CURVE, Pa. - Edwin Espinal went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, including a go-ahead RBI single in the sixth inning, as the Altoona Curve beat the Erie SeaWolves, 6-3, on Tuesday night at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
The Curve (8-4) reclaimed possession of the top record in the Eastern League, snapping a three-game winning streak for the SeaWolves (7-4).
Altoona broke the scoreless tie in the second inning. Connor Joe snapped a 1-for-19 skid by leading off the inning with a single, and Chase Simpson followed with an RBI double, which snapped his 1-for-16 slump.
In the third inning, Kevin Kramer was hit by a pitch with two outs, and Espinal followed by tucking an RBI double down the right field line, giving the Curve a 2-0 lead. Kramer was hit by a pitch three times and walked once, finishing the night 0-for-1 and snapping his season-opening ten-game hitting streak.
Altoona added to its lead in the fourth inning. Zane Chavez and Elvis Escobar hit back-to-back singles with two outs, and Kevin Newman hit an RBI single to extend the lead to 3-0.
Erie came back to tie the game at 3-3. The SeaWolves scored two runs in the fifth inning, with Miguel Gonzalez and Jason Krizan each hitting RBI singles. In the sixth, Mike Gerber hit an RBI groundout.
Altoona went back on top in the bottom of the sixth with a pair of runs. Espinal hit an RBI single and Joe drew a bases-loaded walk to give the Curve a 5-3 lead. Escobar capped the scoring by adding a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning.
Alex McRae started for Altoona, and he went 5 2/3 innings, allowing three earned runs on five hits while walking two. Tate Scioneaux (Win, 2-0), Jared Lakind , Austin Coley and Montana DuRapau (Save, 4) combined for 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. Lakind stranded the bases loaded in the seventh inning.
With his fourth save of the season, DuRapau now has 26 In his Altoona career, trailing only Matt Peterson (29, 2003-06) and Brandon Knight (27, 2006) on the franchise's all-time saves list.
Altoona will conclude the series against Erie on Wednesday in the rubber match and close out the season-opening homestand. Right-hander J.T. Brubaker (1-1, 4.76) will get the start for the Curve, opposite of left-hander Tyler Alexander (0-1, 6.23) for the SeaWolves. First pitch is at 6 p.m. from Peoples Natural Gas Field.
It will be the first Winning Wednesday of the season, presented by the Pennsylvania Lottery. Fans have the chance to win prizes from the Pennsylvania Lottery, including free lottery tickets for a month. Plus, if the Curve win, fans can redeem their ticket at the Curve box office to receive a ticket of equal or lesser value to another Wednesday home game in 2017. Tickets are available online at AltoonaCurve.com, by phone at 877.99.CURVE or at the PNG Field box office.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.