The Curve played like a championship-caliber team their first two games. The third? Ouch.
"It was ugly," manager P.J. Forbes said. "You chalk that one up to mentally not there tonight. No two ways about it. Unacceptable. Learn from it and move on."
The Curve got an early season smack in the mouth Saturday night with a 12-1 loss to Erie, playing a lackluster game in all facets before 4,585 fans at Blair County Ballpark.
"It's kind of like a mulligan," first baseman Matt Curry said. "It's still a loss, but we still learn from it and move on."
Altoona fell behind 2-0 in the second inning, then saw its defense and pitching fall apart as the SeaWolves scored 10 runs from the fifth through seventh innings.
Curve left fielder Quincy Latimore had a forgettable night with two errors. His wild throw to third base helped Erie score five runs in the fifth, and his night got even worse in the seventh when he dropped a routine fly ball that would have been the third out but instead allowed two runs to score.
Next game: Akron at Altoona, Monday, 6:30 p.m.
Covering the bases: C4
"I'm going talk to him about it, follow up with him later," Forbes said of Latimore. "Bad night, though, yes.
"A dropped fly ball is mental," the manager added. "Throwing to the wrong base is mental. One thing that's big in our organization is mentality and how you show up every day. It's part of being a professional, and like I said, we'll follow up on it."
Right-hander Brandon Cumpton made his Double-A debut for the Curve and fell behind quickly. He gave up a leadoff single in the second, then a two-run double by Corey Jones for a 2-0 Erie lead.
The Curve's lone run scored in their half of the second as Tony Sanchez was hit by a pitch and scored on a single by Curry.
Jones tagged Cumpton for another double to start the fifth and scored on a single by Brent Wyatt. Cumpton caught a bad break on that RBI single when Latimore's errant throw to third base - the wrong base - allowed Wyatt to get into scoring position.
Cumpton retired the next batter before having his night end after a walk to Niuman Romero.
"I felt like I stayed aggressive the whole time," Cumpton said. "What really hurt me I felt like was I fell behind early on, and that kind of got my pitch count up there and taxed the bullpen."
Forbes called on right-hander Kris Harvey, just added to the roster because of an elbow injury to Ryan Beckman, and the newcomer had a rough Curve debut. Harvey retired the first man he faced, then gave up a two-run double to Rawley Bishop and two-run homer to Jordan Lennerton.
Cumpton (0-1) was charged with five runs on seven hits with two strikeouts and one walk in 4 1/3 innings. Harvey gave up five runs - three earned - on four hits in 1 2/3 innings.
Erie starter Jared Wesson (1-0) allowed one run on five hits in five innings for the win.
Saturday's contest was a stinker for the Curve, but it also served as a good teaching game for the coaching staff.
"You don't want it to happen, but if it does, they'll learn from it," Forbes said. "Hopefully we pointed out some things that we learn from as we go forward. That's the goal here is to get better on a daily basis. A step back today. Good to have an off day following it, recharge and get back at it Monday."
Key player: Erie 2B Corey Jones went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs.
Key play: 3B Rawley Bishop's two-run double and 1B Jordan Lennerton's two-run homer broke the game open for Erie in the fifth.
Key stat: Erie scored 10 runs from the fifth through seventh innings.
How they scored
Top 2nd: Lennerton singled Brantly doubled, both scored on Jones double (0-2).
Bottom 2nd: Sanchez hit by pitch, Curry singled, (1-2).
Top 5th: Jones doubled, Wyatt singled (1-3); Romero walked, scored along with Wyatt on Bishop double (1-5); Lennerton two-run homer scored Bishop (1-7).
Top 6th: Jones singled, scored on Romero single (1-8); Johnson walked, scored along with Romero on Latimore error (1-10).
Top 7th: Pounds reached on Holt error, scored on Brantly double (1-11); Johnson single scored Brantly (1-12).