Trio of things sink Curve

From Mirror reports

READING — Mother Nature caused all kinds of trouble in the first game of an extremely bizarre and weather-delayed Curve doubleheader on Sunday.

An Altoona fielding error on a soaked FirstEnergy Stadium field in the eighth inning was the decisive blow for Reading in a 6-5 victory that included a rain delay in excess of two hours.

The nightcap of the twinbill was canceled will not be made up since this was the final time the two teams were scheduled to play one another.

The Curve seemingly had the opener well in hand heading to the bottom of the seventh. They took a 4-0 lead into the final frame with Tate Scioneaux on in relief of starting pitcher Taylor Hearn.

As the rain intensified, however, the Fightin’ Phils fought back, scoring three runs off of Scioneaux to pull within a run. Reading then had runners on first and second with two outs as it came down to its final strike.

But, before Scioneaux could release the would-be final pitch, the umpires ordered the tarp be brought out at that point.

Following the two-hour, 40-minute delay, with Matt Eckelman on the hill looking to record the final strike, Reading tied the game at 4-all to send it into extra innings.

Eckelman intentionally walked a Reading batter to load the bases with one out in the eighth before the decisive Alfredo Reyes fielding error allowed the winning run to score. The blown save was Eckelman’s second of the season.

Reading’s Franklyn Kilome found success much of the game keeping Curve batters at bay. He was finally undone in the seventh as rain began to fall. He was officially charged with allowing four runs in 6-plus innings.

Hearn was more effective than his counterpart, tossing six clean innings, striking out nine Reading batters while allowing just three hits and a pair of walks.

With Sunday’s outing, Hearn now has five scoreless starts of at least five innings, and his first since a seven-inning, complete-game effort against Harrisburg at the end of June. As a team, Altoona has eight shutouts with half coming at the expense of the Fightin’ Phils.

Jeff Singer (1-2) picked up the win as he threw one inning of relief, allowing just a single hit.

Altoona travels to Western Division-leading Akron for a crucial three-game series starting tonight. The Curve trail the RubberDucks, who won Sunday in extra innings, by seven games in the standings and do not play Akron again after the series concludes on Wednesday.

Game recap

Key player: Curve LHP Taylor Hearn tossed six scoreless innings with nine strikeouts.

Key play: An Alfredo Reyes error allowed for Reading to score the game-winning run.

Key stat: The Curve trail Akron by seven games for first place in the Western Division.

How they scored

Top 6th: Reyes singled, scored on Hayes double (1-0).

Top 7th: George singled, Hill walked, both scored on Reyes single (3-0); Kelley walked, scored on Ratledge sac-fly (4-0).

Bottom 7th: Grullon and Meneses walked, both scored on Canelo double (4-2); Haseley single scored Canelo (4-3). Hall single scored Haseley (4-4).

Top 8th: Tucker started at second, scored on Craig triple (5-4).

Bottom 8th: Singer started on second, Hernandez walked, both scored on fielding error (5-6).