CURVE, Pa. - Adrian Sampson straight out dealt on Friday night versus the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, spinning eight scoreless innings on 81 pitches, but it wasn't enough as the Curve lost, 1-0, in 12 innings in front of 4,884 at Peoples Natural Gas Field. The eight innings pitched is the most by any Curve starter this season and is the first time a Curve starter tossed eight innings since David Bromberg did it on August 15, 2013 versus Portland.
While Sampson was in control of the game the entire night, the offense had a tough time getting things going against any one of the six pitchers the 'Cats used on Friday night. One of the better scoring chances the Curve had was in the last of the ninth with Keon Broxton on second base with one out. Elias Diaz flew out to right and Broxton tagged from second to go third. He tried to catch the 'Cats defense napping and was waived home by Miles Durham but he was out at the plate to force extras.
Altoona loaded up the bases in the 10th but Matt Curry struck out to end the inning and the threat.
The lone run in the game was scored in the top of the 12th Andy Burns singled to start the inning off Ryan Beckman (1-3), who was beginning his second inning of work. Burns moved to second on a passed ball during Mike Crouse's at bat but Beckman struck out Crouse for the inning's first out. With first base open, they elected to intentionally walk Matt Newman to setup the force out and also face Jorge Flores, who was playing in his third Double-A game.
Flores hit a single to right that was headed for the glove of Willy Garcia, who had two outfield assists already in the game (one saving a run at the plate in the ninth), but it went off the edge of his glove and he had no chance to throw out Burns rounding third.
In the bottom of the 12th, Jarek Cunningham singled with one out but was stranded on the bases as Randy Boone converted on the save.
Sampson's eight innings of shutout ball lowered his ERA to 1.98, which is second on the team behind A.J. Morris' league-leading 1.65 ERA. The eight innings pitched were not a career-high, however, as he'd thrown nine innings on August 18, 2013 vs. Fort Myers while with Bradenton.
Broxton, Mel Rojas, Jr. and Cunningham had the multi-hit games in the loss on Friday.
With the losing streak at seven, the Curve (20-34) aim to bounce back with a win in the 6 p.m. game on Saturday night versus New Hampshire (19-35) at Peoples Natural Gas Field. More postgame fireworks will follow the game on Saturday night with the Fisher Cats. It's also a FREE game for both the Junior Engineers and Ritchey's Dairy Curve Kids' Club members. Saturday will also be EMS Night and Child Safety Day with the Take 25 Campaign.
On the bump for the Curve in the second game of the series will be RHP Nick Kingham (1-5, 3.00), who is still in search of his first win since his first start of the season. He'll be opposed by Fisher Cats starter P.J. Walters (NR).
Gates open at 5 p.m. while airtime on ESPN Radio 1430, WVAM and the Curve Radio Network is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. For tickets and more information, visit AltoonaCurve.com, call 877.99.CURVE or stop by the box offices at Peoples Natural Gas Field.