HARRISBURG, Pa. - The recent struggles followed the Altoona Curve to Harrisburg as Brady Dragmire and the Harrisburg Senators thumped the Curve, 14-2, at FNB Field for Altoona's fourth consecutive loss.
After Bowie swept a three-game series to start the road trip and Friday's loss to the Senators (22-23), the Curve (21-22) have fallen below .500 for the second time over the franchise's previous 291 games dating back to May 11, 2016.
Brandon Waddell (Loss, 2-1) fell behind 3-0 after two innings before a pair of homers opened a sizable interval for Harrisburg. Osvaldo Abreu crushed a three-run homer to left-center field after two four-pitch walks by Waddell and a fielder's choice. In the fifth, Taylor Gushue answered two Altoona runs with a lead-off, solo homer to put Harrisburg ahead 7-2.
Waddell walked a season-high five batters and bore the weight of seven runs on seven hits for his first defeat of the season. His walk and earned run totals each matched a season-high by any Curve pitcher this season.
Dragmire (Win, 4-2) earned his third win of the season against Altoona with a second eight-inning start in Harrisburg. The right-hander did not allow an earned run over his first 18.1 innings against the Curve in 2018 until two crossed during the fifth. Harrisburg's starter ended the night with five strikeouts and gave up six hits without a walk allowed.
Christian Kelley and Stephen Alemais started the inning with back-to-back singles and Waddell bunted them over into scoring position. With Kelley at third base, Dragmire balked in Altoona's first run. The next batter, Cole Tucker , came through with a sacrifice fly to center to bring in Alemais as the Curve cut the lead to four runs.
After two hitless innings from reliever Sean Keselica , the game got out of hand in the bottom of the eighth. Harrisburg scored seven runs on just three hits as Yeudy Garcia walked four and recorded just two outs. Garcia was charged with four runs and was lifted for Curve outfielder Elvis Escobar , the first position player to appear on the mound this season. Escobar could not get the final out as three more Senators scored and right fielder Bralin Jackson swapped places with Escobar to end the frame with a fly ball out.
Altoona pitchers combined to walk 12 batters in Friday's game, one shy of the franchise single-game record. The Senators 12-run win tied their largest win over the Curve in the 20 seasons of play between the two clubs and matches a 13-1 win for Harrisburg on May 13, 1999.
The Curve continue their series in Harrisburg on Saturday at 6 p.m. at FNB Field. Pirates' top prospect Mitch Keller (5-2, 3.02) will start for Altoona and will be countered by the Nationals' No. 16 prospect, Jefry Rodriguez (3-3, 3.94), for Harrisburg.
After spending Memorial Day weekend in Pennsylvania's state capital, the Curve return home for a brief, three-game homestand against the Akron RubberDucks starting on Tuesday. 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.