A three-run top of the ninth propelled the Altoona Curve to a 6-3 win over the Bowie Baysox in front of 3,974 at Prince George’s Stadium Saturday night.
For the second game in a row, the Curve used a first-inning Will Craig RBI to take an early 1-0 lead. A two-run sixth inning extended the lead for Altoona (77-59), who received six scoreless frames from starter Eduardo Vera. With the win, the Pirates’ affiliate is now one win or one Akron loss away from clinching the 2018 Western Division regular season title.
The Baysox (66-70) had their bats silenced until the seventh inning. Yusniel Diaz grounded a one-out double down the third base line, and advanced to third base on a wild pitch from reliever Elvis Escobar. After an Anderson Feliz walk, Martin Cervenka clubbed his 14th home run of the season to left-center to tie the game at 3-3.
Making his last start of the 2018 season, RHP Dillon Tate allowed three earned runs on five hits with four strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings in a no-decision effort. In his second straight night of relief, RHP Tanner Chleborad kept the Curve scoreless over 1 1/3 innings. RHP Zach Pop escaped an eighth inning jam, stranding two runners via a fly out and a called third strike, while RHP Branden Kline allowed one earned run in the ninth inning.
Bowie and Altoona continue their four-game series with a 1:35 p.m. matinee Sunday afternoon. LHP Bruce Zimmermann looks to end his busy season on a high note against Altoona’s Logan Sendelbach. Sunday is Fan Appreciation Day at the ballpark, with the first 500 fans (ages 13+) receiving a dual-logo T-Shirt, courtesy of Money One Federal Credit Union. All fans have the chance to meet the team during an autograph session from 12-12:40 p.m. on the concourse, while fans can also play catch in the outfield during the same time frame. After the game, all fans are invited to run the bases.