Morris Shines in Extras Loss to 'Cats

Starter spins six innings and lowers league-best ERA to 1.64

A.J. Morris continues to roll with a 1.64 ERA through the first two months of the 2014 season (Mark Olson/MiLB)

By Mike Passanisi / Altoona Curve | June 1, 2014 3:48 PM ET

CURVE, Pa. - The Altoona Curve were able to end their scoreless innings streak but not their losing streak as the Fisher Cats downed the Curve in 12 innings for a second time in the series, this time by the score of, 2-1, in front of 5,022 at Peoples Natural Gas Field. The loss is the ninth in a row by the Curve dating back to a Game 1 win last Saturday in Erie. A.J. Morris, the league-leader in ERA, took a no decision in the game and lowered his league-leading ERA to 1.64.

Things started a little shaky for Morris, allowing five hits in the first two innings, but he was able to get key outs and not allow a run to cross. New Hampshire plated its first run of the game in the fourth when Kevin Noland drove a ball deep to left field that sent Keon Broxton to the wall. Broxton leaped at the wall, trying to keep it in the park, but the ball bounced off his glove and over the wall for a homer.

That was the only run that Morris allowed in his six innings of work while striking out six batters and walking one.

Altoona was able to get him off the hook for a loss though by scoring their first run since Thursday in the eighth inning today. Drew Maggi led off the inning with a double and moved to third when Junior Sosa sacrificed him over. Alen Hanson followed and blasted a single into center to bring Maggi in and end the streak while also tying up the game. The streak ran to 33.1 innings, which surpassed the previous franchise record for scoreless innings of 33 that was set in 2011 from June 19-June 25.

No winner was decided in regulation so the game proceeded to extras. Once again no team would crack the scoreboard until the 12th and it once again that was New Hampshire that went in front. Mike Crouse singled deep into the hole at short with one out to start the rally. He then stole second during Jonathan Jones' at bat but was thrown out on a fielder's choice when Jones grounded to the left side.

Jones then stole second before Melky Mesa singled into left field to break the tie. He was out on the play trying to advance to second but the damage had been done. Randy Boone came in for the bottom of the 12th and set the Curve down in order.

Ryan Beckman (1-4) pitched the 12th and was saddled with the loss. Emmanuel de Leon, Quinton Miller and Jhonathan Ramos combined for five scoreless innings out of the pen following Morris and before Beckman entered the game.

After an off day on Monday, the Curve (20-36) will welcome in the Binghamton Mets (AA - Mets) beginning at 7 p.m. Tuesday night from Peoples Natural Gas Field. Postgame fireworks will follow the Tuesday game, which is also a Two-for-Tuesday presented by Atlantic Broadband where fans can get two tickets, two hot dogs and two small popcorns for the price of one.

On the hill for the Curve on Tuesday will be LHP Zack Dodson (1-2, 2.60), who faces the B-Mets for the second time this season. He'll be opposed by B-Mets starter Tyler Pill (2-5, 4.96) on Tuesday.

Gates will open at 6 p.m. while airtime on ESPN Radio 1430, WVAM and the Curve Radio Network is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. For tickets and more information on the current homestand visit Altoona, call 877.99.CURVE or stop by the ticket windows at Peoples Natural Gas Field.


This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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