From Mirror reports
AKRON, Ohio - For the Curve, almost nothing went wrong during the first three months of the season.
They spent much of that time with the best record in professional baseball, and have led the Eastern League's Western Division since May 20.
In July, however, Altoona has been nothing but ordinary. The Curve fell to two games under .500 (7-9) this month with a 4-1 loss to Akron on Monday.
Fortunately for Altoona, the early-season success built them enough of a cushion to be able to afford a slow stretch like the one they have had in the last couple of weeks. They still lead the division by seven games over Bowie and have the best record in the entire league.
The first few months of the season have allowed the Curve breathing room despite the losses, but the struggles are still evident. During the stretch, the Curve have lost games late because of a slumping bullpen, they have lost games because of problems in the rotation and they have lost games by being badly outhit.
Tonight: Altoona at Akron, 7:05 p.m.
Pitching matchup: Curve RHP Jared Hughes (10-6, 4.46) vs. Aeros LHP Kevin de la Cruz (2-5, 5.28)
Covering the bases: B3
But there was nothing out of the ordinary in Monday's defeat. Akron simply jumped out in front early and the Curve never challenged after that.
The Aeros scored a run in the first inning on a two-out single by Matt McBride, who also led off the fourth inning with a home run. The only Curve run came an inning later when right fielder Miles Durham scored on a wild pitch by Aeros starter Alex White.
That was the only blemish on White's stat line Monday. He worked seven innings and allowed six hits while striking out seven and walking none to improve to 5-4.
When Durham scored, Altoona appeared poised for a comeback or at least a challenge, but Asdrubal Cabrera and Jerad Head each homered in the next two innings.
That seemed to silence the Curve, who couldn't muster much after that. In the final four frames, they were unable to get the tying run to the plate, never managing to put more than one man on base in an inning.
Lefty starter Rudy Owens (8-4) didn't struggle much on the mound, but he took the loss for the first time since June 10. He allowed a pair of solo homers, and finished the night with five innings pitched and three earned runs allowed.
Akron's Omar Aguilar pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his fifth save of the season.
Key player: Akron RF Matt McBride went 3-for-4 with a homer and two early RBIs to put Akron on top.
Key play: Following Jerad Head's sixth-inning solo homer for Akron, the Curve wouldn't threaten.
Key stat: Altoona is 7-9 in July after going 50-28 in the season's first three months,
How they scored
Bottom 1st: Chisenhall reached on force out, scored on McBride single (0-1).
Bottom 4th: McBride homered (0-2).
Top 5th: Durham singled, scored on White wild pitch (1-2).
Bottom 5th: Cabrera homered (1-3).
Bottom 6th: Head homered (1-4).