CURVE, Pa. - The Altoona Curve scored in the first inning for the second straight night and lost to the Trenton Thunder, 8-1, on Tuesday at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
With two consecutive losses to the Thunder (74-60) to begin the last home series of the regular season, the Curve (74-58) have lost back-to-back games for the first time since July 20 and 22 at Reading.
After he allowed three hits in a row to start the night, Cam Vieaux (Loss, 9-5) retired his next 10 hitters and worked around two singles in the fourth. The lefty fanned eight hitters on the night but two extra-base hits led to three runs for the Thunder.
Bruce Caldwell led the game off with a triple and scored on an RBI single by Jorge Saez that required just six pitches for Trenton take a 1-0. In the fifth, Trey Amburgey clubbed a two-out, RBI double that brought home two that broke a 1-1 tie and lifted Trenton to a 3-1 advantage.
The Thunder separated themselves to a six-run lead with four runs off Bret Helton in the sixth inning. Helton walked three and allowed one run to score on a wild pitch while a groundout and RBI singles by Seaz and Brandon Wagner plated the other three.
The Curve turned to former outfielder Elvis Escobar out of the bullpen with two outs in the sixth for his first appearance in Double-A since converting to a pitcher. Escobar froze the first batter he faced with a curveball called for strike three to end the sixth. Escobar went on to pitch 2.1 scoreless innings with five strikeouts in addition to one walk and two hits allowed. He stranded a total of six runners on base, including the two runners he inherited from Helton in the sixth.
Cole Tucker started the home half of the first with an opposite-field, lead-off home run to tie the game 1-1 on the third pitch of the game off Jonathan Loaisiga. His solo shot was the first lead-off homer of the season for Altoona and the first since Kevin Newman did the same on June 28, 2017 at Bowie.
Domingo Acevedo (Win, 3-3) threw three innings in relief of Loaisiga and limited Altoona's offense to one hit and walked one with three strikeouts. The Curve had runners in scoring position during the eighth and ninth but the home squad went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position against Trevor Lane, who used four strikeouts to strand three runners. Altoona was 0-for-8 in those clutch situations throughout the game.
The Curve and Thunder continue their series on Wednesday at 6 p.m. with right-hander Dario Agrazal (5-4, 2.74) taking the hill for Altoona against Trenton right-hander Nick Green (0-2, 6.10).
The ballpark gates will open at 5 p.m. for the last Winning Wednesday of the season, presented by the Pennsylvania Lottery. Wednesday's game will also feature the digital camo jersey auction with the proceeds benefitting Sweats for Vets. For tickets or more information, visit AltoonaCurve.com, call 877.99.CURVE or stop by the PNG Field box office.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.