Kuhl & The Gang Roll Cats Again, 8-2
Win: Chad Kuhl (4-1)
Loss: Shane Carle (5-4)
CURVE, Pa. - In the first game of the three-game series against the Eastern Division leading New Britain Rock Cats, the Western Division leading Altoona Curve came back from an early 2-0 deficit, to defeat the Rock Cats, 8-2. Chad Kuhl (4-1) won his fourth start of the year and beat New Britain for a second-straight start to guide the Curve in the series opener.
Rock Cats' (31-19) second baseman, Juan Ciriaco tripled to right field and drove in a pair of runs in the first inning to open the scoring. After giving up two runs in the first inning, Kuhl retired 11 straight batters into the fifth inning. All told, Kuhl went 6.1 innings, allowing two runs, while walking two and striking out five batters.
The Curve (29-20) offense went silent until the third inning. With a pair of singles by Sebastian Valle and Eric Wood, Kuhl hit a routine sacrifice bunt to Rock Cats pitcher Shane Carle (5-4), who threw it away towards first scoring Valle and Wood. With Kuhl on first, 'Cats catcher Tom Murphy overthrew the first baseman Dean Espy on a pickoff attempt that allowed Kuhl to get to second.
Gift Ngoepe tested the 'Cats starter once again with a sac bunt and he again threw it away, third time trying to throw Kuhl out at third. Kuhl was able to trot home from third and break the 2-2 tie to put the game in the Curve's favor. Josh Bell's sac fly scored Ngoepe, making it 4-2, putting the Curve in the driver's seat.
Altoona added single runs in the four consecutive innings through the seventh. With the onslaught of runs, Wood finished the game 3-for-3 and scored two runs. Valle and newly promoted outfielder Jose Osuna also had three hits apiece.
The Curve and Rock Cats continue the three-game series at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning for the final Education Day of the year. Come to the ballpark for Wine and Wing Wednesday and grab .50-cent wings with additional wine specials on the concourse during the game. It also will be Four-Pack Wednesday where you can get four tickets, four hot dogs and four regular sodas for $39.
M&T Bank customers can also show their M&T Bank cards at the box office when purchasing tickets for $2 off the ticket price. RHP Matt Benedict (0-2, 8.10) will throw for the Curve while RHP Bryan Evans (2-0, 3.27) starts for the 'Cats in a rematch of last Thursday's series finale in New Britain.
Airtime on ESPN Radio 1430, WVAM and the Curve Radio Network is scheduled for 10:15 a.m. For tickets and more information, visit AltoonaCurve.com, call 877.99.CURVE or stop by the PNG Field box office.