Redstone, New Hampshire native and Kennett High School graduate, Jeff Locke enjoyed a homecoming at Hadlock Field as he led the Altoona Curve to a 1-0 victory over the Portland Sea Dogs Wednesday night at Hadlock Field in front of a sold out crowd of 7,368.For the first seven innings the game remained scoreless. Starters Locke and Blake Maxwell were both brilliant, pounding the strike zone and throwing up zeros. The two would combine to give-up just five hits and one walk.
Locke pitched in front of over 1,000 friends and family from home to enjoy his finest outing in Double-A. The 13th ranked prospect in the Pirates organization according to Baseball America, tossed seven shutout innings allowing just three hits striking out eight and walking one batter. Locke earned the win (2-1) in his first professional start even remotely close to his home.The Curve offense would come through for Locke to pick-up the win in the top of the eighth inning when the Curve would strike for three straight hits off Portland reliever Eammon Portice. With one out Hector Gimenz doubled and moved to third on a Yung-Chi Chen single. Anthony Norman provided the big hit with a bloop single just over the leaping Nate Spears to score Gimenez for the games only run.
Michael Dubee pitched two innings of perfect relief to earn his fourth save of the season.
Maxwell was equally as impressive as Locke, tossing a season-high six shutout innings allowing only two hits, striking out two and did not walk a batter. He retired the final 16 batters he faced and lowered his ERA to 1.69.
Portice (3-7) suffers the loss surrendering the lone run of the game on three hits in two innings of work.
All three Portland hits were doubles off Locke. Portland had opportunities to score in the game. In the bottom of the third Ryan Khoury lead off with a double but was unable to cross the plate. Che-Hsuan Lin would lead off the bottom of the sixth with a double but was thrown out at third attempting to stretch it out to a triple.
The game lasted just 2:12, the Sea dogs quickest game of the year.
Thanks To The Portland Seadogs for this recap.