ERIE - Jameson Taillon didn't dominate like in his first two Double-A starts, but the prized pitching prospect was good enough to win in his final outing of the season Friday night.
Taillon gave up three runs on six hits in six innings and earned the victory as the Curve edged Erie, 4-3, at Jerry Uht Park. Altoona moved back within a game of .500 at 69-70 with three games to play and can finish above the break-even mark if it sweeps the four-game series against the SeaWolves.
Taillon, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 draft, will finish at 3-0 with a 1.59 ERA in his brief Double-A tenure this season, giving him confidence he can excel at this level when he starts next year with Altoona. Taillon pitched 11 scoreless innings in his first two Curve starts, but Erie got to him for a run in the second and two in the fourth to tie the game at 3-3.
Andrew Lambo then belted a solo homer in the fifth inning to give Altoona a one-run lead, and it held up the rest of the way.
Taillon struck out five and walked one through six innings, then gave way to Mike Colla, who pitched two scoreless frames. Vic Black finished it off in the ninth to earn his 12th save and lower his ERA to a minuscule 1.68.
Ramon Garcia (9-10) took the loss for Erie, giving up four runs in five innings. At 57-81, the SeaWolves have the worst record in the Eastern League.
Tonight: Altoona at Erie, 7:05 p.m.
Pitching matchups: Curve TBD vs. SeaWolves Jared Gayhart (1-5, 4.55)
The Curve have struggled mightily on the road over the past six weeks - losing 13 in a row at one point - but they picked up their fourth straight win away from home Friday. They're now 25-43 on the road and need just one more win to avoid having the worst road record in franchise history.
Former Curve pitcher Gerrit Cole is expected to make his Triple-A debut tonight in a start for Indianapolis. Also at Indy, former Curve infielder Brock Holt had three hits in four consecutive games Monday through Thursday to raise his average to .440 in 23 games. He went 1-for-4 Friday to drop to .432.
Holt still leads the Eastern League batting race at .322, although Reading's Darin Ruf has a chance to overtake him as he's at .321 with three games to go.
Key player: RF Andrew Lambo went 1-for-3 with two RBIs for the Curve.
Key play: Lambo's solo homer in the fifth decided the game.
Key stat: The Curve can finish above .500 at 72-70 if the win their final three games at Erie.
How they scored
Top 1st: Santos singled, scored on Tejeda groundout (1-0).
Bottom 2nd: Douglas doubled, scored on Jones single (1-1).
Top 3rd: Santos doubled, scored on Cabrera triple (2-1); Lambo groundout scored Cabrera (3-1).
Bottom 4th: Plagman doubled, scored on Fields double (3-2); Douglas sacrifice fly scored Fields (3-3).
Top 5th: Lambo solo homer (4-3).