Bird Leads Thunderous Comeback over Altoona

By Jon Mozes / Trenton Thunder | August 6, 2014 3:17 PM

The Thunder rallied from a 3-1 deficit after four innings to take a 7-3 victory over the Altoona Curve on Wednesday afternoon. With the victory, the Thunder improve to 58-60 and will go for the sweep tomorrow night at ARM & HAMMER Park.

The Curve led on a pair of home runs, a solo shot by Jarek Cunningham and a two-run shot by Stetson Allie, against Thunder starter Manny Banuelos. Banuelos, who took a no-decision, did not walk a batter in a start for the second time in his last four starts. His five strikeouts matched a season-high with the Thunder, he went 3.2 innings.

The Thunder finally broke through for a second run against Curve starter Zack Dodson in the fifth inning when Ben Gamel singled home a run. Gary Sanchez was then robbed of a game-tying hit by center fielder Keon Broxton when Broxton made a diving grab to end the fifth inning and keep the game at 3-2 Altoona.

Greg Bird hit his second solo home run of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning to draw the game even at three. Bird has three home runs in the last two games after recording his first Double-A hit with a solo home run last night.

The Thunder went ahead in the seventh inning when Casey Stevenson led off the inning with a base hit to right against reliever Joely Rodriguez. Ali Castillo bunted Stevenson into scoring position and Jake Cave tripled him home with a drive to right-center. After a groundout, Sanchez drove in Cave with a double to center to take a 5-3 lead for the home team.

Jacob Lindgren earned the win in his Double-A debut with a scoreless seventh. Lindgren, who was selected 55th overall in the 2014 Amateur draft, struck out the side around a two-out hit.

The Thunder added two more insurance runs in the eighth inning when Francisco Arcia and Stevenson brought in Bird and Dan Fiorito to give the home team the final margin.

Greg Bird was a perfect 4-for-4 with a pair of home runs and a double in the ball game. Thunder pitching combined to retire 14 of the final 16 batters they faced and struck out 11.

The Thunder continue their six-game homestand with a 7:05 first pitch on Thursday night. The Thunder will start RHP Joel De La Cruz (3-2, 3.38), LHP Jhonathan Ramos (3-5, 4.84) will go for the Curve. The Thunder will welcome five-time World Series Champion Mariano Rivera to ARM & HAMMER Park, presented by the MVP Foundation. Listen live to Thunder baseball on 91.3 WTSR and online at beginning at 6:45 p.m.

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

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