Altoona Curve Bitten by Sea Dogs Sunday in Loss at Portland

The Sea Dogs spoiled the finale of the season series and four-game series on Sunday afternoon as they took care of the Curve 8-5 at Hadlock Field. Portland pounded out eight runs on 15 hits off Curve pitching in the win. Starling Marte had a nice game offensively for Altoona finishing 3-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored while Tony Sanchez had a pair of hits and drove in three.

The Curve tried to mount a rally in the ninth loading the bases with no one out off closer Blake Maxwell on for the inning in a non-save spot. With the sacks full of Curve Josh Rodriguez lined out and Andrew Lambo flew out for the innings first two outs. Tony Sanchez battled Maxwell and wound up singling back up the middle to score two and pull Altoona within three. Matt Curry representing the tying run struck out to end the game.

Altoona jumped on starter Chris Balcom-Miller early in the first when Starling Marte doubled to start the game and then came around when Lambo smacked a two-out single to left. That lead would stick until the second when the Sea Dogs scored twice off of starter Aaron Pribanic (7-9) to take a 2-1 lead.

That started the back-and-forth game that saw Altoona tie it at two in the top of the third thanks to a two-out bases-loaded walk of Tony Sanchez by Balcom-Miller. Answering back in the bottom half was Tim Federowicz of Portland as he slugged his eighth home run of the year a solo shot over the Maine Monster to place Portland back in front 3-2.

The see-saw game continued in the fourth when Altoona again tied the game this time at three. Yunesky Sanchez doubled with one away before Greg Picart battled Balcom-Miller and eventually smacked a single to left-center. Yunesky Sanchez was held at third but Picart was breaking for second and was thrown out as the throw was cut off. When the throw went Picart's direction Yunesky Sanchez broke for home and scored safely to tie the game.

Portland then broke the game open in the bottom half of the fourth when Chih-Hsien Chiang and Federowicz both reached ahead of Jon Hee who smacked a home run over the Maine Monster in left to place the Sea Dogs in front 6-3. Hee was the last batter Pribanic faced in the game and finished 3.1 innings while giving up six runs on 12 hits.

Tim Alderson came in to finish the fourth for Pribanic and wound up throwing 3.2 innings while permitting two runs on three hits. The Scottsdale Ariz. native retired the last seven men he faced. Bryan Morris tossed a perfect eighth inning of relief as the Curve 'pen retired the last 10 batters they faced in the game.

After an off day on Monday Altoona (46-61) returns home to Blair County Ballpark at 7 p.m. on Tuesday to take on the Binghamton Mets Double-A affiliate of the New York Mets to open up a six-game homestand in Curve Pa.

Fans can take advantage of two-for-one offers on tickets hot dogs and small popcorns during Tuesday night's contest. Gates will swing open at 6 p.m. while airtime on the MSA Sports Network is slated for 6:30 p.m.

RHP Phil Irwin (4-3 4.73) will take the hill in the homestand lid lifter for Altoona while Binghamton has yet to announce a starter.