five runs after two were out in the third inning of game two.
Key stat: Craig now has 76 RBIs, just 30 shy of the Curve record set by Adam Hyzdu in 2000.
SUBHD: How they scored
Top 3rd: Tucker walked, Reynolds reached on fielder’s choice, both scored on Craig three-run homer (3-0).
Bottom 3rd: Stankiewicz doubled, scored on Seabold groundout (3-1); Haseley hit by pitch, scored on Randolph double (3-2).
Top 4th: Kelley singled, Alemais singled, both scored on Tucker single (5-2); Hayes single scored Tucker (6-2); Reynolds two-run homer scored Hayes (8-2).
Bottom 4th: Hall doubled, Bossart walked, both scored on Stankiewicz double (8-4).
Bottom 5th: Haseley solo homer (8-5); Randolph walked, scored on Tomscha two-run homer (8-7).
Bottom 6th: Canelo singled, scored on Haseley single (8-8).
Top 7th: Reynolds solo homer (9-8); Craig solo homer (10-8).
Top 3rd: Tucker singled, scored on Hill sacrifice fly (1-0).
Bottom 3rd: Randolph singled, Listi singled, Hall hit by pitch, all scored on Tomscha triple (1-3); Grullon two-run homer scored Tomscha (1-5).
Bottom 4th: Meneses doubled, scored on Randolph single (1-6); Hall single scored Randolph (1-7).
Top 7th: Alemais walked, scored on Hall error that allowed Tucker to reach (2-7); Ratledge singled, scored on Reynolds sacrifice fly (3-7); George single scored Tucker (4-7).
Tim Tebow underwent an MRI on his right hand Friday, but the Binghamton Rumble Ponies did not release any updates on his status. He did not play in Friday’s game, and his status for upcoming games and next week’s trip to Altoona remains unclear.