From Mirror reports
TRENTON, N.J. - The Curve have a lot to play for the final month of the season as they're in the middle of a playoff race, and if they want to stay there, they can't let wins slip away like they did Wednesday night.
The Curve got another strong pitching performance from Phil Irwin and led by two runs in the eighth inning until Trenton tied it on a two-run homer. The Thunder then won, 4-3, on a sacrifice fly by Jose Pirela in the 11th inning at Waterfront Park.
Altoona went just 1-for-17 with runners in scoring position, and the missed opportunities came back to haunt the club. The Curve entered the night just one game out of second place in the Western Division but dropped to two behind Bowie with the loss.
Jarek Cunningham drove in all three Curve runs, on a two-run double in the second and a sacrifice fly in the sixth that made it 3-1.
Trenton pulled even at 3-3 in the eighth when Luke Murton doubled and Kevin Mahoney ripped a two-run homer off reliever Jeff Inman.
Today: Altoona at Trenton, 12:05 p.m.
Pitching matchups: Curve RHP Brandon Cumpton (10-8, 3.32) vs. Thunder RHP Dellin Betances (1-1, 4.15)
Curve reliever Nathan Baker (3-7) walked his first batter, Rob Segedin, to start the 11th inning. A sacrifice bunt moved the runner to second, Baker threw a wild pitch to get him to third and Pirela's sacrifice fly won it.
Graham Stoneburner (3-0) won in relief for the Thunder, who are tied with Akron for the Eastern League's best record at 66-44.
Irwin, the reigning Eastern League pitcher of the week, tossed five solid innings but was handed a no-decision. He allowed one unearned run on four hits while striking out six with no walks. He had thrown three consecutive complete games coming in.
The lone run charged against Irwin came after Segedin reached on an error by shortstop Brock Holt to start the fifth inning. Irwin then hit a batter, and Segedin later come home on a sacrifice fly by Addison Maruszak.
Key player: Trenton 1B Kevin Mahoney had a homer and two RBIs.
Key play: Mahoney was just 1-for-5, but his lone hit was a huge one as it was a two-run homer that tied the game in the eighth.
Key stat: The Curve went 1-for-17 with runners in scoring position.
How they scored
Top 2nd: Tejeda doubled, Welch walked, both scored on Cunningham double (2-0).
Bottom 5th: Segedin reached on Holt error, scored on Maruszak sacrifice fly (2-1).
Top 6th: Cabrera walked, scored on Cunningham sacrifice fly (3-1).
Bottom 8th: Murton doubled, scored on Mahoney two-run homer (3-3).
Bottom 11th: Segedin walked, scored on Pirela sacrifice fly (3-4).