HARRISBURG - The Curve offense bailed out the pitching staff for a change Wednesday to win the finale of a week-long road trip.
Altoona built an early lead, only to have Harrisburg tie it in the ninth on a two-run homer. The Curve came right back in the 10th, though, as Jarek Cunningham's solo homer lifted the club to a 7-6 win at Metro Bank Park.
Cunningham's blast was his fifth of the season, and Andrew Lambo ripped his team-leading seventh homer in four-run third inning to help the Curve build a 6-3 lead.
Altoona's offense has struggled immensely most of the season and is last in the Eastern League with a .221 team batting average. But the hitters had a big game Wednesday with 12 hits and the seven runs, offsetting 12 strikeouts.
The Curve's six runs represented a huge day for the offense, which had scored more than three runs only once in the past 12 games.
Gift Ngoepe had two hits in the leadoff spot and finished the road trip strong with three hits in his final seven at-bats. He had gone 0-for-23 in his previous eight games.
Covering the bases
LEADING OFF: RHP Duke Welker became the 104th former Curve player to reach the major leagues Wednesday when he was called up by the Pirates. Welker was superb for Triple-A Indianapolis, with 16 scoreless innings for a 0.00 ERA in 10 appearances. He was 3-0 with 20 strikeouts and eight walks.
SAFE AT FIRST: Welker also was stellar for the Curve last season, posting a 2.31 ERA and 2-1 record in 15 appearances.
STEALING SECOND: RHP Tim Alderson was promoted to Triple-A once again Wednesday after putting together an impressive start to the season with the Curve. Alderson was 1-0 with a 1.32 ERA and two saves in seven relief outings, striking out 17 with only two walks in 13 2/3 innings. He twice has been called up to Triple-A before, once this season and once last year, but has made only three appearances with Indy in those two stints.
ROUNDING THIRD: RHP Quinton Miller was promoted to the Curve from Single-A Bradenton to take Alderson's roster spot, which could be a sign that Alderson could be staying put in Triple-A this time. Miller was 1-3 with a 3.77 ERA in 10 outings for the Marauders.
HEADING HOME: The Curve begin a seven-game homestand tonight. They'll play four games against Richmond and three against Trenton.
- Cory Giger
Alex Dickerson also had two hits, including a two-run double, from the No. 2 spot in the order. He came into the game hitting just .183, while Ngoepe was at .122, but the two combined to go 4-for-9 to spark the offense.
Cunningham, Charlie Cutler and Drew Maggi each added two hits for the Curve. Adalberto Santos was hitless but drew a walk to extend his on-base streak to 17 games.
The Curve led 6-4 entering the ninth before Anthony Rendon belted a two-run homer off Kenn Kasparek to even the game. Jeff Inman had been on in relief and gave up a one-out walk before having to depart with an undisclosed injury.
Kasparek (1-0) wound up getting the win, while Pat Lehman (1-3) took the loss for the Senators.
Key player: 2B Jarek Cunningham went 2-for-5 with two runs and a homer.
Key play: Cunningham's homer came at just the right time in the 10th inning as it wound up winning the game.
Key stat: The Curve had topped three runs just once in their past 12 games before Wednesday.
How they scored
Bottom 2nd: Howell solo homer (0-1).
Top 3rd: Ngoepe singled, scored on Santos sacrifice fly (1-1); Dickerson singled, scored on Lambo two-run homer (3-1); Cunningham doubled, scored on Cutler double (4-1).
Bottom 3rd: Goodwin reached on Santos error, Johnson singled, scored on Rendon double (4-3).
Top 4th: Maggi singled, Ngoepe walked, both scored on Dickerson double (6-3).
Bottom 7th: Goodwin singled, scored on Bloxom double (6-4).
Bottom 9th: Goodwin walked, scored on Rendon two-run homer (6-6).
Top 10th: Cunningham solo homer (7-6).