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Senators’ big first inning sinks Curve

Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski Curve second baseman Ji-hwan Bae blows bubbles between pitches on Friday night.

The Curve fell behind early on Friday night and were never able to recover.

Harrisburg scored four runs in the first inning and two in the third on its way to 8-2 win over Altoona at Peoples Natural Gas Field. The Senators hit three home runs in the matchup.

Harrisburg jumped out to the early lead thanks to a pair of home runs from K.J. Harrison. The first baseman hit a two-run bomb in the first inning and another two-run shot in the third to put the Senators ahead 6-0.

Third baseman Jake Alu hit a solo homer in the fifth inning, putting Harrisburg ahead 7-0. Alu finished the game 1-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.

Offensive woes

The Curve’s only scoring offense came off the bat of shortstop Diego Castillo, who hit a two-run blast in the eighth inning to end the shutout. Altoona mustered just four hits in the contest.

“It was one of those games that we (were not) able to get some momentum,” Curve manager Miguel Perez said. “We didn’t have a chance to get some momentum until the eighth (inning).”

The Curve went 4-for-31 at the plate and struck out 14 times. They were 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position and left five runners stranded on base.

The only Altoona batter to register multiple hits was right fielder Cal Mitchell. He finished the night 2-for-3 with a walk.

Players of the game

Righty Cade Cavalli started on the mound for Harrisburg and was absolutely dominant, tossing 6ª shutout innings. He allowed just two hits and struck out 12 Curve batters to earn the win.

“We faced a very good arm today,” Perez said about Cavalli’s performance. “Credit to him, he had great stuff tonight.”

Harrison finished the matchup 2-for-5 with four RBIs and two runs scored. He was one of four Senators to have multiple hits in the game.

Stats and stuff

Righty Travis MacGregor earned the start on the mound for the Curve and pitched four innings. He allowed six earned runs on six hits and was tabbed with the loss.

“MacGregor (was) working behind (in) the count, (and) it was tough to recover,” Perez said. “It’s a shame, because he’s one of our most competitive guys.”

Trade deadline

The Pirates made three trades on Friday ahead of the Major League baseball trade deadline, which was set at 4 p.m. on Friday. However, none of the newly acquired players are expected to join Altoona.

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