Monday, December 9, 2013
By BILL ALBRIGHT Special to the Telegram
ALTOONA, Pa - After a rainout Friday night, the Portland Sea Dogs and Altoona Curve hooked up in a doubleheader Saturday night at People's Natural Gas Field.
The Sea Dogs took a 5-3 win in the first game and were three outs away from a sweep, but Altoona scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh of the nightcap for a 3-2 victory.
"The guys battled tonight and they played hard," said Portland Manager Kevin Boles. "Overall, I was very pleased with their performance tonight."
Friday's postponement meant Anthony Ranaudo had to wait one more day to try for his first win in a Sea Dogs uniform. Ranaudo struggled early in Saturday's opener, then settled down and got enough offensive support to earn the victory.
Portland grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a two-run single by Dan Butler.
The Curve answered with a run in their half of the first and two in the second for a 3-2 advantage.
But Ranaudo (1-1) was in control over his final three innings, allowing two harmless singles. He gave up seven hits, struck out four and walked one in five innings.
"His command got better as the game went along," said Boles. "He burned some pitches early, but he buckled down and made it through five innings. After those first two innings, he settled in and did a real nice job."
The Sea Dogs regained the lead in the third inning. Bryce Brentz picked on a 3-1 offering from Nathan Baker (3-6) and drilled it over the center-field fence for a two-run homer, his seventh of the season.
"He (Brentz) had a real good month of May and has done a nice job for us," said Boles. "Hopefully that will be a sign of more good things to come. He has done a real nice job of making the necessary adjustments to this level."
Portland added an insurance run in the sixth when Reynaldo Rodriguez led off with a single to short and scored on Baker's double to right.
Aaron Kurcz worked the final two innings for his third save.
Jeremy Hazelbaker hit the second pitch of Game 2 for a home run over the right-field fence. The Curve tied it in the second inning on Charley Cutler's home run off Jeremy Kehrt.
Shannon Wilkerson's RBI single in the fifth gave the Sea Dogs a 2-1 lead, but Josh Fields (1-2) couldn't close it out in the seventh, yielding a two-run single to Jarek Cunningham.