With southpaw Darin Gorski starting for Binghamton, every batter in the Curve's starting lineup was either right-handed or a switch hitter. But in crunch time, it was their lefties who delivered.
The Curve entered the All-Star break on a winning note as Brock Holt's single in the ninth inning lifted the team to a 3-2 victory against the B-Mets before 4,201 fans at Peoples Natural Gas Field on Monday afternoon.
Holt's walk-off was preceded by a game-tying single from Stefan Welch. Matt Curry, who drew a one-out walk to start the rally, scored on the play.
Curry, Welch and Holt are all left-handed and all started the game on the bench.
"We talked after the game about being called upon when you come off the bench," Curve manager P.J. Forbes said. "We sat all the lefties today, wanted to get some guys some ABs, wanted to get a couple guys some rest. But they understand, a National League game, you have to be ready when called upon."
The game-winner off of Holt's bat was by no means a hard-hit ball.
Tonight: Idle for Eastern League All-Star break
Next game: Thursday at Akron, 7:05 p.m.
With one out, the All-Star shortstop got down 0-2 in the count before he sent a flare to very shallow center field. The ball was out of reach for both of Binghamton's middle infielders and Jarek Cunningham - who walked earlier in the frame - scored from third base while Holt was then mobbed by his teammates at first.
"In a situation like that, you're just trying to put something in the outfield," said Holt, who entered the game as part of a double switch in the seventh inning. "Fortunately, he left a slider over the inside part of the plate and I was able to get enough on it. Definitely wasn't a lot, but it was enough to get the job done."
Adrian Rosario was summoned from the B-Mets bullpen to close things out in the ninth inning, but the right hander struggled with his command. Eleven of the 21 pitches Rosario (1-2) threw were out of the strike zone, and he got behind in the count on Welch after already issuing walks to Curry and Cunningham.
"I was mostly just looking for a pitch to hit, luckily he got behind and I hit a liner," Welch said of his single which knotted the game 2-2.
Logan Kensing (1-0) allowed a hit but no runs in the ninth and also struck out a batter while earning his first win.
The dramatic victory puts the Curve at 43-45 headed into the All-Star Break, and Forbes said the team would have Tuesday off and light workouts Wednesday before the Curve head to Akron to resume play Thursday.
That schedule applies to all but four players as Holt will be joined by catcher Ramon Cabrera along with pitchers Brandon Cumpton and Vic Black at this year's Eastern League midsummer classic in Reading.
Altoona has had its ups and downs so far this season. The team was nine games below .500 on May 13, but has picked up some steam lately and won eight of 12 games entering the break.
"The grind, battling every day has been there and that's the main thing," Forbes said. "If our pitching holds up and we continue to battle, it will give us a chance to finish .500 or better."
Forbes added he's hoping some players who are vying to get to the next level will post good numbers in the homestretch of the season.
"We call it the salary drive, because it's not how you start, it's how you finish" he said. "[If] you finish the year strong, you're playing for a promotion for next year."
Key player: SS Brock Holt's only had one hit, but it was an RBI single that won the game for the Curve.
Key play: 3B Stefan Welch not only tied the game in the ninth with a one-out single, but he also allowed 2B Jarek Cunningham to reach third, setting the stage for Holt.
Key stat: The Curve have six more wins at this year's All-Star Break than last year's.
How they scored
Top 1st: Kazmar doubled, scored on Dykstra sacrifice fly (0-1).
Bottom 5th: Grossman solo homer (1-1).
Top 8th: Campbell singled, scored on Martin single (1-2).
Bottom 9th: Curry walked, scored on Welch single (2-2); Cunningham walked, scored on Holt single (3-2).