Six-Run Sixth Lifts Curve Back Into First Place

CURVE, Pa. – The Altoona Curve knocked off the Reading Fightin Phils, 9-4, behind a six-run sixth inning on Thursday night at Peoples Natural Gas Field.

With the win, the Curve (60-55) moved back into first place in the Eastern League Western Division and finished the season series with Reading (60-55) with a 5-1 record.

With the bases loaded and no outs, Elvis Escobar hit an RBI single to score George. Later in the inning with one out,Cole Tucker grooved an RBI single to center field to plate Jhang. Anderson Feliz and Jerrick Suiter each hit two-run singles to cap the big inning and extend the Curve’s lead to 9-2.

Altoona opened the scoring with two runs in the second inning. George singled, while Jhang and Suchy worked walks to load the bases. That set up Curve starter Brandon Waddell , who helped his own cause by lining a two-run single to give Altoona a 2-0 lead.

The Curve widened their lead to 3-0 in the third after George hit an RBI double to score Pablo Reyes from first base.

Reading cut into the deficit in the fourth inning. Deivi Gruillon hit an RBI groundout to score Damek Tomscha, bringing the Fightin Phils to within 3-1.

The Phillies Double-A affiliate drew closer in the sixth. Brandon Cumpton took over for Waddell, and allowed a leadoff walk to Tomscha and a single to Jiandido Tromp. Tomscha later scored after Tucker committed a throwing error trying to get a force out at third base, making it a 3-2 game.

The Fightin Phils scored two runs in the top of the seventh to bring the score to 9-4, completing the scoring.

Waddell pitched five innings and allowed just one earned run on five hits, striking out three. Cumpton gave up three runs (one earned) on three hits in two innings, and Cody Dickson pitched two scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth.

Reading starter Franklyn Kilome allowed three earned runs on five hits in five innings, striking out six in his Double-A Debut. Garrett Cleavinger surrendered five runs (one earned) on three hits in 0.1 innings and Shane Watson allowed a run in 2.2 innings.

Altoona will continue their homestand on Friday, opening a four-game series over three days with the Trenton Thunder. Right-hander Alex McRae (9-4, 3.45) will start on the mound for the Curve, while the Thunder will trot out righty Brody Koerner (3-3, 3.46). First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. at PNG Field.

Friday is 811 Night, presented by PA One Call and it’s a Ritchey’s Dairy Curve Kids’ Club Game.

If you had a ticket to Wednesday’s game on August 9, you can redeem it at the Curve box office to receive another ticket of equal or lesser value to any remaining home game in 2017, as part of Winning Wednesday, presented by the PA Lottery.

For tickets or more information, visit, call 877.99.CURVE or stop by the PNG Field box office.