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Castro’s RBI single lifts Curve to first win

In a tie game in the 10th inning, Curve third baseman Rodolfo Castro stepped into the batter’s box.

With one swing, Castro gave Altoona its first victory of the young season, as his RBI single scored Mason Martin from second for a 5-4 walk-off victory over Bowie on Friday night at Peoples Natural Gas Field.

The Curve had started 0-3, and the franchise actually had lost seven games in a row overall, going back to the end of the 2019 season.

“It’s great to have the first (win) out of the way. Hopefully the first one of many,” Curve manager Miguel Perez said.

Cruz control

The victory was set up in the ninth inning, as the Curve tied the game at 4-4 in the bottom of the ninth. Center fielder Jonah Davis doubled and later scored on an RBI single from shortstop Oneil Cruz to send the game to extra innings.

“This is the Cruz that we’re actually looking for at any time, (in) every situation,” Perez said of the prized prospect.

Players of the game

In addition to the walk-off RBI single, Castro also hit the first home run of Altoona’s young season in the fourth inning. The homer was his first at the Double-A level.

“He made good contact today,” Perez said about Castro. “I’m happy that he had that kind of performance.”

Castro finished 3-for-5 with two RBIs and a run scored.

Davis hit a solo home run in the seventh, his first in a Curve uniform. He finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.

PA native on mound

Right-hander Max Kranick got the starting nod for Altoona and pitched well. The Scranton native, pitching with his parents in the stands, tossed 5ª innings, allowing two earned runs on six hits in a no-decision.

“He was so focused on his plan and going and executing, I had no doubt that he was going to have a good outing,” Perez said. “He’s going to do special things this year for us.”

The only runs Kranick relinquished came on a Chris Hudgins home run, which dinged off the left field foul pole. A member of Pittsburgh’s 40-man roster, Kranick struck out four and did not walk any.

Stats and stuff

Righty Yerry De Los Santos earned the victory for Altoona, throwing two scoreless innings. He did not allow any hits and struck out two.

Diogenes Almengo took the loss for the Baysox. The right-hander did not record an out and gave up the walk-off single in the 10th.

Despite the win, the Curve struck out 17 times at the plate. Eight of Altoona’s nine starting batters struck out at least once, and five struck out multiple times.

Cruz finished the night 2-for-5, his only RBI coming in the ninth inning. He also struck out three times.

How they scored

Bottom 2nd: Mitchell doubled, scored on Paul single (1-0).

Bottom 4th: Castro solo homer (2-0).

Top 6th: Neustrom doubled, scored on Hudgins homer (2-2).

Top 7th: Dorrian doubled, scored on Torres double (2-3); Torres doubled, scored on Canelo single (2-4).

Bottom 7th: Davis solo homer (3-4).

Bottom 9th: Davis doubled, scored on Cruz single (4-4).

Bottom 10th: Castro singled, scored Martin (5-4).

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