Jarek Cunningham didn't waste much time making an impact in his return for the Curve.
Cunningham, who was sidelined with a left wrist injury and had not played since April 19, was activated from the disabled list Friday.
In the third inning, Cunningham ripped a two-run double to right field in his second at-bat of the game, and his two-bagger helped lift the Curve to their fourth straight win, 3-2, over Erie before 3,823 fans at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
"I was just hoping to see pitches well and put something in play," said Cunningham, who batted third in manager P.J. Forbes' lineup. "I ended up being able to do that with runners in scoring position."
Along with Cunningham's two RBIs, which came off Erie starter James Avery (5-3), Altoona was aided by strong pitching, including a seven-inning outing from starter Brandon Cumpton.
The Curve's four wins in a row are a season best, and it's the first time they have won four straight since May 11-14 of last year.
Tonight: Erie at Altoona, 6 p.m.
Pitchers: Curve RHP Shairon Martis (1-0, 2.25) vs. SeaWolves LHP Kevin De La Cruz (2-4, 3.93)
Cunningham recently rehabbed his wrist in Bradenton, Fla., and though he didn't play in any games, he spent about a week getting his wrist healthy and said it felt "fine" in his return.
In addition to making contributions at the plate, Cunningham made his presence felt in the field. In the fifth inning, the second baseman ranged deep to his right to field a well-struck ground ball and then made a strong throw to cut down the SeaWolves' Brandon Douglas.
"[Cunningham] did some outstanding work defensively when he couldn't swing; that's all he focused on, and I think we saw a little remnant of that tonight," Forbes said.
With a strong defensive effort behind him, Cumpton got the job done on the pitcher's mound. Cumpton struggled in his last outing, which also came against Erie (allowing five earned runs in 4 2/3 innings), but he rebounded against the SeaWolves on Friday.
With just two strikeouts, Cumpton wasn't overpowering, and the right-hander gave up seven hits and walked three. However, Cumpton (5-3) worked around all that and let just one run cross the plate.
"I thought his fastball had some life to it tonight," Forbes said of Cumpton's performance. "And the mix that he had, he got his changeup involved tonight, threw some good breaking balls. ... In [his last outing], it was pound them in, and here it was both sides of the plate."
Mike Colla pitched the eighth in relief of Cumpton, giving up one run but keeping a 3-2 lead intact for Duke Welker, who pitched a perfect ninth for his fourth save.
The Curve's bullpen has been superb in the team's four-game winning streak. In those games, Curve relievers have pitched 14 innings and allowed just one earned run, which equates to a microscopic ERA of 0.64. The bullpen has also struck out 14 batters while giving up nine hits in that span.
Key player: RHP Brandon Cumpton pitched around seven hits, three walks and a hit batsman to allow just one run in seven innings and pick up a win.
Key play: 2B Jarek Cunningham had a two-RBI double in the third inning, which proved to be the difference.
Key stat: The Curve have won four in a row for the first time since May of last season.
How they scored
Top 1st: Johnson walked, scored on Lennerton single (0-1).
Bottom 3rd: Norman singled, scored on Holt single; Grossman walked, scored with Holt on Cunningham double (3-1).
Top 8th: Lennerton reached on Latimore error, scored on Plagman single (3-2).