ALTOONA, Pa. – The Altoona Curve gave up three runs in the first inning, then bounced back to beat the Portland Sea Dogs 7-4 Thursday and complete a three-game series sweep at Blair County Ballpark

After six consecutive singles to open the first, the Sea Dogs managed just three more hits as Altoona rode a five-run seventh inning to its sixth straight victory, improving to an Eastern League-best 48-24.

“They’re a good team,” Portland Manager Arnie Beyeler said. “You’ve got to play nine innings to beat them. We didn’t do it.”

Che-Hsuan Lin opened the first with a ground-ball single to center, then advanced to third on Nate Spears’ grounder to right.

Ray Chang lined a hit to center field to score Lin and advance Spears to second, and Spears scored when Luis Exposito singled to left.

Anthony Rizzo’s hit loaded the bases, and Yamaico Navarro drove in Chang with a liner to right, giving the Sea Dogs a 3-0 lead.


Altoona escaped further damage when starter Jared Hughes struck out Chih-Hsien Chiang and got Ryan Khoury to ground into a double play.

“It was nice to get three runs,” Beyeler said. “(But) we took the lead, then went right back out and gave them one back.”

Chase d’Arnaud drew a leadoff walk off Portland starter Stephen Fife and scored two batters later on a double by Josh Harrison down the third-base line, cutting the Sea Dogs’ lead to 3-1.

The Curve scored again in the third on a solo home run by Shelby Ford, but the Sea Dogs countered in the fifth as Chang drilled a home run over the left-field wall.

Fife allowed just two hits besides Ford’s home run before being replaced by Mitch Herold to start the sixth inning. Fife struck out five and walked two while allowing two runs.

After Herold shut down the side in the sixth inning, Altoona staged its winning rally in the seventh.


Alex Presley led off the inning with one of his three singles in the game. He scored when Miles Durham tripled to the right-field wall.

After Herold walked Kris Watts, Ford ripped a single to left-center to drive in Durham and tie the game, 4-4.

D’Arnaud reached on a bunt to load the bases and, after Herold struck out Gorkys Hernandez, Harrison doubled to drive in two runs.

Matt Hague’s RBI grounder off reliever Ryne Miller gave the Curve a 7-4 lead.

“We didn’t minimize the big five-run inning,” Beyeler said. “If we had minimized that inning a little bit, we could have stayed in the game.”

Altoona’s Tony Watson allowed a two-out single by Chiang in the ninth, but got Khoury on strikes to end it.

Watson struck out five of the final six Portland batters to earn the save.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.