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Curve fall behind early in second loss to start year

The Curve’s Rodolfo Castro loses his helmet as he slides into second base after doubling in the fourth inning Wednesday. / Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski

Curve pitchers struck out 16 batters on Wednesday night, but that was not enough to stop Bowie’s strong offensive showing.

The Baysox scored in five different innings to defeat the Curve, 8-4, in the second game of the season at Peoples Natural Gas Field. Bowie grabbed the lead in the second inning and held on the rest of the way.

Altoona walked nine batters and hit three, allowing the Baysox to score methodically.

“Have to pay for every little mistake,” Curve manager Miguel Perez said about his team’s pitching performance. “Little things here or there that keep adding (up), and that’s why they got up to eight runs.”

MacGregor returns

Altoona starting pitcher Travis MacGregor took the mound Wednesday for the first time in about 2¢ years. The right-hander missed the entire 2019 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, and did not pitch in 2020 thanks to the cancelation of the minor league season.

In his first action since Aug. 19, 2018, MacGregor tossed 2• innings, allowing three earned runs on four hits. He struck out six and was tabbed with the loss.

Players of the game

Right-hander Kyle Bradish took the ball for the Baysox and wreaked havoc on the Curve batters. He tossed 4ª innings, allowing no runs and two hits.

The Arizona native struck out seven batters and relinquished two walks. Despite the success, he was pulled from the game after just 72 pitches and took a no-decision.

On the offensive side, Bowie right fielder Robert Neustrom went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a run.

SUBHD: Stats and stuff

Curve pitchers struck out a franchise-record 17 batters in the opener and 16 Wednesday, yet the team lost both games.

Relief pitcher Cameron Bishop earned the victory for the Baysox, tossing 3ª innings. He received little defensive support, as three Bowie errors helped Altoona to score two unearned runs.

SUBHD: Family connections

Bowie left fielder Zach Jarrett is the son of Hall of Fame NASCAR driver Dale Jarrett and the grandson of Hall of Fame NASCAR driver Ned Jarrett. Zach Jarrett finished the game 2-for-5 with a run scored.

SUBHD: Injury report

Curve right-hander Cody Bolton has been placed on the injured list with a knee injury. A reliever, Perez believes he will miss a substantial amount of time.

“Unfortunately, it’s not going to be a short-term thing,” Perez said. “He was healthy with his arm, and I was really excited to watch him pitch.”

Bolton will be replaced by righty Brad Case. This is Case’s first season with the Curve, as he pitched for Single-A Greensboro and Bradenton in 2019, posting a 3.41 ERA.

SUBHD: Big league debut

Former Curve outfielder Hunter Owen made his major league debut Wednesday night for the Pirates against San Diego. He started the game in right field.

SUBHD: How they scored

Top 2nd: Neustrom singled, scored on fielder’s choice (0-1)

Top 3rd: Jarrett singled, scored on Rutschman single (0-2); Vavra hit by pitch, scored on Neustrom walk (0-3)

Top 4th: Torres solo homer (0-4)

Top 5th: Escarra hit by pitch, scored on Grenier sacrifice fly (0-5)

Bottom 6th: Castro doubled, scored on Martin single (1-5)

Top 7th: Rutschman walked, scored on Neustrom double (1-6)

Bottom 8th: Bae reached on throwing error, scored on Cruz groundout (2-6); Martin doubled, scored on fielding error (3-6)

Top 9th: Escarra walked, scored on Grenier walk (3-7); Hudgins walked, scored on Ferguson sacrifice fly (3-8)

Bottom 9th: Stafford singled, scored on Davis double (4-8)

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