ALTOONA, Pa. – The Portland Sea Dogs won’t be eager to see Mel Rojas Jr. anytime soon.
After giving the Altoona Curve a win with a walk-off single Wednesday night, Rojas hit a two-run triple in the eighth inning Thursday night for a 2-0 victory at PNG Field.
“I was just trying to protect the plate with two strikes on me,” said Rojas. “I got a good pitch to hit and was able to put a good swing on it. I wasn’t looking for any particular pitch. It was a breaking ball down (in the zone) and I was able to hit it hard.”
The game featured a pitcher’s duel between Terry Doyle of Portland and David Bromberg of Altoona. Bromberg won it and Doyle didn’t figure in the decision.
“The game was well pitched and it was also played well defensively,” said Sea Dogs Manager Kevin Boles. “Both starting pitchers did a terrific job. Bromberg had good stuff and I thought Doyle was good as well. When (Doyle) missed, he missed down.”
In his seven innings, Doyle allowed six hits, walking three and striking out three. Bromberg worked eight innings, allowing three hits, walking one and striking out seven.
“First off, I have to give my catcher (Charlie Carter) a lot of credit for calling the pitches,” said Bromberg. “I just tried to get that first-pitch strike to get ahead of the hitters and when I did that, it allowed me to go to my off-speed stuff to get some ground balls and strikeouts.”
Having a no-hitter going into the sixth, Bromberg was quick to give his defense credit.
“They made the plays behind me that allowed me to have a no-hitter going,” Bromberg said. “(The no-hitter) was in my head and then I threw a hanging change-up to (Shannon) Wilkerson and he hit it hard. When that happened, Chuck came out and reminded me to stay focused because we had to go right back to work.”
Through five innings, the Curve picked up five hits but also stranded seven, six in scoring position. Doyle had one perfect inning, the seventh.
“He went from pitch to pitch and definitely executed things when he got runners in scoring position,” said Boles of Doyle. “He spent a lot of time pitching out of the stretch, which means he didn’t have a lot of clean innings, but he avoided damage by making pitches when he had to. He competed well.”
After using just about everyone the night before, Boles was happy to see Doyle give the bullpen a rest.
“He certainly did a good job of preserving bullpen inventory,” said Boles.
“He was efficient, he induced contact and for just the way he went about his business, I am very proud of him. He definitely picked up our bullpen.”
After picking up three hits in each of the first two games of the series, Ryan Dent had one of the three Portland hits to give him seven for the series.