CURVE, Pa. - Domingo Robles took the Altoona Curve through the first seven innings before Blake Cederlind and Matt Eckelman each pitched one inning each of a 1-0 victory over the Reading Fightin Phils on Friday at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
It was an old-fashioned pitcher's duel between the Curve (59-58, 23-26) and Fightin Phils (69-48, 30-20), with the lone run scoring after Darnell Sweeney launched a two-out double off the right-center wall that brought in Mitchell Tolman .
Reading reliever Garrett Cleavinger (Loss, 3-1) retired the first two batters of the eighth inning before Tolman reached on a single. Two pitches after Tolman kept the inning alive, Sweeney lifted the game-winning hit as Tolman motored in all the way from first base and narrowly beat the throw home.
Reading out-hit the Curve, 9-6, and had at least one baserunner in all nine inning. They stranded 10 runners total and had six reach scoring position but could not score.
Robles scattered seven hits with one walk and matched a season-high seven innings. It was his second scoreless appearance with the Curve this season.
R-Phils' starter Spencer Howard matched Robles over six scoreless frames in his third Double-A game. Limiting Curve bats to just three hits, he struck out eight batters without a walk.
Jakob Hernandez carried the scoreless game through the seventh after he took over for Howard, his only inning in relief for Reading.
The bullpen took over for the Curve in the eighth with Cederlind (Win, 4-0) working a scoreless inning. Reading had runners on first and second with one out with the help of an error before Cederlind rolled a 5-4-3 double play to exit the jam.
Eckelman (Save, 21) closed the door in the ninth to move into second in the Eastern League in saves. Nick Maton represented the game-tying run after reaching first on a two-out single, but Eckelman struck out the next batter, Luke Williams, to end the contest.
Bligh Madris recorded two of the Curve's six hits, marking his 99th and 100th hits of the season in Double-A.
The win marks back-to-back shutout wins for the Curve for the first time since April 20th, when they kept Richmond off the board in both ends of a double-header. Curve pitchers have not allowed a run in their last 21 innings.
Altoona and Reading are back in action on Saturday night, with first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m. Right-hander Cody Ponce (0-0, 6.00) will make his first start for the Curve against Reading southpaw David Parkinson (8-7, 3.33).
Gates will open for fans at 5 p.m. on Saturday. The highlight of the night is a Smokin' Adam Frazier bobblehead giveaway for the first 1,000 fans, presented by UniFirst. It's also Breast Cancer Awareness Night and Scout Night at the ballpark. In addition to the night's events, the Curve along with ARC Federal Credit Union are collecting black crew and ankle socks for troops stationed overseas for the Socks for Soldiers Drive. For tickets or more information about upcoming promotions, visit AltoonaCurve.com, call 877.99.CURVE or stop by the PNG Field box office. Additionally, the Stockyard Team Store is open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., during every home game and online 24/7/365.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.