CURVE, Pa. - The Altoona Curve fell behind early and were held off late in a 4-3 loss to the Binghamton Rumble Ponies on Wednesday night at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
The Curve (42-40) surrendered four runs in the first three innings to the Rumble Ponies (45-35).
Jerrick Suiter led the Altoona offense, going 3-for-3 with a homer, a walk and two RBIs.
Down 4-3 entering the bottom of the ninth, the Curve put two runners on base with one out, but Cory Burns (Save, 9) struck out Michael Suchy and got a groundout from pinch-hitter Logan Ratledge to end the game.
Binghamton struck in the first inning against on an RBI single by Matt Oberste against Altoona starter J.T. Brubaker (Loss, 4-4). L.J. Mazzilli added a two-run double in the second to open up a 3-0 lead for the Rumble Ponies.
Suiter hit a solo homer in the bottom of the second, his fifth of the year, to close the gap to 3-1.
The Rumble Ponies answered with an RBI single by Tomas Nido in the third, pulling ahead, 4-1.
In the sixth, Edwin Espinal drove a run-scoring single, picking up his team-leading 53rd RBI of the year. Suiter followed with an RBI single to close the Curve within a run.
With the bases loaded and one out, Binghamton starter Chris Flexen (Win, 4-1) worked a double play from Wyatt Mathisen to escape the jam and hold the one-run lead.
Brubaker allowed four runs and matched a season high with eight hits allowed over three innings with a walk and three strikeouts.
The Curve bullpen combined for six scoreless innings. Sean Keselica tossed two innings and allowed one hit with two walks and a strikeout. Brandon Cumpton worked around a hit and a walk with a strikeout in his two innings. Miguel Rosario and Jake Brentz each pitched a scoreless frame.
The Curve will conclude their final homestand before the all-star break with the third game of the series on Thursday night. Right-hander Alex McRae (6-4, 3.97) will get the ball for Altoona, with Binghamton knuckleballing right-hander Mickey Jannis (5-3, 4.18) opposing. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
The night features an appearance by the world-famous ZOOperstars. It will also be Thirstday, presented by Q94, with $2 specials on Miller Lite 16 oz. draft beers and regular-size sodas, plus $1 hot dogs.
Tickets are available online at AltoonaCurve.com, by phone at 877.99.CURVE or at the Peoples Natural Gas Field box office.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.