A few Curve players leaned against the railing in the dugout and just stared at the field after the game's last out.
It's been more than a week since the Curve have been on the field celebrating a victory after a game, as they lost their seventh straight contest Monday.
The most recent defeat came in the form of an 8-7 heartbreaker to Bowie in which the Curve blew a four-run lead before 4,044 fans at Peoples Natural Gas Field. It's the longest losing skid of the season for the Curve, who are now five games out of a playoff spot.
"All losses are tough, but when you're going through what we're going through right now, this one is hard to swallow also," Curve manager P.J. Forbes said.
Juan Cruz, who was on a major league rehab assignment from Pittsburgh, got the start for Altoona. The right hander was slated to throw one inning, but after allowing four straight hits and two runs, Cruz was pulled from the game without getting out of the first inning.
Cruz - who is dealing with a shoulder issue and working his way back to the Pirates bullpen - struck out the first batter he faced, but it would be the only out he recorded. The 33-year-old veteran ended up throwing 25 pitches before exiting.
In 37 appearances with the Pirates this year, Cruz is 1-1 with a 2.61 ERA in 31 innings. Nathan Baker replaced Cruz and induced an inning-ending double play from the only batter he faced to keep Cruz off the hook for more runs.
In what was a wild first inning, the Curve put a six spot on the scoreboard. The top six hitters in the Curve's order all reached base safely (five hits, one reached on an error) and all came around to score to give the Curve a 6-2 lead.
But that lead wouldn't last.
The Baysox chipped away at the Curve's advantage with one run in each the sixth and seventh innings, but they did most of their damage in the eighth.
Vic Black was summoned out of the Curve bullpen after an RBI triple by Rhyne Hughes, who was on third base with one out and represented the tying run when Black entered the game. Against Manny Machado, the first batter Black (2-3) faced, one of his pitches got by catcher Ramon Cabrera, and Hughes scored with ease from third. It went as a wild pitch, and just like that, the game was tied.
Machado would eventually walk, but Black's struggles with control didn't end there. Facing Zelous Wheeler, Bowie's next hitter, the righty threw another wild pitch, this one hitting the backstop and going up the first base line a bit. Machado hustled as he got all the way to third on the play and scored on a sacrifice fly from Wheeler to give Bowie the lead.
To make matters worse for Black - who took the loss - and the Curve, Ronnie Welty, the next batter, hit a towering home run to left field to make it 8-6.
The Curve didn't fold, however, and they had their chances late in the game.
In the eighth inning, the Curve loaded the bases with two outs, but Quincy Latimore struck out to end the threat.
Then, in the ninth inning, Matt Curry hit an RBI triple with two outs, to cut the lead to one run. Curry represented the tying run at third base, but was stranded there as Oscar Tejeda hit a grounder off the end of his bat to first base to end the game.
Clay Schrader (1-0) pitched 2 2/3 innings out of Bowie's bullpen for the win, and Kyler Newby worked around Curry's triple for his 11th save.
"They're all tough," Forbes said about the streak of losses. "You battle, and you battle, and you battle, and you can't finish it. These guys are playing hard, they're doing the best they can, I don't fault them for effort, they haven't quit. As you can tell, we battled all the way through nine, again. We just came up short."
Though the Curve are in the midst of a season-worst losing skid, Forbes seemed to be staying positive, and said he's trying to get his team to do the same.
"Tomorrow is a new day, the sun is going to come up and we're all going to show up tomorrow and get back to work and get back after it," Forbes said. "That's all you can do."
SUBHD: Game recap
Key player: Baysox 1B Rhyne Hughes was 2-for-3 and had three RBIs.
Key play: On a wild pitch, by RHP Vic Black, Hughes scored to tie the game 6-6 in the eighth inning.
Key stat: The Curve are on a seven-game losing streak, their worst of the season.
SUBHD: How they scored
Top 1st: Britton singled, Widlansky doubled, both scored on Hughes single (0-2).
Bottom 1st: Maggi singled, scored on Santos single (1-2); Cabrera singled, scored along with Santos on Curry double (3-2); Welch double scored Curry (4-2); Tejeda reached on Machado error, scored along with Welch on Latimore single (6-2).
Top 6th: Widlansky singled, scored on Machado single (6-3).
Top 7th: Welty doubled, scored on Miller single (6-4).
Top 8th: Britton singled, scored on Hughes triple (6-5); Black wild pitch scored Hughes (6-6); Machado walked, scored on Wheeler sacrifice fly (6-7); Welty solo homer (6-8).
Bottom 9th: Cabrera walked, scored on Curry triple (7-8).