SOMERSET, N.J. – Mason Martin hit a first-inning two-run homer and Ji-Hwan Bae broke a 3-all tie with a go-ahead single as part of six-run fifth inning to lead the Altoona Curve to a 9-6 victory over Somerset on Wednesday night at TD Bank Ballpark.
Bae, Canaan Smith-Njigba, Daniel Amaral, Cal Mitchell and Arden Pabst each delivered run-scoring plays in the deciding inning for Altoona. After Bae and Smith-Njigba each drove in runs to chase Somerset’st starter JP Sears from the game, Amaral’s two-run single with the bases loaded extended Altoona’s lead to 7-3 and the Curve would add two more later in the inning to take a commanding 9-3 lead.
Trey McGough, a Ferndale Area High School graduate, earned his second win with Altoona despite allowing at least one baserunner in each of his first four innings on the mound. McGough surrendered a two-run homer in the first inning, a single run in the second and stranded the bases loaded in the third. He allowed just one hit over his final two innings to qualify for the victory. All told, McGough allowed three runs on six hits and two walks, he struck out five on 81 pitches, 51 for strikes. Entering Wednesday’s start, McGough had allowed two runs or less in each of his last five starts.
The Curve bullpen allowed three runs over the final four innings as Oddy Nunez and Brad Case finished off Altoona’s 37th victory of the season.
Martin’s first-inning home run moved Altoona back into the league lead with his 18th of the season. His 53 home runs hit since the beginning of the 2019 season is the most among Minor League Baseball players.
Altoona earned nine hits in the victory with Bae, Smith-Njigba and Amaral each recording two. Arden Pabst recorded a hit in his fourth straight game with a solo homer in the second, his home run put Altoona into a short-lived 3-2 lead in the second inning. Pabst added an RBI groundout in the fifth.
Every Curve batter reached base safely in the victory with six players recording hits and the others drawing a walk or a hit by pitch.