Curve getting closer to 1st place

From Mirror reports

PORTLAND, Maine — The Curve made up for getting shut out Saturday night by enjoying a big offensive outburst Sunday afternoon.

A three-run homer by Arden Pabst capped a four-run second inning, and Altoona rolled to an 8-2 win over Portland at Hadlock Field.

Prized third base prospect Ke’Bryan Hayes had to leave the game in the third inning following a bizarre play that led to him getting shaken up. He roped what looked like a base hit to left field, but he tripped on his bat running to first and fell to the ground, where he remained in a lot of pain.

Since he never ran, Hayes was thrown out from left field. He had to be removed from the game, but a team spokesperson said afterward that Hayes was just sore and should be OK.

The Curve didn’t gain ground on first-place Akron and still trails by 1 ¢ games in the Western Division. But Altoona picked up a game on third-place Harrisburg, which lost to Akron, and now leads the Senators by 4¢ games for the second playoff spot.

Will Craig scored Altoona’s first run in the second inning, and following a pair of walks, Pabst drilled a three-run homer to make it 4-0. Portland got a couple of runs back in the fourth, but the Curve pulled away after that, highlighted by a two-run double from Cole Tucker in the sixth that made it 7-2.

Pabst added an RBI single in the seventh to give him a four-RBI game.

Dario Agrazal (5-3) was sharp for the Curve, giving up two runs on just three hits in six innings, striking out six with one walk. Kyle Hart (7-9) took the loss for Portland, allowing five runs — three earned — in five innings.

The Curve now head to Binghamton for a pair of games before beginning the final homestand of the regular-season on Wednesday.

Barring a collapse, the Curve are headed for the fourth consecutive playoff appearance, and they will be looking to defend last year’s Eastern League championship.

SUBHD: Game recap

Key player: C Arden Pabst went 2-for-5 with a three-run homer and four RBIs.

Key play: Pabst’s three-run shot in the second helped the Curve take control early.

Key stat: Altoona is 1 ¢ games out of first place with 16 games remaining

SUBHD: How they scored

Top 2nd: Craig reached on Dalbec error, scored on Rei error (1-0); George walked, Hill walked, both scored on Pabst three-run homer (4-0).

Bottom 4th: Chavis singled, Dalbec singled, both scored on Tendler double (4-2).

Top 5th: Reyes singled, scored on Rei passed ball (5-2).

Top 6th: Alemais singled, Gaffney doubled, both scored on Tucker double (7-2).

Top 7th: Alemais walked, scored on Pabst single (8-2).