Curve Walk Their Way to Win over Portland

CURVE, Pa. – The Altoona Curve drew five walks in the bottom of the eighth inning to score six runs and defeated the Portland Sea Dogs, 8-0, on Saturday night at Peoples Natural Gas Field.

The Curve (23-18) have won 12 of their last 14 games, while the Sea Dogs (15-27) have dropped nine of their last 15.

Leading 2-0 in the bottom of the eighth inning, Portland reliever Simon Mercedes walked the first two batters he faced before allowing a single to Edwin Espinal to load the bases. Following a fielder’s choice that cut down Jose Osuna at the plate, the next four batters either walked or were hit by a pitch as the Curve plated four runs, taking a 6-0 lead.

Austin Meadows grounded into a fielder’s choice against reliever Chandler Shepherd, but an errant throw by Wendell Rijo allowed Anderson Feliz to be safe at second base while Chris Diaz and Harold Ramirez scored, making it 8-0 Curve.

Montana DuRapau worked around a leadoff double in the top of the ninth to seal the win and the shutout for Altoona.

Barrett Barnes doubled home the first runs of the game in the bottom of the second inning, scoring Edwin Espnial and Stetson Allie on a two-run double to left-center field in the bottom of the second inning to give Altoona a 2-0 lead.

The Curve were able to touch Portland starter Teddy Stankiewicz (Loss, 1-3) for five total hits but only tagged him with the pair of runs in the second inning.

David Whitehead (Win, 2-4) threw five scoreless innings, allowing two hits and walked three – all in the third inning – with a strikeout. Whitehead tossed his third scoreless appearance this season, and first since April 22 against Richmond.

Dovydas Neverauskas improved his scoreless streak to 13.2 innings after tossing two frames. Neverauskas, Josh Smith and DuRapau combined to throw four scoreless innings in relief as the Curve pitching staff recorded its second shutout of the season, and first since April 17 in Richmond.

Ramirez, Espinal and Barnes all logged two-hit days for Altoona, while Barnes led the way with three RBI.

Brandon Waddell (3-0, 2.41) gets the start in the second game of the series, opposed by Portland’s Aaron Wilkerson (2-1, 1.37). First pitch is set for 6 p.m.

Saturday is Star Wars Night at PNG Field, and the Curve will be wearing special Jar Jar Binks Star Wars jerseys, presented by Clarion Inn & Suites. Gates open at 5 p.m., and the game will be followed by a spectacular fireworks show. For tickets and more information, visit, call 877.99.CURVE or stop by the PNG Field box office.

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