Win: Eliecer Navarro (3-4)
Loss: Ryan Tepera (8-7)
MANCHESTER, N.H. - Altoona's offense produced another colossal hit total of 17 on Saturday night to lead them to a, 9-2, win over the Fisher Cats at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium. The Curve now have at least 14 hits in each of the three games in this series and at least 10 hits in each of the four games during the four-game win streak. Alex Dickerson (4-for-4) and Jarek Cunningham (4-for-5) led the way for the offense on Saturday.
It was a two-out rally that sparked the Curve to a lead in the very first inning off starter Ryan Tepera (8-7). Gregory Polanco lit the match for the rally and singled to right center before Dickerson collected his first hit of the day to put two on. Justin Howard followed with a double down the line in left to score Polanco and the Curve were up, 1-0. Cunningham followed with his first hit, a two-run single, and the Curve had a 3-0 lead.
New Hampshire answered in the second with a solo home run by Gabe Jacobo off Eliecer Navarro (3-4) but that was as close as the 'Cats would come on Saturday night.
Altoona broke the game open in the fourth when they scored five times and sent 10 men to the plate while also chasing the starter Tepera. Polanco doubled in the inning's first run when he brought Adalberto Santos home with two outs for a 5-1 lead. Dickerson was hit by a pitch to put two on before Polanco would the induce havoc on the bases.
The speedster broke for third, baiting a throw from catcher Jack Murphy, and the throw went into left field. Polanco trotted home, Dickerson trotted to second and it was a 6-1 game. Howard eventually walked before Cunningham drove in Dickerson from third to make it 7-1. Charlie Cutler walked before Carlos Paulino drove in both Howard and Cunningham for the 9-1 lead.
Navarro, who threw in Game 2 on Tuesday, gutted it out through five innings and allowed two runs on five hits tonight. Zack Thornton, who returned to the team today, threw three scoreless before Ryan Beckman pitched a 1-2-3 ninth.
Altoona's 17 hits fell one shy of a season-high of 18, which they have accomplished twice. Eight of the Curve's 17 hits came from Dickerson and Cunningham while Drew Maggi and Polanco also had multi-hit games. The four-hit game was the second of the year for Dickerson and the third of the season for Cunningham.
Looking to win a fifth-straight game, sweep this series and the season series with New Hampshire, the Curve (49-56) will meet New Hampshire (52-53) for the last time this season at 1:35 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. RHP Casey Sadler (7-5, 3.38) is expected to be activated off the disabled list and start the series finale for the Curve while RHP Deck McGuire (5-8, 5.43) starts for the 'Cats
Airtime on ESPN Radio 1430, WVAM and the Curve Radio Network is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. For tickets and more information on the Curve homestand beginning Tuesday with postgame fireworks, call 877.99.CURVE, visit AltoonaCurve.com or stop by the ticket windows at Peoples Natural Gas Field.