ERIE, Pa. - More late-inning heroics from the Erie SeaWolves haunted the Curve on Sunday afternoon as Erie scored three times in the eighth inning to steal a, 4-3, win and complete a three-game sweep of the Curve. Altoona has now lost four straight games and dropped the season series to Erie, 15-7. Alen Hanson was 1-for-3 to run his on-base streak to 16 games while starter Zack Dodson fanned a career-high nine in a no decision.
Dodson carved up the SeaWolves through the first two innings, matching his season-high five strikeout total before the end of the second frame. He got some help from his offense in the bottom of the third when Jarek Cunningham smashed a homer onto the lower roof of the neighboring Erie Insurance Arena to put the Curve up, 1-0.
Erie tied it off Dodson in the fifth but three SeaWolves errors in the sixth let the Curve have the lead right back. Andy Vasquez reached second base on a pair of errors on the same play by Devon Travis and Steven Moya. Guido Knudson (1-5) tried to pick Vasquez off of second but threw the ball into centerfield to move him to third. After Stetson Allie had walked he moved on a delayed steal to draw a throw from Drew Longley which went into center. That scored Vasquez and the Curve were back in front, 2-1.
Gift Ngoepe's bunt double over the first baseman Aaron Westlake's head started the seventh and he later scored on Dan Gamache's run-scoring single to make it, 3-1.
That, unfortunately, would be the last time the Curve offense scored as Erie scored three times in the eighth off the 'pen. Dodson finished the day after 6.1 innings with his career-high nine strikeouts and one run allowed. It was his sixth quality start of the season and fourth in his last five games.
Ryan Beckman, who'd thrown one pitch to get a double play in the seventh, allowed two hits to start the eighth and was removed in favor of Nate Baker to face Moya. Moya popped out with runners at the corners for the inning's first out. Francisco Martinez hit a ball to third that ate up Cunningham and allowed Travis to score to pull Erie within a run. After a strikeout of Westlake, Longley sliced a triple into the Curve bullpen with two outs to score both runs and flip the scoreboard in favor of the home team.
Kelson Brown singled for the Curve in the ninth but never advanced past first base.
After the final off day of the season on Monday, the Curve (54-74) will continue the road trip in Akron where they'll meet the RubberDucks for the first of three at 7:05 p.m. from Canal Park. LHP Jhonathan Ramos (4-5, 3.99) will stride to the mound for the Curve in the series opener. He'll be opposed by RubberDucks starter RHP Will Roberts (12-11, 3.97).
Airtime on ESPN Radio 1430, WVAM and the Curve Radio Network is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. The final homestand of the year in Curve, Pa. is August 22-28 with a pair of jersey auctions, an appearance from Craig Adams thanks to Planet Ice & WTAJ-TV, four fireworks shows and our final giveaway of the season. For more information, call 877.99.CURVE, visit AltoonaCurve.com or stop by the ticket windows at Peoples Natural Gas Field.