Big SeaWolves home run does in Curve
ERIE — The Curve played another back-and-forth game with Erie on Sunday afternoon, but this time the SeaWolves got the big hit to win and split the four-game series between Western Division playoff contenders.
Jose Azocar belted a go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth inning to lift Erie to a 6-5 win over the Curve at UPMC Park. Altoona led 5-4 before Azocar’s blast to left-center.
Erie led 2-0 before the Curve pulled even, then 4-2 after three innings before Altoona answered with three runs in the sixth for a 5-4 lead.
Bligh Madris delivered a bases-loaded single to score two runs and tie the game at 4-4 in the sixth. Robbie Glendinning later singled home Logan Hill with the go-ahead run.
Altoona’s usually reliable bullpen couldn’t hold the lead, however, as Azocar drilled the winning two-run homer off Angel German (2-3). The reliever walked Isaac Paredes to open the eighth, then gave up the home run.
Zac Houston (3-1) won in relief for Erie. Curve starter Domingo Robles allowed four runs on seven hits over six innings.
Sharpe and Madris had two hits apiece for the Curve, who came into the game a season-high 10 games over .500.
Altoona also dropped a game in the Western Division standings, now trailing Bowie by 3 ¢ games and Erie one.
The Curve return to Peoples Natural Gas Field tonight for a brief three-game series against Trenton, then Altoona heads out for a key four-game series at first-place Bowie.
Key player: CF Jose Azocar went 3-for-4 with a homer for Erie.
Key play: Azocar’s two-run blast in the eighth won it for the SeaWolves.
Key stat: The Curve dropped to 3 ¢ games behind Bowie in the Western Division.
How they scored
Bottom 1st: Hill doubled, scored on Paredes single (0-1); Pinero double scored Paredes (0-2).
Top 3rd: Sharpe walked, scored on Oliva two-run homer (2-2).
Bottom 3rd: Azocar singled, scored on Schwindel two-run homer (2-4).
Top 6th: Sharpe doubled, Oliva hit by pitch, both scored on Madris single (4-4); Hill walked, scored on Glendinning single (5-4).
Bottom 8th: Paredes walked, scored on Azocar two-run homer (5-6).