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Brady’s bunch takes down ‘Dogs

From Mirror reports

PORTLAND, Maine — It looked like a lopsided pitching matchup on paper, and sure enough, it turned out to be lopsided.

Just not the way one would have expected.

Curve lefty Sean Brady took the mound Sunday afternoon with a 1-4 record and 7.47 ERA in the Eastern League between Altoona and Akron. He was opposed by a major leaguer in Boston Red Sox lefty Brian Johnson, who was making a rehab start.

Making things even tougher, the Curve were coming in with a five-game losing streak, and their offense had struggled mightily over that stretch. Oh, and Portland hit a home run to start the first inning off Brady, putting the visitors in an immediate hole.

But things turned around quickly for the Curve a few minutes later. They got to Johnson in the second inning and kept hitting, and Brady turned in a strong outing as Altoona rolled to a 7-2 win at Hadlock Field.

Jerrick Suiter hit a two-run homer off Johnson in the second inning for a 2-1 Curve lead. Altoona added a run in the third off Johnson, who was lifted after 21/3 innings with two runners still on the bases.

The Curve eventually loaded the bases, and Mitchell Tolman drilled a three-run double for a 6-1 lead.

Johnson (0-1), who’s rehabbing an elbow injury, gave up five runs on four hits with two strikeouts and two walks in his 2 1/3 innings.

Brady (2-4), meanwhile, had a good day, giving up two runs on just three hits in seven innings, striking out five with no walks.

Relievers Vicente Campos and Angel German finished off the Curve’s three-hitter with an inning apiece.

Hunter Owen had an RBI double in the fourth inning, his league-leading 33rd run driven in this season.

The Curve finish their four-game series at Portland this afternoon, then they’ll head to Trenton for three games to wind up a 10-game trip.

Rehab update

n Brock Holt’s rehab assignment with Portland ended Saturday, so he only faced the Curve, his former team, in one game. Dustin Pedroia had his rehab stint interrupted by pain in his knee.

MLB news

n Lefty reliever Josh Smith made his big league debut Saturday for the Cleveland Indians, becoming the 167th former Curve player to reach the majors.

The fact that Smith made it is somewhat remarkable given his immense struggles in Altoona. He was 1-4 with a 5.29 ERA in 34 relief outings in 2015, finishing with more walks (34) than strikeouts (31). He then went 2-2 with a 6.44 ERA in 42 games in 2016.

Smith figured things out after leaving the Pirate organization, and this year he was 5-1 with a 1.82 ERA in relief for Triple-A Columbus. He pitched 12/3 scoreless innings in his MLB debut against the Rays.

Right-hander Mitch Keller with make it 168 former Curve players to reach the majors when he starts game two of today’s doubleheader for the Pirates.

Game recap

Key player: LHP Sean Brady allowed just three hits and two runs over seven innings to win for the Curve.

Key play: 2B Mitchell Tolman’s three-run double in the third gave Altoona a 6-1 lead.

Key stat: The Curve snapped a five-game losing streak.

How they scored

Bottom 1st: Rivera solo homer (0-1).

Top 2nd: Hill singled, scored on Suiter two-run homer (2-1).

Top 3rd: Oliva walked, scored on Hill double (3-1); Delay reached on fielder’s choice, Suiter walked, both scored along with Hill on Tolman three-run double (6-1).

Top 4th: Madris walked, scored on Owen double (7-1).

Bottom 6th: Rivera doubled, scored on Netzer single (7-2).

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