Curve bats quiet in loss at Trenton

TRENTON, N.J. — This is scoreboard watching time of the year, and it’s always a good feeling after a defeat for a team to see that it didn’t lose any ground because the other teams it’s battling with lost, as well.

The Curve dropped a tight 2-1 game Wednesday afternoon against Trenton at Arm & Hammer Park, getting a solid outing by Dario Agrazal but failing to come up with much offense.

The loss didn’t hurt second-place Altoona in the standings, as both division leader Akron and third-place Harrisburg also lost Wednesday. The Curve remain four games out of first place but three games ahead of the Senators for the final playoff spot.

Agrazal made his first start for the Curve since May 24 after spending two months on the disabled list with a shoulder strain. He had made two rehab starts for high-A Bradenton before rejoining Altoona.

Agrazal had a very impressive start to the season and was among the Eastern League’s top pitchers, but he struggled in his final two starts before going on the DL in May.

The right-hander held Trenton to two runs on seven hits over six innings, striking out three with no walks. The only runs Agrazal (3-3) allowed came on a two-run homer by Trey Amburgey in sixth inning that gave the Thunder all the runs they needed.

The Curve’s lone run crossed in the eighth when Stephen Alemais doubled and scored on a single by Tyler Gaffney. Altoona managed just five hits.

Trenton lefty Ryan Bollinger (7-4) was superb, shutting out the Curve on one hit over seven innings, striking out three and walking two. Altoona scored off reliever James Reeves as soon as Bollinger departed.

The Curve and Thunder wrap up their series tonight, then Altoona returns home Friday to begin a three-day, four-game series against Erie.

SUBHD: Game recap

Key player: LHP Ryan Bollinger tossed a one-hitter over seven shutout innings for Trenton.

Key play: RF Trey Amburgey’s two-run homer in the sixth accounted for all the runs the Thunder needed.

Key stat: RHP Dario Agrazal returned with a solid outing after missing two months with a shoulder injury, giving up two runs over six innings.

SUBHD: How they scored

Bottom 6th: Alvarez singled, scored on Amburgey two-run homer (0-2).

Top 8th: Alemais doubled, scored on Gaffney single (1-2).