Curve Fall in Series Opener at Akron, 11-4

AKRON, Ohio – An early lead was short lived as the Altoona Curve fell to the Akron RubberDucks, 11-4, on Tuesday night at Canal Park.

The Curve (28-22) dropped the first game of the series against the division-leading RubberDucks (36-15), who hold the best record in the minors.

Akron scored three runs in the second to pull ahead 3-1 against Altoona starter David Whitehead (Loss, 2-5). Joe Sever doubled in a run and Todd Hankins added a two-run double.

The Curve closed back within a run in the top of the third after Hankins had trouble handling a Jose Osuna double in center field, allowing Austin Meadows to score on the error.

The RubberDucks answered with a solo home run by Jordan Smith in the bottom of the inning, his third this season and second against the Curve. Hankins padded the lead with a sac fly in the fourth and Clint Frazier followed two batters later with an RBI single, pushing the Akron lead to 6-2.

Altoona closed within three when Barrett Barnes led off the seventh with a triple and came in to score on a sacrifice fly by Chris Diaz. Akron responded with five runs in the bottom of the inning against Curve reliever Jhondaniel Medina to extend the lead to 11-3.

Jose Osuna tripled to start the eighth and scored on a sacrifice fly by Reese McGuire.

The Curve initially took a 1-0 lead in the second with an RBI double by Stetson Allie to score Edwin Espinal from first against Akron starter Shawn Morimando (Win, 9-0).

Morimando pitched six innings and allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits. His nine wins are the most all of Minor League Baseball this season.

Whitehead allowed six earned runs in 3.1 innings on six hits and two walks. Medina surrendered a season-worst five runs and recorded just two outs.

Edgar Santana worked 2.2 scoreless innings in relief for Altoona. Montana DuRapau got the final out in the seventh, allowing one hit and struck out one Akron hitter.

Erich Weiss went 0-for-5, snapping his 12-game hitting streak, the longest for a Curve batter this season. Harold Ramriez had two hits, closing out a strong month of May with a .366 batting average in 25 games played.

Altoona outfielder Jonathan Schwind came in to pitch the bottom of the eighth, his seventh pitching appearance for the Curve in the last two seasons. He picked up his first career strikeout, sitting down Todd Hankins looking for the second out. Schwind got pinch-hitter Alex Monsalve to fly out to left and stranded the bases loaded, keeping his career scoreless streak alive at 7.1 innings.

The Curve went 19-9 in the month of May and hit .274 as a team in 28 games while moving from fourth to second in the Western Division.

The series continues on Wednesday night at Canal Park. Lefty Cody Dickson (3-2, 4.40) will be on the mound for the Curve, with right-hander Michael Peoples (5-1, 3.17) pitching for the RubberDucks. First pitch in Akron is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.

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