From Mirror reports
HARRISBURG -- The Pirates are hoping to have Francisco Liriano join the major league rotation in a few weeks, but Liriano showed Saturday night he's still got a ways to go in his rehab as he struggled in a start for the Curve.
Liriano gave up four runs on four hits and three walks in only 2 2/3 innings against Harrisburg as the Curve dropped the first game of a doubleheader, 4-1, at Metro Bank Park. Altoona blew a big lead in the second game before winning in 11 innings, 9-7, in a game that didn't end until after midnight.
Charlie Cutler doubled home the winning runs with two outs in the 11th to give the Curve a split in the doubleheader.
Liriano, an offseason acquisition by the Pirates who's coming back from a broken right arm, was scheduled to go four innings or 65 pitches in his second rehab start Saturday. But he struggled in the second inning and again in the third before getting lifted.
Liriano gave up a leadoff walk to Justin Bloxom and a double to Sandy Leon to start the second, then Randolph Oduber drilled a three-run homer with one out for a 3-1 Senators lead.
Today: Altoona at Harrisburg, 2 p.m.
Pitchers: Curve RHP Casey Sadler (2-0, 2.50) vs. Senators RHP Paul Demny (1-1, 4.32)
Liriano retired the first two batters in the third inning before walking Destin Hood, who stole second and scored on a single by Justin Bloxom. Liriano then gave up a single to Leon and walked Rick Hague before being lifted.
Liriano threw 67 pitches -- just 38 strikes -- in only 2 2/3 innings.
While his major league counterpart was struggling, Harrisburg starter Nathan Karns enjoyed a spectacular night. Karns (1-1) struck out a career-high 13 and gave up only two hits and one run in seven innings.
Altoona's lone run came on Andrew Lambo's RBI double in the first. Matt Curry had doubled before Lambo, but Altoona did not record a hit the rest of the game.
The Curve got off to a blistering start in game two, collecting five consecutive hits in their first at-bat. Curry, the No. 3 hitter, provided all the scoring in the inning with a three-run homer.
The Curve continued to pound the ball and built a 6-1 lead by the third inning, only to see Harrisburg come all the way back to tie it at 7-7 by the fourth. The game remained even until the 11th, thanks to some nifty bullpen work and both teams working out of major jams.
Altoona put its first two batters on base to start the 11th, and with two outs, Cutler ripped a double to center that scored Mel Rojas Jr. and Curry for the decisive runs.
Jeff Inman (1-0) won in relief for the Curve, while Marcos Frias (0-2) took the loss.
SUBHD: News and notes
RHP Tim Alderson has been sent back to the Curve from Triple-A Indianapolis. Alderson made one appearance for Indy, going 3 2/3 innings of relief and allowing one run on three hits with one strikeout and one walk last Sunday against Colorado Springs.
Alderson came on in relief in game two and tossed three dominant innings, striking out six while giving up no hits or walks. He pitched out of a jam in the fifth inning to keep the game tied at 7-7.
Harrisburg 3B Anthony Rendon was called up to the majors Saturday when Washington Nationals 3B Ryan Zimmerman was placed on the disabled list with a hamstring injury.
SUBHD: Doubleheader recap
Key player: Senators RHP Nathan Karns struck out a career-high 13 to win game one. Harrisburg 1B Justin Bloxom was 2-for-5 with five RBIs in game two.
Key play: LF Randolph Oduber hit a three-run homer off Pirates LHP Francisco Liriano for a 3-1 Senators lead in the second inning of the first game. C Charlie Cutler doubled home the game-winning runs in the 11th inning of game two.
Key stat: Liriano allowed four runs on four hits and three walks in only 2 2/3 innings.
SUBHD: How they scored
Top 1st: Curry doubled, scored on Lambo double (1-0).
Bottom 2nd: Bloxom walked, Leon doubled, both scored on Oduber three-run homer (1-3).
Bottom 3rd: Hood walked, scored on Bloxom single (1-4).
Top 1st: Vasquez singled, Brown doubled, both scored on Curry three-run homer (3-0).
Bottom 1st: Goodwin walked, scored on Waldron wild pitch (3-1).
Top 2nd: Vasquez singled, Brown walked, both scored on Lambo double (5-1).
Top 3rd: Maggi doubled, scored on Waldron single (6-1).
Bottom 3rd: Goodwin singled, Hood doubled, both scored on Bloxom double (6-3).
Top 4th: Brown reached on Lozada error, scored on Lambo sacrifice fly (7-3).
Bottom 4th: Soriano walked, scored on Lozada bases-loaded hit by pitch (7-4); Johnson singled, Goodwin walked, both scored along with Lozada on Bloxom double (7-7).
Top 11th: Rojas Jr. singled, Curry reached on Hague error, both scored on Cutler double (9-7).