CURVE, Pa. - The Hartford Yards Goats hit three homers off Pedro Vasquez and nearly received a second complete game effort from Peter Lambert to beat the Altoona Curve, 6-1, on Saturday at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
The loss breaks up a string of three straight wins for the Curve (29-28), halted by the Yard Goats' (29-33) first win of road trip and ends a four-game slide for Hartford.
Lambert (Win, 5-2) retired 12 straight Curve batters between final out of fourth inning and a two-out double by Ke'Bryan Hayes in the eighth. In his previous start against Altoona in Hartford, Lambert threw the first nine-inning complete game in Yard Goats history and allowed one run.
Altoona scored their only run against Lambert in the first inning. Jason Martin slugged a double over the head of Hartford's Sam Hilliard in right field and Will Craig knocked him home with a bloop single to center to get Altoona on the board first.
The Yard Goats responded in the second with a solo homer by Dom Nunez to even the score. Hartford broke the 1-1 tie with two more homers off Vasquez (Loss, 0-4) in the fifth when Forrest Wall and Brendan Rodgers hit back-to-back home runs to open a 4-1 lead for Hartford. Vasquez lasted five innings in the start for Altoona, allowed four runs on four hits, walked two and struck out three. Logan Sendelbach allowed one run over three frames and Geoff Hartlieb allowed one more in the ninth.
Lambert recorded two outs in the ninth after a lead-off single by Martin. Bralin Jackson and Jin-De Jhang reached on consecutive two-out singles to load the bases against the Hartford starter before he was removed after 110 pitches. Logan Cosart (Save, 2) used two pitches to record the final out of game, a fly out by Stephen Alemais .
The Curve ran themselves out of the inning after a lead-off double by Bryan Reynolds . Lambert threw out Reynolds trying to advance to third on a ground ball back to the mound by Jackson, who was thrown out on the next pitch trying to steal second base. Jhang then socked a two-out double over the head of Hartford's center fielder before an inning-ending flyout by Alemais.
Hayes' double in the eight was his 17th of the season and sixth against Hartford over the last eight days during a two-hit day. Martin's two hits in the game gives the outfielder 20 multi-hit performances this season, the most on the club. Jhang led the offense with three hits.
The Curve and Yard Goats wrap up their series on Sunday with the rubber match of their three-game set at 2 p.m. Right-hander Eduardo Vera (0-0, 1.93) will start for Altoona and Hartford will send lefty Jack Wynkoop (2-5, 5.64) to the mound.
The first 500 fans through the gates at PNG Field on Sunday will receive a 2017 Championship Team poster, courtesy of the Air Force Reserve. Each Sunday in Curve, Pa. is a Ritchey's Dairy Curve Kids' Club Game and will also feature an appearance by Dora the Explorer, presented by the Comics Vault. The ballpark gates open at 1 p.m. prior to Sunday's game. 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.