MANCHESTER, N.H. - Andrew Lambo returned from an injury, hit two home runs and just missed becoming the first Curve player to hit three in a game, and that still wasn't enough to stop the team's disastrous road losing streak.
The Curve dropped their 12th straight game away from home, 8-3, to New Hampshire at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium on Saturday night. It was the fifth consecutive loss overall to start this road trip, which came on the heels of the Curve winning five in a row at home.
Altoona's road record now stands at 21-42, while the home mark is 38-24. The club has to go 5-3 away from home the rest of the way to avoid setting the worst road record in franchise history (currently 25-45 from 2001).
Lambo hadn't played for the Curve since April 16, missing almost the entire season with a wrist injury. He rejoined the team Saturday and made an immediate impact, belting a two-run homer in his first at-bat in the first inning.
That 2-0 lead didn't last long as New Hampshire scored twice in its first at-bat against Curve starter Brandon Cumpton. The Fisher Cats, who have the worst record in the Eastern League at 52-74, took control of the game with three runs in the third.
First baseman Sean Ochinko ripped a two-run homer off Cumpton to make it 5-2 in the third. Ochinko later hit a solo homer in the seventh and finished 4-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs.
Today: Altoona at New Hampshire, 2:35 p.m.
Pitching matchups: Curve RHP Mike Colla (4-5, 3.83) vs. Fisher Cats RHP Brandon Morrow (1-0, 1.86)
Lambo connected on his second homer, a solo shot, in the seventh inning off former Curve reliever Michael Dubee. Lambo came up again in the ninth and hit a fly ball to deep right field, but it stayed in the park for an out.
With Lambo activated off the disabled list, outfielder Christian Marrero was placed on the DL with a left abdominal strain, retroactive to Friday.
Cumpton (11-10) gave up six runs on 11 hits in five innings for the loss. New Hampshire starter Yohan Pino (8-7) allowed two runs in five innings for the win.
Redmond to Reds
Right-handed pitcher Todd Redmond, who played in Altoona in 2007, became the 96th former Curve player to reach the major leagues Saturday. He started the second game of a doubleheader for the Reds against the Cubs and took the loss, allowing four runs in 3 1/3 innings.
The Pirates traded Redmond to the Braves for pitcher Tyler Yates prior to the 2008 season. The 27-year-old has gone 71-59 with a 3.57 ERA in eight minor league seasons. He was 1-1 with a 3.12 ERA in three starts for the Curve late in 2007.
Key player: Fisher Cats 1B Sean Ochinko hit two homers and went 4-for-4 with three RBIs.
Key play: Ochinko's first homer, a two-run shot, gave New Hampshire a 5-2 lead in the third.
Key stat: The Curve have lost 12 in a row on the road.
How they scored
Top 1st: Santos singled, scored on Lambo two-run homer (2-0).
Bottom 1st: Torrealba singled, Schimp walked, both scored on Goins single (2-2).
Bottom 3rd: Goins doubled, scored on Cumpton wild pitch (2-3); Van Kirk singled, scored on Ochinko two-run homer (2-5).
Bottom 5th: Glenn singled, scored on Van Kirk single (2-6).
Top 7th: Lambo solo homer (3-6).
Bottom 7th: Tolisano solo homer (3-7); Ochinko solo homer (3-8).