As it is for many minor league teams, August has been a grind so far for the Altoona Curve as they’ve inched their way back into first place in the Eastern League Western division.

Entering Friday’s game against the Trenton Thunder, the Altoona Curve is 5-4 in the month of August as the season winds down and the playoff chase gets hotter. Being able to take two-out-of-three games from Reading while then-first place Bowie lost two-out-of-three-games put the Curve back in the top spot by a half game.

Altoona brings a 3-6 record against the Eastern League Eastern division-leading Thunder this season to the table. Trenton serves as the only Eastern division team the Curve have a losing record against so far this season. Should the Curve continue their first place reign, doing so against the Thunder will give the Altoona squad a good barometer of where they’re at in regards to readiness for the playoffs that are inching ever so close.

Keller shines in first start

Top pitching prospect Mitch Keller started on the mound in Double-A for the first time last week against Trenton after being promoted from Bradenton. With the Marauders, Keller posted a 6-3 record in 15 games with a 3.14 ERA following two starts in West Virginia where he posted an ERA of 0.00 in his outings.

In his first appearance in a Curve uniform, the right handed pitcher did not disappoint even against the potent lineup put out by the Thunder. Keller went 6 innings against the Thunder striking out four and walking three. On the night, Keller yielded two earned runs and scattered five hits.

Keller will take on the Trenton lineup again Saturday in game one of a double header scheduled for 4:30 pm.

Curve unveil 20th Anniversary schedule

2018 serves as the 20th anniversary season for the Altoona Curve and Peoples Natural Gas field so it comes as no surprise the Curve will be pulling out all the stops for their 20th season.

Curve general manager Derek Martin announced previously there will be a 20th Anniversary Kick-Off concert featuring Sawyer Brown and Phil Vassar scheduled for September 23rd. It was this week though that saw Altoona announce their 2018 schedule of games.

Opening Day will be held at Peoples Natural Gas Field April 5th as the Curve take on the Akron RubberDucks. The 2018 slate of games features 69 other home dates in addition to opening day.

“The 20th anniversary is a huge milestone for the Curve organization and our community,” Martin said in a release. “We are thankful for the support throughout the region since 1999 and we look forward to celebrating with our fans all year in 2018.”

Up Next

Altoona takes on Eastern League-leading Trenton beginning Friday night at Peoples Natural Gas Field for game-one of a four-game series before hitting the road for a nine-game road trip. It’s McRae Day in Curve, PA on Friday night as Alex McRae looks to notch his victory number 10 on the season. McRae will be opposed by Brody Koerner who brings a 3-3 record and 3.46 ERA to the table. Following Friday’s game will be a doubleheader on Saturday with Mitch Keller and Austin Coley getting the nods for the Curve. Sunday’s game against the Thunder will feature Casey Sadler taking on Daniel Camarena.

Jarrod Prugar

Jarrod Prugar is 5 and a half feet tall and you can't teach that. Jarrod grew up watching future Pirates light up the Eastern League for the Altoona Curve before going off to Robert Morris for college. Jarrod also covers Penn State for the Pittsburgh Sporting News. Ban the DH!