The Harrisburg Senators fell to the Altoona Curve 4-3 Tuesday night at PNG Field. Senators starter Wirkin Estevez allowed just one run in five innings, but a late three-run inside-the-park home run by Altoona's Will Craig was the difference in the series opening loss.
Altoona struck first when Stephen Alemais hit a sacrifice fly off Estevez to put the club ahead 1-0 in the opening frame.
That lead was short lived as the Senators tied the game in the top of the second. With Kelvin Gutierrez at second after a single and a walk, catcher Christian Kelley, in an attempt to pick-off Yadiel Hernandez from first, threw the ball past first baseman Will Craig and down the line, allowing Gutierrez to score and tie the game 1-1.
Estevez received a no-decision after allowing just the lone run along with four hits while striking out four across his five innings.
Altoona starter Taylor Hearn also took a no-decision after giving up just one unearned run and one hit over five innings.
The game remained tied until the seventh when the Senators took the lead. With two outs and Taylor Gushue at first, Hernandez hit a fly ball to left that was misplayed by left fielder Jason Martin, which allowed Gushue to score the go-ahead run.
The Curve responded in the bottom of the seventh and retook the lead for good against Senators reliever Kaleb Fleck. After back-to-back two-out singles, Will Craig hit a fly ball to center that bounced away from center fielder Rafael Bautista, which allowed Craig to circle the bases for an inside-the-park three-run home run to make it 4-3 Curve.
Bautista drove in a run in the ninth inning on a run scoring fielder's choice, but Curve reliever Geoff Hartlieb induced a game ending groundout by Daniel Johnson to strand the tying run at first and notch his second save.
Fleck (1-1) suffered the loss after surrendering all three runs in his only inning of work. Logan Sendelbach (1-0) earned the win after allowing one run in two innings of relief.
The Senators took a season-high eight walks in the loss and all nine position players that appeared reached base safely by either a hit or a walk. Bautista accounted for the Senators' only RBI of the game.
The Senators and Curve wrap up the series Wednesday night. Brady Dragmire takes the hill for the Senators against Altoona starter JT Brubaker. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. at PNG Field.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.